Luc Besson, oil paintings and a life spent seaside. Founder and designer of Sydney-based menswear brand Commas, Richard Jarman, talks with RUSSH about his new Spring Summer 2019 collection (exclusive to Matchesfashion.com), the importance of quality and the every-person muse who inspires his pieces.
What was the inspiration behind the Matchesfashion.com exclusive collection?
In keeping with our ongoing embrace of aquatic landscapes, culture and history, the collection was inspired by Le Grand Bleu: the famed 1988 French free-diving film from maverick director Luc Besson. In addition to our signature nautical stripes, pieces in the collection feature an original water-painting sailboat print, painted with thick brushstrokes as if it were an oil painting, which is consistent with our ongoing nods to classic and modern art. The silks are printed and hand-dried in Australia, and each fabric was chosen based on how they feel against the skin, as well as their ability to retain that soft feeling, even after printing.
This capsule collection features colours inspired by this particular moment in time — like the crimson printed statement shirt. It’s a strong colour palette created especially for this collaboration with Matchesfashion.com, a bold take on resort wear for their discerning clientele.
Do you design for yourself? Or do you have a person/muse/man in mind when you design?
I’ve never wanted to have one guy in mind when creating the Commas collections, although of course I want to make pieces that feel good to me, that I’d want to wear every day, whether I’m heading to meetings or to the beach or to grab a coffee in the morning. Designing with one person in mind doesn’t make sense to me, given how diverse we all are, but at the same time there are major things we have in common, and in fashion there's a need for clothes that represent the best in form and function to meet the needs of our lifestyles.
Our plain white collared cotton shirts, for example, can be dressed up for a meeting or drink, or thrown on open after you’ve been in the water. In fact, we have a lot of women purchasing Commas, especially the collared shirts and the linen robes, which must say something about the universality of these kinds of pieces.
What is the most difficult part of creating a collection?
If I had to mention one: we’ve grown at a faster speed overseas than we have back home and given that we’re a new brand without offices overseas, the different time zones and requests from overseas have been one of the more challenging aspects. But I’m definitely not complaining.
What is the most rewarding part of creating a new collection?
I feel like with every collection we create people understand more of the story and I guess we figure out more of what we want to communicate. When piecing together what I want and will go on to inform the collection, it’s a good point in time to look back on experiences whether it was a movie, place, taste, scent or even somewhere I am yet to visit but am intrigued by.
But what takes the cake is hearing the way the clothes make people feel, the places they have worn them and the confidence it gives them.
What’s next for the brand?
We’d like to continue expanding our range with each collection, having started with a collection of swimmers and now offering the swim shorts and briefs alongside shirting, trousers and linen robes. I really would love to say, one day, that Commas offers everything you need every day - whether you’re at work or on vacation, at the beach or headed out to dinner - all created with the highest quality and beauty in mind. Collaboration has always been important to Commas, too. I’d love for the brand to continue growing the network of artists and photographers that we work closely with, creating timeless and inspirational imagery in the incredible water-side locations around the world that we’re so inspired by.
PHOTOGRAPHY Caroline Wood
FASHION Trevor Stones
MODEL Noel Kuron @ IMG
GROOMING Madison Voloshin @ Vivien’s Creative
An exclusive capsule collection from Commas is now available at MATCHESFASHION.COM.