wanting to fish out hot new talent on the streets of Shoreditch,
MyVillage hooked up with one of the area's sharpest up-and-comers.
Canadian-born Mike Gabel's unique designs currently grace the Dispensary
menswear shops, Spitalfields (on Sundays) and some of Tokyo's edgiest
boutiques. To find out what kind of mind comes up with these creations,
MyVillage picked his brains.
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Can you describe your clothes and the influences that drive you?
MG: All the clothes are handmade so there's an emphasis on
the uniqueness of each item. Each one is special in its own way.
I also really like re-interpreting styles. If you take my striped
shirts and Argyll print sweaters, for example, from a distance they
look like a regular striped shirt or diamond motif but when they
are examined up close, you can see that the designs have been made
with paint and hand stitching.
Apart from the shirts, what other pieces are in you current collection?
MG: I've done T-shirts with a design aping the Tesco Value
range. I made tops with the labels of baked beans, sliced peaches
and spaghetti in tomato sauce screen-printed on them. I chose those
items because they are the cheapest edible things you can buy in
the supermarket. All of them are under 10p. The collection plays
with the whole 'starving artist' thing and has obvious references
to the whole Pop-Art mania around at the moment with the screen-printing.
I've seen that you have branched out into furniture and accessory
design. Can you tell us more about that and how it came about?
Before I moved to London, I used to make furniture and accessories
and branched into clothing when I arrived here mainly because I
had a lot more space in Canada. Now I have more space, I slowly
began to go back into furniture creation. At the moment I am creating
giant cushions in the shape of the Tesco Value tin products. I also
make some jewellery like badges of silhouettes of guys in various
poses. One has a man sitting on a stool holding a pint of beer.
I also make bracelets made from re-styled toothbrushes that are
sold in Tatty Devine on Brick Lane.
What are you plans for the future?
MG: It's going really well, they keep calling me up saying that
they want more, so things must be selling well. I also have a line
of sweatshirts with appliquéd cartoon characters on them, which
are selling extremely well in Japan at the moment and hopefully
the t-shirts will be winging their way over to Japan soon.G: It's
going really well, they keep calling me up saying that they want
more, so things must be selling well. I also have a line of sweatshirts
with appliquéd cartoon characters on them, which are selling extremely
well in Japan at the moment and hopefully the t-shirts will be winging
their way over to Japan soon.
What are you plans for the future?
MG: I may be involved in an alternative to Fashion Week in
September but that's still in the planning stages at the moment.
Because we are a London based site, where in east London would you
recommend people to go out?
I'm a big fan of SMERSH bar at the moment but on the whole you're
really spoilt for choice around here. There's just so much.
How would you sum up your clothes in a nutshell?
MG: My clothes don't come with many preconceptions and I
hope people don't take them with preconceived idea. I just hope
people that like craftsmanship and don't mind paying for it appreciate
my clothes. People who just aren't afraid to look a little different.
for more details on Mike Gabel & his designs,