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Fashion Studio - William Richard Green

He likes man stuff – y'know, like jets, football hooligans, soldiers and Fisherman's Friends.
Jamie Clifton
London, GB

William Richard Green is a menswear designer and one half of electro-disco duo Joe and Will Ask? (The question mark is a part of the name, by the way – I'm not asking you to correct me in the comments, or Australian). Will has carved himself a niche in the overcrowded world of sportswear-meets-high-fashion design by sourcing all of his materials from the British Isles, which is pretty impressive, considering I thought we stopped making stuff as a nation back when people thought it was totally acceptable to put golliwoggs on the side of marmalade jars.


Will's last collection was inspired by football hooligans, which meant he hung around outside a Millwall pub in Surrey Quays, bottling-out every time he flirted with the idea of photographing one of the Nickelson-clad fans. His new collection is inspired by the British military, so I visited him at his studio in Whitechapel to see if that meant spending time in Helmand Province, trying to photograph soldiers from behind a bush.

"This newspaper clipping was the starting point for my whole SS13 collection. Those six soldiers were all killed straight after going out to fight in Afghanistan, which really hit a chord with me. We're not going to do anything too patriotic, but the military thing will run through the whole collection."

"I'm not sure exactly what this mask is used for – I think maybe to protect gunners from recoil and sparks from their own guns – but it's cool and sinister and scary, and I'm basing a mask from the new collection on it."

"This thing actually belongs to Gareth Pugh. It's a thunder tube. You spin it round and it makes thunder noises, which is incredibly fun for about five minutes, then the novelty really wears off. Joe, who I do Joe and Will Ask? with, makes the music for Gareth's shows with Matthew Stone, and they used this a couple of times for that."

"When I'm designing a new collection, I always look at what I liked best from my previous collection, then try and reinterpret that to fit in with whatever theme I've chosen to follow for the new stuff. Everything I've done so far has been based on something inherently masculine – Vikings, fishermen, football hooligans and now soldiers – and it's all had a sense of Britishness. Well, the Vikings weren't British, but they did invade Britain, so I guess that counts, right?"


"We've just moved studio so I have all these boxes of tat lying around everywhere. That's a Margaret Thatcher nutcracker in there, which I love. Then, there's a Revell model that I picked up down at this WWII airplane warehouse on the south coast. I went down with my girlfriend to do some research for the new collection and ended up meeting the guy who built the first Harrier Jet. That was cool, but I felt a bit bad for him – he has to give the same talk every single day about something he built 40 years ago."

"This is some more tat. I was in New York and just couldn't turn down the opportunity to pick up Vickie and her Vibe. Mark my words; she's going to be a collector's item one day."

"I got really into everything fishermen related when I was doing that fishermen-inspired collection, so my interns bought me these Playmobil fishermen guys and some Fisherman's Friends. I like that Fisherman's Friends are made in England, too. If I ever do goodie bags for a show, I want to give away Fisherman's Friends, Cadbury's chocolate and Pot Noodles, rather than, like, hand cream, hair gel and moisturiser. Or, whatever useless, homogenous stuff it is that you usually get."

"This book is all about the people who built the channel tunnel, which is a great reference for me, because I'm really into all the utilitarian detailing you get in workwear. I think functionality is really important in menswear. Men want to look normal, but still be able to talk about their clothes. You know, like going down the pub and not getting heckled for wearing some outlandish outfit, but still being able to talk about where the fabric's from and what this pocket's for, and that kind of thing."

Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jamie_clifton

Previously: Fashion Studio - Alun Davies