The Studio Visit: Wright Le Chapelain
Meet London based label Wright Le Chapelain, the brainchild of Central Saint Martins alums IMOGEN WRIGHT and VINCENT LE CHAPELAIN, whose business and romantic partnership is the reason this brand has cemented its place in our dream workwear wardrobe. Designed for the modern woman, Wright Le Chapelain manage to evoke an unexpected femininity in classic tailoring.
On why they became fashion designers…
I: When I was about seven I went to a graduate fashion show with my mum. I wore orange Birkenstocks and a t-shirt I had made, a kind fashion editor let me sit in her seat on the front row! I was so in awe of the models, the clothes, the music, that as soon as I came home I made shoes out of felt and sticky tape and wore them around the house until they broke. Since then I have always been enamoured by the transformative power of clothes.
V: I’m interested in anthropology – fashion plays a big part in our identity. I’m interested in the fashion language and what you can say with it.
I: Creativity is always important. It’s one of the only times as an adult that you can nurture your childlike mind. I am surrounded by so many talented true creatives! I don’t think you have to create a product or a finished piece of work to be a ‘creative’, it can be how you look at the world and how you make connections.
V: So much of our life is pre-mapped today, to me creativity is important because it gives you the time and place to discover and explore the unknown.
On their designs…
I: Our work looks at traditional European codes of dressing and aims to reinterpret them for a contemporary woman.
V: I would sum up our aesthetic as romanticised office-wear. Wright Le Chapelain collections explore the notions of the familiar and the banal within the English and European wardrobe. Our studio practice aims to design unique and timeless pieces which are contemporary yet rooted in the everyday.
On the most exciting thing about the fashion industry today…
I: The independent designers working hard to challenge the traditional modes of the industry. Creating more sustainable ways of producing garments and relating to clothing.
V: The diversity of designers.
What’s so good about fashion?
I: The amazing, passionate, hard-working people.
V: The scope of the subject and skills that link to it.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I: A natural horsemanship instructor.
V: I wanted to be a fighter pilot and then a pro surfer.
Your favourite place in the world and why?
I: The fields above my family’s house in Devon. The view across the valley always puts everything in perspective and brings me back down to earth.
V: By the ocean, that’s where my best memories are from.
How do you waste time, when your schedule is clear?
I: Spending time with the people I love, practising Yoga and catching up on exhibitions and reading.
V: Escape the city, going on surf trips and taking photographs.
What's your greatest ambition?
I: I would love to move part of our studio to the countryside, and for our process to be zero waste with completely traceable manufacturing and sustainable production methods every step of the way. We are getting there but we have a bit of a ways to go.
V: To have our own factory.
The best advice you've ever been given?
I: Grow strong and steady, by my tutor Howard Tanye.
V: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
Photographer: Jonathan Middleton
Stylist: Sally Bottomley