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Monday, 30 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Nas Abraham - GQ x GAP

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There are only a handful of illustrators in London whose work truly excites me. Nas Abraham is one of those talented people. As a member of superb style team Individualism, he's been producing some of the best work online in the menswear sphere and continues to raise the bar of quality.

As his work has recently been displayed as part of a group exhibit at Gallery Different, it felt right to introduce him as the first London subject in the GQ for GAP series. I sat down with him to photograph his free-hand illustration and chat about his opinions on current industry trends.

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Nasson Abraham, Multimedia Graphic Artist

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? Born and raised in London, currently residing in the West.

What's your star sign? Aquarius

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A Multimedia Graphic Artist, I had incredible foresight as a child. Ok, truthfully, Batman.

When did you realise illustration was your calling? Well, my father would encourage me to sit down quietly and draw as an alternative to running around after an energetic 5 year-old, so I naturally developed a love of drawing from an early age. I remember my overly critical 4th Grade teacher actually being impressed with a 3D drawing of a Christmas present that I had made up from my head. I think it's the little words of encouragement that I received over the years that made me realise I want to make a living out of this thing that I love to do.

How would you describe yourself in 5 words? Impatient, appreciative, passionate and an inspiration junky.

Who or what is the biggest influence on your work? God is genuinely the biggest influence. Most of my ideas get sent in the form of a dream or in a quick flash of an image. Whether that’s a concoction of things I’ve seen throughout my life conjured up in a specific instance, I don’t know, but what I do know is that there’s something up there abundantly supplying me with these visuals.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

River Island Masterclass: Jonathan Daniel Pryce #RIMasterclass

River Island recently interviewed me as part of their Masterclass series to share my photography secrets with the world. Last week, I was shadowed at Somerset House for an afternoon while snapping at London Fashion Week and later we sat down to discuss my top 3 tips for getting a great image.

Check out the video below and head of over to the River Island blog to see my selection of menswear looks from the season.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Jonathan Freemantle - GQ x GAP

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South African artist Jonathan Freemantle moved to the UK when he was 17 to study at St Oswald’s Academy in London. He's since relocated to Edinburgh which has been his home, along with wife Anna and boys Leo & Max, for 7 years.

Mr Freemantle is a regular fixture at cultural events across Scotland so when living there I bumped into him on numerous occasions. It wasn't until this shoot that I gained a deeper understanding of his aesthetic, after a proper chat and meeting Max. Jonathan is wearing a GQ x GAP Bespoken suede jacket and his son Max wears a bodywarmer from GAP Kids.

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Jonathan Freemantle, Artist & Creative Director, Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up In Cape Town, South Africa and have lived in Edinburgh for the past 7 years.

What's your star sign? Gemini.

What music are you listening to right now? As I write this I’m listening to ‘Easy Now’, a beautiful album by an amazing South African polymath, Givan Lotz. Also, I’m currently making music videos for two very exciting Edinburgh based bands, both well worth following – The Machine Room and Teen Canteen.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I think I always knew I would be an artist. I remember the magic allure of my father’s studio (he’s an artist as well) and knowing I would always want to be in a space like that. I also wanted to be an adventurer on a quest of some kind, looking for the wider reality. I was often alone as a kid I think, off on some kind of mission and I think the life of the artist replicates this daily searching for answers and magic most succinctly for me.

When did you realise you had a knack for art? Was there a eureka moment? I think very early on I realized that there was tremendous freedom to be found within the four corners of a piece of paper, that the power of invention opened all kinds of doors to the imagination and the sublime. I remember one particular drawing - I must have been about 7 or 8 yrs old - I was drawing a goose from above, flying over a field and suddenly it all just worked, the goose actually looked like it was flying. From that moment I hungered for that thrill. I still do. After a good day in the studio I’ll close the door, knowing that coming back the next day will be tremendously exciting.

I feel a strong connection to nature and the environment in your work - is this an ongoing theme? You live in a city with both urban and rural elements very close - was this an intentional move? Well put, yes this is very much what is going on. I love the ebb and flow between social, urban, structured living - my studio is very ordered, it is a former laboratory and much of my practice is very structured and yet I feel a constant pull towards chaos, nature, the wild. So my work, and life is all about finding the middle ground between order and chaos.


Friday, 27 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Luke Winter - GQ x GAP

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There's a lot going on behind Luke Winter's piercing blue eyes. Having spent over a year on the road, experiencing the world, he's amassed a number of stories. I asked him to share a couple as we shot around the Glasgow School of Art, our old stomping ground. Luke is wearing a Bespoken Plaid Shirt Jacket. See the full GQ x GAP collection at GAP.com.

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Luke Winter, Photographer & Writer

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in the countryside and currently I'm trying to figure out where it is I want to live.

What's your star sign? Gemini.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Something to do with Lego.

You express yourself in multiple mediums - photography, music, writing. Do you have a favourite? Photos. They lock you to the rhythm of the present and they're hardest to make. No rewrites.

As a photographer myself, I love to know technicians - what do you prefer to shoot with? Metal bodied cameras and prime lenses. They're hardier, which is important when you drop them.

Is there an image you've taken with this camera that you can't get out of your head? The images that stick are the ones that got away. It's a slippery business with moments by and by always. I'd say one stickler at the minute would be this photo of rocks on the American Pacific coast last Fall, and it's a stickler because its slightly off. I didn't nail it. BUT the circumstances which led me to the beach where I made the image, and then lead me on down that coast were so incredible, want the image to be better, I want it to mean more to people. That's a constant struggle, being more in love with life than your technical abilities allow you to tell.

There's a good story behind the rock image. One day hitchhiking, a self made millionaire ex-traveller picks me up quoting Ginsberg at me, takes me to this mansion him and his buddies are renting - one is an ex-nuclear sub engineer, aged 30, now concentrating on building a machine to revolutionise energy production. They needed garlic, which the dude I'd stayed with the night before had given me to trade on the road. So these guys make bruschetta and a steak dinner whilst I'm sent bug eyed to go see the beach all wrapped in fog. I experience the Pacific Ocean for the first time, where I made this image of the rocks then have dinner with wine and bootloads of absinthe and half an hour later I'm warm-glad drunk in the car of another dude who drives me down route 101 onto yet another incredible story. The photo you see is just of some rocks; some slightly ill-composed rocks at that.


GAP x GQ American Designers Launch

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our launch of the GQ for GAP American Designers collection last night. It was an overwhelming success with over 200 people in attendance and such a pleasure catching up with friends and new faces. The fourth interview of the series will be available today, with our London series launching this Monday 30th. Watch this space.

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Tommy Ga Ken Wan - GQ x GAP

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On a few rare occasions, I've been privileged enough to be one of Tommy Ga-Ken Wan's photographic subjects. His work conjures atmospheric narratives from the best in cinematic history and when finding interesting Glaswegian's for the GQ x GAP campaign, I knew I had to ask Tommy.

As a photographer he has fully embraced the digital age with a legion of fans through his Flickr page yet in person is as polite and humble as he looks. We took a walk around Merchant City to shoot items from the Ernest Alexander collection and caught up on his inspirations and journey so far.

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Tommy Ga-Ken Wan, Photographer

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Ayr, a biggish seaside town on the west coast of Scotland. It was a fine place to be brought up, but by the time I left at the age of 17 to study at Glasgow University, I was ready. Ten years later, I continue to call Glasgow my home, and I love it here.

What's your star sign? Capricorn.

What music are you listening to right now? I've recently been reimmersing myself in a lot of music I loved in years past: the Stevie Wonder of my teenage years, the Ryuichi Sakamoto of my early twenties, and watching NBC's excellent series Hannibal has reignited my passion for baroque classical music. I'm excited about the release of Prefab Sprout's new album this week, but it's the breathtaking eclecticism, humour and insight of Chilly Gonzales which I think will define this year for me musically.

Have you read anything inspiring recently? I finished reading Infinite Jest this year. It's an extraordinary novel, and I won't even try to describe it. I simply urge anyone with an interest in life to read it. In non-fiction, I've been taking every opportunity to tell people about the political philosopher Michael Sandel's 'What Money Can't Buy': a brilliant, balanced and profound exploration of what, in a good society, should not be for sale.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? At 7, I wanted to be an astronaut until I learned about the gruelling physical training they had to go through: long periods confined to isolation chambers, that kind of thing. By the age of 12, I wanted to be a philosopher, by 14 a lawyer and, when I started my degree in English Literature at 17, I had no idea what I was going to do. It didn't occur to me to pursue photography as a career until I was 20.

When did you first pick up a camera? Do you remember the feeling you had? What about the resulting photographs? I was fourteen when my parents gave me my first camera. My abiding memory of that day and the of using the camera is simply that it was fun, but it didn't take me long to realise that the camera had social value. I was a shy and awkward teenager, and whenever I was faced with an embarrassing moment or a situation I simply didn't want to be in, I could lift the camera to my face. Milan Kundera once wrote that the camera serves as "both a mechanical eye through which to observe...and a veil by which to conceal her face." This rings true for me but, by the time I started studying at university, I wanted to be sociable, and discovered (this was in the days before cameras were as ubiquitous as they are now) that the camera was an excuse for people to approach and talk to me. My first photographs had no technical merit at all: the process of understanding light and composition was one I undertook alone, without the help of any formal education or even books and magazines, and it took a long time.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Niall Walker - GQ x GAP

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The Arches is a cultural hub for the city of Glasgow. With events ranging from high brow performance art to some of the grittiest club nights in Scotland, it's diverse in the truest sense of the word. I've met some of my best friends at the Arches and danced harder than anywhere else in the world. When selecting Glasgow gents for the GQ x GAP project, Niall Walker was immediately in the shortlist. As the Design and Marketing Manager for the venue, he's been greatly responsible for some of my finest Glasgow memories.

When shooting, it simply made sense to use Niall's workplace on Argyle Street as the backdrop. It's called 'The Arches' for a reason with each segment having it's own personality. I sat down with Niall for a chat between photographs to ask what make's the city unique to him. He's wearing an Ernest Alexander x GAP chambray shirt and backpack, designed in New York City.

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Niall Walker, Design and Marketing Manager at The Arches

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in the Borders but have lived in Glasgow since 1996.

What's your star sign? Pisces

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to work behind a bar.

In a way you achieved this in a far grander scale. You work with one of the most exciting cultural venues in Scotland, how did you get into that line of work?  I studied fine art before becoming a graphic designer back in the 90s. Then in 2000, the job as in house graphic designer came up at the Arches – I applied and got the job. I’m now Design and Marketing Manager.

What music are you listening to right now? John Grant’s ‘Pale Green Ghosts’.

Do you have a record you come back to time and again? Yes, Sinead O’Connor’s debut ‘The Lion & The Cobra’. I must’ve listened to it a thousand times and never tire.

Who's the most exciting new artist for you? I am loving the DJ/Producer Cyril Hahn right now – his version of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’ is great.

Who's your favourite Scottish band and why? I think I’ll be old school and say the Eurythmics (only half Scottish, but hey) – ‘Love Is A Stranger’ is one of my favourite ever tracks.

Having been at the hub of activity for 2 decades you must've seen some amazing scenes in Glasgow. Do you have a favourite era? When Death Disco at the Arches was first on the rise and everyone and their Auntie (literally in some cases) was talking about it, dancing at it and partying after it. Our motto was ‘hot beats and good times’, and they were.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Chris Millington - GQ x GAP

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This week the GQ New American Designers collection launches at GAP. Together, we selected 10 interesting gents in London and Glasgow to showcase the four independent designers' collections dropping in their two flagship stores - Oxford Street and Buchanan Street respectively.

The first to be photographed was Mr Chris Millington, a man who's beard has made him an internet sensation with over 50,000 Instagram followers. His online musings always intrigued me and as a beard aficionado (that's if photographing beards has made me some kind of expert) I couldn't resist photographing him around the streets of Glasgow.

Chris wears California surf brand Aviator Nation which gels perfectly with his laid back, sunny attitude. As he's a self-confessed 'thinker', it made interviewing him a dream. See his ponderings on wisdom, grooming and the arithmomania below.


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Chris Millington, 23, Model

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up in Newmilns, a town 10 miles from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire. I'm currently living in Glasgow and definitely enjoying the contrast between country and city life. It's broadened my horizons in a lot of ways and I feel as if it's definitely given me a different outlook to a lot of the people I've met in the creative industry.

What's your star sign? I am an Aries!

What music are you listening to right now? Believe it or not, I've been listening to the Backstreet Boys quite a lot recently. I don't know if it's because I want to be 10 again or maybe they just wrote some timeless music. I'm not really sure!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? From a very young age I have been a massive fan of Star Trek, I guess the mystery of "going where no man has gone before" always appealed to me, so many questions, so little answers. It's all extremely interesting, I love science.

My dream was to work for NASA. Physical cosmology, astronomical engineering or astrophysics were my dream subjects to pursue. There were a few things that happened and prevented me from pursuing those studies. NASA was always the goal.

You've got a huge following on Instagram – when and why did you first join? I don't actually remember when I joined or my reason for joining. I just remember things exploding all of a sudden after a few months. I thought having 1,000 followers was a fairly big milestone, I now have 50,000 and it's all a little overwhelming!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Men's Health Magazine - Casio Street Style

Check out this month's Men's Health Urban Active Magazine, which features my search for gents wearing Casio G-Shock watches on the streets of London, Manchester and Newcastle. See the feature below and a full range of style on their Official Tumblr.

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Fergus Henderson: St John Street, London

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sartorial 7: Private White V.C. at Goodwood Revival

This week the Sartorial 7 gents headed to Goodwood Revival - a festival of motor cars and vintage clothings. This is a winning combination and results in, quite definitely, the best time I've ever had in the English countryside. We teamed up with British manufacturer Private White V.C. for some good old fashioned fun. It didn't end well for us all though...


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

GAP x GQ: New American Designers Launch in Glasgow

Next week, The GAP is launching it's collaboration supporting new American menswear designers in the UK. Working together with GAP and GQ, I shot campaign images in the two British cities they're launching: my hometown of Glasgow and my current abode, London. We selected five interesting characters from each city to show the diversity in the capsule collection - ten of the coolest guys I know, wearing some of the nicest threads I've seen on the high street.

To properly launch the new range in Glasgow, I'm hosting a private event next Thursday 26th. I'd love to see friends old and new so whether you were a fan of Les Garcons de Glasgow or you're a Scot with an interest in great design, email us at GarconJon@gmail.com with the names of the people you'd like to attend and GAP event in the subject line. It'll be a great chance to catch up with everyone over a drink, as well as talk through the new collection.

Keep checked on GarconJon.com next week when I'll be publishing the images from the campaign as well as interviews from our 10 characters of London & Glasgow.

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New NuRave: Somerset House, London Fashion Week

As is apparent from the majority of my posts on GarconJon.com, I'm naturally drawn to understated style. My curiosity got the better of me with this neon gent, alone in a nearly-empty Somerset House courtyard, surrounded by discarded espresso cups. His species now dispersed, post-London Fashion Week.

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Jackets and Jeans: Somerset House, London Fashion Week

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

GarconJon meets...Charles Antoine Chavaudrey

Charlÿ Chavaudrey stopped me at Somerset House today to ask a few questions about bloggers at London Fashion Week. As a correspondent at 'French Radio, London', I decided to turn the tables and ask some quick fire questions to the Parisienne.

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Charlÿ Chavaudrey, 22, Journalist

What's your horoscope?
Aquarius

Your residence?
In Paris

Song of the moment? 
Dallas, from this amazing Swedish singer, Veronica Maggio

L'écharpe de l'homme: Somerset House, London Fashion Week

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Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Campbells: Somerset House, London Fashion Week

Martell and Donya-Patrice Campbell are living London legends. The siblings, who both specialise in menswear, now seem to exist with a crowd of photographers snapping their every move and despite their now ubiquitous status, I still love to photograph them. Pictured here outside the main BFC venue at Somerset House, they showcase youthful tailoring with perfect personalisation.

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Francois: Somerset House, London Fashion Week

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See Francois' full look by clicking here

Saturday, 14 September 2013

King Che: Somerset House, London Fashion Week

Probably the coolest guy I'm going to see all season at London Fashion Week will be this dude. Che is an eight year old school boy and owner of his own tshirt label King Che. See his organic tshirt designs at KingChe.co.uk.

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Nik Thakkar: Somerset House, London

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Friday, 13 September 2013

The Three Muskateers: London Fashion Week

Despite the rain, the first day of London Fashion Week started with a bang. Somerset House was flooded with creative and intricate outfits, as well as more photographers than I've ever seen at the London Collections. See my womenswear coverage on the Selfridges blog, with more menswear coming over the week on GarconJon.com.

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Toby Bateman: Rue de l'Abbaye, Paris

Buying Director for MrPorter.com, Toby Bateman, photographed for the 'Mandals' story in The Sunday Times.

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Nick Sullivan: Avenue Marceau, Paris

Nick Sullivan, Fashion Director of U.S. Esquire, is the English gentleman showing American's true British style. Always sharp, slightly irreverent and with a good story to tell.

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