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05 December 2014

Jacket Required Presents x Couverture & The Garbstore


Couverture & The Garbstore
188 Kensington Park Road 
Portobello
London
W11 2ES

 
The 'Jacket Required Presents' series of store visits debuts with a profile of Ian Paley, founder and creative commander at Couverture & The Garbstore.

Having been located in Chelsea for 8 years with a shop offering womenswear and homeware, post 9/11, The King's Road dynamic had changed dramatically. A new store found its new home with a move to the very heart of Notting Hill, and a vision that a more family orientated area was paramount to its success. Opened in the summer of 2008, the quest to control the retail experience around Paley's new menswear collection and provide a platform to support friends and their brands has firmly established the concept store as one of London’s pre-eminent shopping destinations.

On a cold December morning over good coffee, Paley talks to the Jacket Required team. Discussing life growing up in the North East of England, making his way in the fashion world through cutting his teeth at the prestigious Paul Smith, Levi’s and Burberry labels and life's influence on his personal style as a prominent protagonist of the menswear industry.



 
"I think personal taste is at odds slightly with the way in which menswear in a general sense is reported. It’s much more about instant taste, the idea that you can be classic in an instant to me is quite preposterous. My taste, I think is as it should be; a constant graduation of learning about textiles and clothing and a growing appreciation of how things are put together and made. Sometimes I find myself wearing things because of the textile rather than the garment. I think it’s cool to try and analyse what it is exactly that draws you towards a certain type of garment. In general I really appreciate new items, new ideas that are made in a way that shows a great appreciation of history and quality.

Being raised in the North East of England, I suppose has made me really appreciate the nuances between classic and casual clothing. The very small things that make the difference. Being surrounded by football fans obsessed with 80s sportswear has fed into my career in every way. Perhaps it’s the classic town versus bigger town versus City argument. Climbing the ladder in quite a subtle way and really noticing something new."



 
"When it comes to contemporary or classic styles, I think real value is somewhere in-between, both but neither one or the other. Around 60% of my wardrobe is vintage - pieces that I’ve found that catch my attention and more importantly fit me well. I wear a lot of my own stuff, if something becomes a go-to item in my own wardrobe, that's often the reason some make it into my collection.

I’m not brand loyal, it’s good to take from anywhere, I suppose I have quite a bit of Comme des Garçons and Okura products because they fit me well and have just enough design to make them interesting enough to stand out whilst blending in. I tend to have different groups of brands depending on the product groups - suits are Okura or Comme, shirts are mainly my own and Gitman, knits I prefer vintage American knitwear and my socks are all from Japan. Jeans and chinos I have made especially. Formal shoes are all from Alden as I love the narrow fit they do. Sneakers are a mix of late 80s vintage and early 90s stuff, plus a lot of designs from the collaboration we do with Reebok - I test our line a year ahead so it’s quite nice being one-of-one for a bit. A lot of military and a lot of vintage Peanuts tee’s I have been collecting for the last 18 years."






Presenting exclusive collaborations, niche labels and emerging designers over three levels in an exquisitely re-configured period townhouse, the store's mix of International and European fashion labels, many of which are exclusive to the UK, is a testament to Paley's passion for quality and desire to be irrevocably independent.
 
Ian Paley's menswear brand Garbstore will exhibit its ready-to-wear collection at the autumn/winter 2015 edition of Jacket Required. 

Photography with thanks to Dean Martindale.

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