Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Audience with Assembly's Armas

Assembly may well be my one favorite shop in New York. It is expertly curated with exceptional pieces from lesser-known designers from around the world, and is stocked with its eponymous collection of elegant, softly tailored basic pieces that are unique in their own quiet way, yet wearable enough to have you reaching for them season after season. Allow me to share with you the interview I had with Greg Armas, the man behind Assembly New York---about the collection, the coasts, and cupro.

Assembly New York Spring 2012

The silhouette for Spring 2012 seems a little more masculine and a little more fitted than the previous collections. What would be the reason for this? There still seems to be some drapery on a few lapels, and in the soft fabrics used, but overall, it seems to generally be more manly.

white linen jacket with a voluminous draped lapel

They are very confident clothes and I wanted to convey sexuality.

classic menswear twisted at the trousers: cream 3-button pinstripe suit with the pants cut on the bias

I noticed that you knotted the shirts in a couple of the looks, and you do this on your shirt as well. What inspired this?

the rollup shirt, knotted at the waist

I was inspired by old Spanish farmers and French field workers.

There is a near-absence of black, and even shots of mint green in the collection. Why the choice of palette?

high up on my wishlist for next summer: the mint green tuxedo shorts

I replaced the defensive black with a more engaging rich navy. The mint green was fabric I just couldn’t let go of once I found it.

the bomber and baggy tie pants, both in navy cupro

I see a lot of the use of cupro in your Spring 2012 collection. Could you tell us about this fabric and why you decided to use it?

I sourced west coast fabrics this season and cupro twill has a good weight, like presynthetic rayons.

I really like the turquoise-nugget bolo tie against this "shifted" shirt in natural rayon

You are from LA, but you're now based in New York. How do these two cities play into your design process and how you curate your shop?

For design, the Spring is typically west coast and the Winter is more of an east coast concept. Maintaining as much of the amount of light I grew up with on the west coast is very important to my sense of well-being.

What do you like to wear?

Assembly New York designer Greg Armas at the ENK Menswear Trade Show

The farmer-inspired knotted shirt: Greg wears it well.

I wear the same thing all day and night for sure, and like to be casual. As long as I'm in my boots…

battered Paul Smith boots

How do you design?

Backwards. Vintage is the reference for technical attributes and history for aesthetics.

Assembly New York causes me to reconsider the relevance of the vest.

Who wears your clothes?

Happy people.

white double-breasted, single-button suit worn with a chunky white turquoise necklace. When I'm happy, I wear white.

What is in the future for Assembly New York?

We are launching women’s for Fall 2012 and I want another shop, major moves...

lookbook photos via Assembly New York


Brandon said...

You've been wearing a lot of "defensive" black lately Izzy. do we need to have a chat? Aside from that I LOVE ASSEMBLY!

Izzy said...

b: that is true. but I've been wearing a lot of happy white too!

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