Casper Wright - From The Gutter(TM)
In preparation for our Notre x Gutter Capsule 02 installation and pop-up, we sat down with Casper Wright to discuss the details of his latest work. The capsule will be available at the opening night preview on Friday, June 1st at Notre, RSVP here.
With the Notre x Gutter Capsule 02 pop up approaching, what are you most excited about? I am really excited to see people interact with the clothing. I just want them to touch and feel it. Especially with this new capsule and the 1 of 1's, it's all a bit more advanced than my previous stuff. As far as style wise, I think that everything is really well put together, and every thing is exactly what we wanted. It isn't perfection, it’s a mixture, which is what we are. This collection represents us. Messy, chaotic. Black and white.
Do you find yourself striving for perfection or do you like that mix? I never try to compromise my ideas. If I have an idea then that idea will be seen through. I don’t cut corners. It’s not “perfection”, but it is perfect because it's meant to be like that. Anything that hands make, isn’t going to be actually perfect. So I never really strive for “perfect”, cause that doesn't exist when you are working with your hands. It's like when you draw a circle and it’s all wonky, but you still know that its a circle, even though it’s not perfect. That's the scrap jacket. They aren't “perfect”, but they are more real because the imperfections. Like with pottery, a potter can make something entirely perfect, but there is always a fingerprint.
Tom Sachs famously says he has always wanted to make something as good as an iPhone, but never will, but Apple could never make anything as shitty as one of his sculptures. Cause the artist has the advantage of leaving his fingerprints, of telling his/her individual story. Yeah, because it's so much more relatable and real. It's like the type of stuff that can stand the test of time. This snap isn’t going to come off. You can tell that when it was being crafted, it was done with care and with attention paid to the right details. If there is imperfections, living with them and then improvising. Even those are beautiful.
The first version of the poncho I made had a rough zipper and came out somewhat asymmetrical, but I think even that has its own character. It's worn already. People want that vintage. I think its cause people want to dress like they've been through stuff. This clothing is clothing that you can go through stuff in. It will live longer than me.
That's important cause there is so much clothing in the world, if you are going to do something, you gotta do it with the purpose of not just putting more shit into the world. we don't actually need another t-shirt. I don’t need another t-shirt, I have like 5. We need more innovation and we need more reality. What I mean by that is, we need people to be honest when they are making things and thats literally what this collection is. I couldn’t lie in any of the work. There are no lies. There is no trend. It's so authentic. Everything is very alive. You can't deny these clothes.
Or the work that went into it all. I feel like I have never separated my life from my creations. Not [pulling inspiration] from Instagram, or from a popular blog, but from actually going to the library. Actually going to look at archives. Touching and feeling clothing and fabrics. Really living with it first, then creating. Letting it take on its own existence entirely. It was very real, the whole process. I learned a lot.
What is the most important thing you learned from making this capsule? I learned a lot about humility. Like I learned a lot about being humble and not positioning myself at the top of the mountain. Even though, I might know what I want, I have taken time to hear other people's opinions and take them into consideration. [connecting his fingers on both hands and making a triangle with the opening between the two, he motions to the top] This is the weakest, at the top. The bottom, the foundation is the most important part. I learned how to be a foundation. This is FOR the people. That is why I chose the fabrics that I chose. That’s why the things are cut the way they are. The type of lifestyle that I live and that the people around me live and the people that want to wear my clothing.
What is your favorite piece of the Capsule 02 collection? I really like the vest. I think that the vest is probably the best thing that I have ever made.
Why? The cut. The shape. The form. The pocket placement. The functionality of it. The color. Each different color stands on it's own. But also, I really like the poncho. The poncho is just crazy. That might actually be my favorite thing.
You were saying before, that the inspiration behind the poncho is actually a jellyfish, can you explain that? I was just looking at jellyfish one day and I learned a lot about them and was just like damn these are really cool creatures! I just loved how they move. I wanted to make a poncho, but originally it was going to be a boring ass poncho. Just a square with a rectangle cut in it. But I was just like this is not needed. We don’t need this. No one needs this. We've seen this before. I can buy this at Walmart. [pointing at the Gutter poncho] But you can't buy THIS at Walmart.
Lastly, what does "Hail The New Flesh" mean? It's a reference from one of my favorite movies, Videodrome. But for me, I've been the type of person that would get a pair of pants and wear them forever. They would get holey and they had character. It was like a skin for me. When I was a kid, If my grandmother came over, I would come out of my room and see just her jacket, I still knew that she was there, because of that jacket. It was like a reflection of her.
We usually only see people in their clothing, so this IS like my skin. This is all you get. So I feel like this, my clothing, represents me. It's my skin. My flesh. My clothing is a extension of my body. So, I am giving you new flesh. A new identity. Something to wear. Something to sleep in. Something to be with. These things will probably live longer than your skin.
It [the "hail"] means "Here we are", "It's here”, the new flesh. Like finally, something worthy of being on your body. Finally, we can be safe and not be judged. It's like freedom. We can abandon our old flesh, and we can get new flesh.
I just want people to be comfortable in their clothing and be comfortable in their skin. This is clothing you can be comfortable in.