13 September 2011
by Alison Moloney
To coincide with the launch of London Fashion Week this Friday the Guoman Hotel group commissioned London-based milliner Justin Smith of label J Smith Esquire to create five bespoke hats for the doormen of their London hotels. This project will be shown across all the hotels with concentrated exhibitions at The Royal Horseguards and Charing Cross Hotel. Guoman Present J Smith Esquire – Five is curated by Gemma Williams and will feature the bespoke doormen’s hats alongside his collaborative projects with fashion designers including Aganovich, Aminaka Wilmont, Manish Arora, Mother of Pearl and Carolyn Massy.
Exploring new materials and craft techniques is central to Justin’s work and visitors to the exhibitions will have a chance to see these varied techniques through his work and in a film which documents the making of his hats.
Back in 2010 Justin Smith won the British Council UK Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year Award and as part of this award programme he visited Indonesia and had a tour of the country and its fashion and craft industries. Inspired by what he saw, Justin returned to develop a collaborative project with local fashion designer Oscar Lawalata which draws on the local crafts skills of Yogyakarta and Borneo. The results of this collaborative project will be shown in Indonesia during Jakarta Fashion Week and back in London in 2012.