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An Interview with Designer Joseph Turvey – Part 1

We caught up with menswear designer Joseph Turvey to chat about his A/W 2013 dalmatian-themed collection and much more…

Written by Matt Bramford

Joseph Turvey A/W 2013 by Krister Selin

While everybody else viewed next season’s collections at the A/W 2013 London Collections: Men shows in January, I spent the week on a rather tedious stint of jury service. For days I sat doing nowt, following the shows and presentations on my iPhone through the usual channels. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram went wild for the latest offerings and it was Joseph Turvey‘s incredible dalmatian-themed collection that I most enjoyed viewing at 640 pixels wide.

Joseph Turvey

Back in 2010 I saw Joseph present his BA graduate womenswear collection at Graduate Fashion Week. Inspired by Margaret Rutherford and complete with ethereal masks, it was a sharp, polished collection with elements of menswear tailoring. I interviewed Joe shortly afterwards; a brief, standard post-GFW interview. Joseph then contributed illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine (amongst many other publications). But it was during Ones to Watch A/W 2012, merging his illustrative style with his talent for tailoring and eye for experimental materials, that propelled him on to the menswear scene. Also, Beyoncé once touched his hand during a performance of Halo.

Joseph Turvey A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

I meet Joe in the hip offices of Coffin on Cake PR – a labyrinth of rooms above Redchurch Street with all sorts of weird and wonderful objects adorning walls. Joe is waiting in the showroom at the end of a long corridor, with other brands overshadowed by his incredible S/S and A/W 2013 collections. On sight of the dalmatian print enveloping his latest designs, I leap towards it to finally see it in the flesh. I’ve met Joe before but I’d forgotten how tall he was. His gentle personality and new-found confidence are instantly infectious. I launch into a series of typical questions, surmounting the urge to chat about Beyoncé – that will have to wait.

Joseph Turvey A/W 2013 by youdesignme

When I ask him how his day has been, he tells me he’s been rushed off his feet and hasn’t stopped – photoshoots, meetings, and walking his beloved cockapoo. This takes us nicely into chatting about his current collection. ‘I’m obsessed with dogs,’ he tells me, ‘I’m surrounded by dog owners and I love the idea of dog owners dressing like their dogs.’ I ask about the A/W 2013 presentation that garnered so much attention. ‘I got obsessed with having dalmatian puppies at the show… they came up from Devon!’ he says. I play devil’s advocate and ponder what PETA might think. ‘They were very well looked after… they were on rotation, and they’re show dogs – one of the girl pups absolutely loved the attention!’.

Each collection has had a central figure as inspiration and it will come as no surprise to learn that this season’s was Cruella de Vil; the result, a slick collection featuring suiting, bombers, sweaters and t-shirts adorned with dalmatian print. The installation at the AW13 showcase was ‘intense’ – two hours of ‘hardcore’ attention and showmanship. He describes it as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘scary’ and remembers the drama, with hushed whispers of PRs introducing attendees and figures like Natalie Massenet checking things out.

Joe launched himself straight onto the MA at London College of Fashion after graduating from the University of Birmingham. It was a tutor there who commented on the masculine feel of his womenswear collections, and so he decided to move in that direction. I ask Joe if he’d like to return to womenswear. ‘You never know what’s going to happen’, he says, coyly, ‘I just want to make the menswear the best it can be.’

Part two to follow tomorrow!

Photography by Matt Bramford except images of A/W 2013 presentation – courtesy of Coffin on Cake PR.


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