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Gypsum Retrospective

At this point, there isn’t a particular fashion schedule we follow. My creative process, even outside of fashion, has narrowed down to three key steps: research, travel, and design—and in that order. This process is also the premise of this blog’s new direction. Previously, I would just share my completed work; but I think elaborating on the process is important since more time is probably spent on research than execution.

The most recent Spring/Summer capsule from NEEDS&WANTS was inspired by New Mexico. But before these new colour ways and materials were decided upon, there were hours spent lost in the dark corners of YouTube until some form of inspiration hit. You know those nights you napped earlier in the day and can’t sleep until an hour before sunrise? So you catch up on The Breakfast Club and VladTV interviews you’ve missed; from there you’ve found yourself watching a Kid Cudi TED talk (talk about random), and somehow that led you to watching live performances of groups that disbanded years ago.

On one particular night I got lost in 90s RnB. This brought me to Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry” video. This video [to me] was shot perfectly. So much of the colour palette and other little nuances stuck with me the more I watched it. I mean, shit, they lined up an orchestra on the sand. An orchestra on the sand! Although I wanted to know the budget for said video, what I really wanted to know was if the location was still accessible. And of course, there is some YouTube commenter who can answer a question before you’ve asked. Once I google mapped ‘White Sands New Mexico’, I decided then and there that within the next couple of months I’d develop a collection of new jackets referencing this newly discovered paradise, then run barefoot in that same sand from the video after I do.

Above, left to right: An ad from NEEDS&WANTS S/S '16 campaign · Standing in the world's largest gypsum dunefield, a result of climatic processes that continue even today to form the pattern and texture of these unusual sands.

There was the same amount of consideration behind each colour way from this release, but the main reason I’m highlighting the Gypsum jacket is because it stands out to me the most in this recent delivery. I anticipated it would be the crowd favourite, but that assumption has been proved wrong with a growing popularity of the Rosegold.

Below: The Gypsum bomber from NEEDS&WANTS S/S '16 that invokes the blueish tint of calcium sulfate found in the gypsum mineral itself. The signature inverted tone-on-tone left sleeve—a statement beyond trademark—has been an emblem for several seasons, and seasons more to come.

I won’t give too much away about my trip to New Mexico since I’m sharing a full photo recap in the next few posts; but I will say I've seen nothing like the White Sands Monument thus far in my life. Millions of years in evolution that just humbles you the moment you see it. It is so desolate that its deafening. And see, thats the crazy part about how you get inspired; we think there has to be an experience that compels us to make something, but I think there are times you have to make something that leads you to an experience.