Press: Ian Batten – A True Master Of Style!
TAILORED CASUAL PERFECTION FROM THE ‘VERY BRITISH YOHJI YAMAMOTO’!
The name Ian Batten is legendary in British Clothing circles! Indeed to describe him as the ‘British Yohji Yamamoto’, is no exaggeration at all! His beautifully designed, perfectly cut tailored casuals are it has to be said, an almost ‘Transcendent Joy’ in a fashion clothing industry so infested with tasteless mediocrity and dull witted retro plagiarism! It must also be said, that Ian Batten, is almost genetically incapable of bad taste!
Everything he has ever created, has that effortless minimalist style, good taste, and always without fail, that elusive ‘coolness factor’! His clothes have and indeed are, always worn by those who are seriously in the know! The true stylists, who are entirely immune to the idiocy and disinformation of trends, and who have an eye for what is simple perfectly cut and effortlessly cool!
Ian is definitely something of a real ‘Face’ in the clothing industry, and has it seems, almost been around ‘forever’, creating his beautiful perfect clothing!
However, while other people, and certainly many of his contemporaries, have been fighting their way to the top in a desperate attempt to achieve maximum visibility wealth, fame and adulation! Ian has, with an almost ‘Zen Like’ composure, deliberately chosen to remain well below the radar, avoiding the stress and circus of the fashion industry, in a comfortable harmonious space of his own creation!
In doing this, he has managed always to maintain his aesthetic integrity, and happily, has never allowed himself to be turned into ‘a brand’!
Like many of the better more interesting designers, the true stylists and gifted originals, who have survived the ‘style wars’! He has always maintained, even when all the leading faces/mover & shakers, were/are, wearing his clothes, that he has ‘nothing to do with the fashion industry’! And simply wants to create simple wearable beautiful well-cut clothing! And indeed, beautiful it is! Simple minimal perfect and always quirky and with a certain cool indefinable edge!
Like many who have been fans of Ian Batten for many, many years, and have tracked him down through all his many moves ‘incarnations’ and attempts at invisibility (and we are talking about a beautifully warm and deeply eccentric and intensely spiritual man, who once dropped everything, walked away, and disappeared to India to spend a year on an Ashram!)! I have Ian Batten designs that are years old, and not only are they still perfect! But each time I wear any of them, I approached by people saying ‘Wow! That’s so cool! Where did you get that’!
Ian has always used the most beautiful material, and like Yohji Yamamoto, has a perfect eye for shape and form! His shirts, for example, are legendary, and much sort after! These days he is to be found in the comfortable well padded arty middle class bohemian confines of Highgate in North London, still creating the perfect minimalist masterpieces he is so rightly famous for!
In the distant past Ian was well known for his brilliant Women’s Wear designs! However he moved away from this, and for many years concentrated solely on Menswear. Ironically it made little or no difference, for Women continued to buy and indeed wear his brilliant Menswear! Now however, he is about to launch a small range of the most brilliant, ultra cool, stylish, minimalist and beautiful absolutely Must Have Women Wear, to compliment his Men’s Range!
Ian has always been fortunate in having a network of Ian Batten Clothing ‘disciples and fans’, in the UK, Japan & Europe, + a few cool school stylists with good radar, in the USA! However he only sells to a handful of carefully selected and monitored stores!
If you happen to be a buyer for a high-end store which is always ahead of the game style wise! Then I highly recommend that you contact Ian Batten Clothing, and literally beg him to consider supplying you! For what he creates really is ‘That Good’! And, it must be said that amongst the plethora of designers that have appeared over recent years from Gareth Pew to Victor & Rolf, there is nobody to touch him! For Ian Batten is well and truly in a class of his own!
Perhaps because Ian evolved from the great days of British Fashion, when the word ‘fashion’ itself really meant something! He has perhaps a certain ‘edge and mastery’ that few have today! I have known Ian Batten for many years, and like Yohji Yamamoto & Rei Kawakubo, I have enormous respect and admiration for him! And, hope to be wearing his beautiful and effortlessly cool creations, for many years to come!
Chris Garland London May 2014.