Introductory Show from British Luxury Artisanal Brand 3rd Migration
Project 01: First Youth Exploring a Mughal Punk Aesthetic
3rd Migration is luxury artisanal clothing brand founded by British designer Asim Khan.
At its core, 3rd Migration is a cross culture exploration of the dual influences of Khan’s South Asian ancestry and his British upbringing. Blurring the lines between two sets of cultural codes and weaving them to together to form a new narrative, it’s a brand which pushes the boundaries of material exploration and research.
3rd migration places an emphasis on incorporating traditional skills and techniques into modern day garments . From Japanese indigo dyers and Harris Tweed weavers in Scotland to hand loom weavers and embroiderers from India and Pakistan, centuries old production methods are being harnessed to create a modern interpretation where harmony between culture, materials and aesthetics is fundamental.
Each individual collection from 3rd Migration aims to fuse both the cultural influences of Khan’s British- South Asian upbringing with an exploration of artisanal production processes and techniques. With a firm focus ecological and cultural sustainability each collection will see Khan team up with leading industry specialists and craftspeople to push boundaries and explore new possibilities. Each project will have a primary focus material, with which other secondary materials and processes will interact.
Project 01: First Youth
Exploring a Mughal Punk Aesthetic
First Youth is a visual exploration of the cultural melting pot that was Asim Khan’s childhood growing up first generation British-South Asian in the north of England during the 1980’s. Born and raised in West Yorkshire, his parents created a warm, welcoming home enriched by the stories, rituals and symbology of their ancestral homeland. Throughout his youth he was surrounded by floral imagery.
From the rich paintings and intricate mosaics of the Mughal empire to the ceremonial embroidered dress and rituals of his community. That combined with kitsch 70’s floral print wallpaper and furniture in the family home served to leave a long lasting impression. This was in stark contrast to what was was going on in the streets where a myriad of different youth tribes and subcultures vied for his attention. Punks, skinheads, goths, casuals and B-boys all had strong identities and had developed their own unique styles. Khan was fascinated by these tribal codes and aesthetics. You were what you wore.
The flower is the thread that binds this inaugural collection together, influencing not only the look and feel, but just as importantly, the production process too. Adopting a hands on approach, Khan worked in tandem with Dutch Tannery, Ecco Leather using actual flowers to print directly on to his canvas of organic leather. The collections floral theme was further developed at the secondary stage through his work with experimental embroidery house Aleph Studio in Pakistan. Together they have developed a unique technique to apply hand embroidery on to transparent leather. A process which pays homage to Zardozi and Resham hand embroidery techniques used to embellish the ancient royal family’s of India. The intermarriage of his British-South Asian heritage is reflected in the next stage of the process as these leathers are then integrated or bonded to materials such as handwoven organic cotton from India and Harris Tweed from Scotland. Khan then transforms these unique materials into garment archetypes that are inspired by his interpretation of the tribal dress codes of the British Youth culture of the 1980’s. Along with footwear and accessories ‘First Youth’ is a mix and blend of culture, material and aesthetics.