“It’s weird being in front of the camera for a change,” he says, propped up against a wall round the corner from our Avery Row menswear store. Union Jack bunting is dangling above his head, wrestling with the heavy rain like there is no tomorrow. Matt Hass, contemporary British photographer, discovered Jigsaw six months ago, accompanied by his Mum of all people. “We were just passing by and decided to go in. I liked it from the start and immediately threw down 500 pounds for two coats.”
The lightweight blue linen coat, a remnant of his first purchase, still gets regular outings. This season, he’s pining for Jigsaw Menswear’s houndstooth suit with a red-lined collar. He’s a self-professed “sucker for underlined collars” – ergo our ideal man. The ex-Hackney resident – he moved to Sweden for two and a half years and found East London too hectic when he got back – now lives in the country. “I’m back in the village I grew up in,” he says. You can take a man out of Hackney, but you can never take Hackney out of a man. His magazine reading habits, Love, Dazed & Confused, Wonderland and i-D, reflect that.
He likes to accessorize to spruce up his outfits. Wearing a silver signet ring on his baby finger was inspired by Tom Ford’s film debut A Single Man, but also by the memory of his late father, “his massive hands, broken boxer’s fingers, and that ring that always caught my eye”. His perfectly round spectacles are by Michel Henau. He got them at The Eye Company in Wardour Street. “It’s unbelievable, the things they have in there,” he says, going into full throttle. “You can even buy 18th Century glasses from Japan. How crazy is that? They’re real nerds – but in a good way.”
A bit like himself? “I guess so. When I think of style, for example, I don’t necessarily think of fashion. The men I admire are all filmmakers. Francis Ford Coppola I appreciate very much, but I don’t really have a male role model.” Talking about virtuous men, he quotes a sentence he recently read somewhere: “Since when did a woman love a man for his virtues?” “I thought that was really apt,” he concludes. Agreed.
(ALSO KNOWN AS THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE)
Your main fault? Putting on a film when I should go to sleep.
Your idea of happiness? Creative satisfaction.
Favourite motto? “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” – (Hunter S. Thompson)
Your heroes in World History? Early 20th Century Hungarian photographers like André Kertész, the ultimate documentary photographer of that era.
If not yourself, who would you be? Filmmaker Terrence Malick, he’s got such an unusual way of thinking.
Your favourite colour and flower? Probably grey. Flower? I don’t really like flowers very much.
Your favourite prose author? J. D. Salinger. I read him at a very pivotal point in my life; it meant a lot to me.
If you could ask our Design Director anything, what would it be? Can I have store credit, please?