Earlier this year we caught up with London-based designer Dylan Joel, who had released a beautiful limited edition collaborationwith illustrator Tom Taylor celebrating the queer community through fashion. Now, Dylan is back with a newly released collection for AW22 featuring 25 stunning looks. The story continues to champion its core brand values of genderless, slow fashion, whilst stepping heavily into the euphoria and freedom of East London’s rave culture. So, listen up if you’re a conscious-minded shopper who isn’t going to deter from their bold self expression, and needs to look fiercely undaunted when partying.
Joel’s brand consists of inclusivity and this collection not only embodies that idea, but diversity and liberation, too, as the designer himself has experienced the lack of this fashion available to buy. The designs are a dream of asymmetry, accentuation, and power. The autumn/winter collection is consistent with the use of black, yet injected with siren red, blue and of course, it wouldn’t be rave without the renowned neon green, synonymous with the rave culture across Europe, and the Dylan Joel brand.
Dylan tells us that when he began going out to clubs he would wear his own outfits, and “was surrounded by other people with the same needs as me. I wanted to provide a solution for them and the collection was born from there.” So, we discussed the relationship between genderless fashion and the rave scene. Joel expressed that what needed to be created was a line that people could wear with no restrictions or inhibitions.
In the rave scene, anything goes. In these spaces especially, fashion choices highlight peoples’ ideology and how they live their lives. The rave scene is where people are given the freedom to express themselves as they truly are.
The rave culture is something that dips in and out of trend and popular music, and has done for decades, and yet what is consistent is the vitality and almost an escapist’s world, where one can be truly who they want to be, animalistic and all. Asking Dylan about his rave experience, he enlightened us with how it has both weaved into his personal and now professional life:
“Living in London as a fashion student meant that I was introduced to the rave scene quite young. I found myself constantly drawn to these spaces because of the characters you would see and the freedom they had to express themselves fully. There is an energy at these parties like nowhere else. This scene quickly became a part of my lifestyle and soon after, a prominent element in my designs.”
Getting down and dirty with the details, and the first thing that any onlooker would notice is the fabulous combination of neon, plastic, studs and fur. Joel also tells us that the notable nod to the current sportswear trend has been incorporated. These indulgent materials have been combined with a lot of ruching, gathering and exaggeration, Joel shares why:
“Why not? I am always thinking of the typical Dylan Joel customer and the pieces they would want to wear – from our experience we know that our customers are not interested in hiding in the shadows, they want to stand out and to own the rooms they occupy. They want genderless fashion without sacrificing that element of themselves. We have been fortunate enough to dress the likes of Mabel, Becky Hill, Bjork, Mel C and more, all [of them] resonating with these aspects of the Dylan Joel look, and as our brand develops, we hope to continue growing our list of awe-inspiring clientele. In this collection, I also wanted to add textures and new methods for our brand that we haven’t used before.”
As the demand for Joel’s values of slow, genderless and expressive fashion grows higher, Dylan Joel is a brand to stay connected to, as this outrageously fantastic AW22 collection is born, so is the relief of many ravers ‘feeling heard.’