London-based vintage clothing specialist Wavey Garms has recently linked up with Chase & Status on a collaborative project to celebrate the d'n'b duo's new 'Return ll Jungle' Album. We caught up with Wavey Garms creative director Andres Branco to find out more.
How did the collaboration with Chase and Status come about?
We were chilling at their studio a while back, and we got into a massive discussion about the connection between music and garms. And how, back in the day, all the hard older boys from the ends wore rare MA2 rave bomber jackets. I always remembered some guy around my area had a Kool FM one that everyone really wanted. It was so hard to get. And to this day, people still talk about that rare Kool FM bomber.
Saul and I both thought it would be a great to bring back that vibe. So we decided to release a very limited run of collectables for all the naughty ravers. And hopefully the Wavey Garms x Chase and Status bomber will be talked about in years to come.
What was your initial thought process when designing the range?
My first initial thought was that I needed the jacket itself to have the same cut as the old 90s MA2 bombers, as I’m not a fan of the modern skinny bombers you see everyone wear from Top Man. So I had to dig deep to find just the right supplier.
With the design of the rave patch, I didn’t just want to use the standard Wavey Garms logo. So, for inspiration, I looked at loads of original rave design references from my guy, Pez. And then I worked with Will from Done London to arrive at a design that was new and unique.
Mine and Saul’s vision was to be able to turn up at a d'n'b event and see young ravers rocking our jacket in the queue, or skanking on the dancefloor in the tees. So we made a conscious decision to sell it all at a reasonable price to keep it away from fashion boffs, and more for the proper raver or the older guy who likes to collect rave memorabilia.
You’re also an avid collector of archive rave garments. How did you initially start collecting these?
I started collecting them pretty late, to be honest. I’ve always loved collecting things. I was getting a little bored of collecting Moschino, as everyone caught onto it (probably 'cos of us). Anyway, my sister, Rhiannon, was down in Hastings in Kent, a very drum 'n' bass-y area, looking in a few charity shops. She rang me to say she’d found a Fantazia rave bomber for £5. Obviously she copped it and from then I was obsessed. They go for around £200- £300 these days which is mad 'cause a few years ago they were going for around £50 max. I’m all about finding them in boot sales or sneaky buy-and-sell Facebook groups, as it’s way more fun finding them like that than just going on eBay and spending 3 bill on a standard Dreamscape bomber.
I can imagine you’ve been to some great parties yourself - what’s been your favourite?
That’s a really hard question. When I was younger I’d have to say Best of British at Bagleys was pretty mental. It was massive, always had a good line-up and a very dark vibe, which was cool at the time. For some reason, as I’ve got older I prefer smaller intimate parties. Marcus Intalex was one of my fave DJs and I loved his Soul:ution events at the Pickle Factory before he passed away. Also, my friend Andy Blake and his wife Amy Alsop run a small-ish techno party called World Unknown that I go to religiously. It’s always in a secret location, safe door staff and a friendly crowd, which always makes a top party. Plus you don’t get any one filming shit on their phones, just straight up dancing.
I can’t miss out Houghton Festival, as this year it was amazing. I was losing faith in good festivals until I went there. There was such a good mixture of house, techno and jungle, which is my perfect for me.
How do you feel old-skool raves such as Shoom differ from raves put on nowadays?
Obviously, I never experienced Shoom as I’m too young, but from looking at videos of it every now and then, I’d say people looked like they let themselves go way more then. I feel like when people take drugs now they try and fight the full effect, in case some donut starts filming them gurning their chops off and puts it on Instagram.
Also, there are so many different genres of dance music now compared to then and most genres of music have completely different types of people who go to them. So it’s hard to say. Loads of people say parties are dead these days. I just think you need to find the right party that suits you and your personality.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment you can tell us about?
I can tell you that we are collaborating with a massive fashion brand, but right now I can’t say who. We will hopefully have a collection with them coming out in spring, which is really exciting. And I’ve just written my second short film with Mike Oughton, writer of the film Keeping Rosy. It’s a dark tale about the suburban underworld; drugs, clothes, music and mental health, and it will be out later this year.
And finally what’s next for Wavey Garms?
The next year is going to be a bit of a mad one for Wavey Garms. I feel like we’re finally getting noticed for the work we have been doing. Apart from constantly updating the Wavey Garms website with content, our shop in Peckham with new garms, and doing more styling work with brands and music artists, we’re planning another photography book. And we are going to start putting on a new series of raves called Ravey Garms in warehouses around South London, which will be strictly Jungle and Hardcore.
Head over to the Wavey Garms website to shop the collection