Thursday 4th November

| BY Paul Toner

Machine-A and Byronesque are on a Mission to Change the Future of Vintage

The future of vintage looks bright. The London-based independent concept store Machine-A has joined forces with vintage fashion pioneers Byronesque for a project that surpasses the traditional collaboration. “We didn’t want to do something superficial,” explains Machine-A’s founder and buying director Stavros Karelis of his first meeting with Byronesque’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, Gill Linton. “We realised that we could merge what Gill does with Byronesque and what we do with Machine-A to create a completely new story, not as a cool project, but something that will last for a very long time.”

Karelis had long admired Byronesque, which offers a focused edit of 1990s Margiela and McQueen, Tom Ford’s Gucci, rare Jean Paul Gaultier and Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière. When he approached Linton about the possibility of working together she revealed the feeling was mutual. “Stavros and Machine-A are probably the last remaining supporters of independent fashion and subculture,” says Linton. “I could tell that Stavros has kept his integrity. The store has evolved creatively but it is still sticking by its values.”

Together they have curated two expansive edits under the name Machine-B: future vintage and contemporary vintage. The first plots what we will treasure in years to come. “When you understand fashion history, you can predict what is going to be future vintage,” affirms Linton. “There are patterns in it. Part is instinct, part is data, part is understanding the world a bit. It was made a lot easier because, whether he knew it or not, Stavros is buying future vintage.” Together, they’ve mapped a selection which includes the likes of Kwaidan Editions, Bianca Saunders, Kenneth Ize and South Korean talent Goom Heo, whom Karelis has been stocking at Machine-A since she was a student at Central Saint Martins.

As Karelis explains, his introduction to the concept of future vintage gave him a new perspective on his practice. “When Gill started explaining to me what future vintage means, she gave me an extra layer, an extra part for me to emotionally connect to what we are doing with Machine-A.” When it came to deciding which brands would be featured in the contemporary vintage edit, the duo focused on five that they see from both an archival and current perspective: Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Maison Margiela, Gareth Pugh and experimental New York-based collective, As Four (now Threeasfour).

Byronesque has sourced bomber jackets from Simons’s earliest collections, showstoppers from Pugh’s archive and both visually and technically astounding creations from As Four’s collections.

It’s a clever way of working and one that the pair hope will bring longevity to what they do. While Machine-A has placed itself ahead of the curve since it was founded in 2008 – the store has always shown menswear and womenswear together, aligning established names next to emerging talents on the same clothes rail – Karelis says collaborating with Byronesque has maximised what he hopes to achieve with the store.

“Gill has full access to the buying we are doing for Machine-A; she will come as a curator and suggest the right items for us – it is an extremely organic process,” he says. “What we are creating is going above and beyond the specific limitations of time and we need to create something that is for now and for the future. It’s not about whether something is vintage or if it’s created for spring/summer ’22. It is about the love for fashion and the love for the design itself. Every single garment has its own story.”

Shop the ‘Machine-B’ collection in-store at Machine-A and online here.

Creative Director Justin Westover
Photographer Katja Mayer
Stylist Harry Lambert
1st Assistant Michael Furlonger
Digi Op Darren Karl Smith
Intern Malia Barnes
Assistant Naomi Phillips
Set Designer Louis Simonon
Casting Agent Troy Fearn
Hair Stylist José Quijano
Make-Up Artist Mee Kee Song