Complex | Cut & Show

Gant Rugger: A Wardrobe Made Up from the Essentials | Cut & Show

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Christopher Bastin:

When you start prepping any restaurant, the first thing they do in the morning is get their mise en place, all the basic ingredients you need to cook up any good meal. And, kind of the same thing goes for Gant Rugger I think, we always have this American sportswear platform that we originate from and to me that's kind of like the Chinos, the button down shirt and everything on top of that becomes more of you know, fine spicing or a really good piece of meat, or you know, fresh fish stuff like that you know. There is the correlation between the two; it's kind of interesting to look at a wardrobe for a guy being made up from the mise en place, the very essentials.

When you look at what

happened with, you know, organic produce and the way the pizzas are cooking and growing tomatoes on the roofs in Brooklyn and the whole soul food movement, it kind of follows, menswear and American sportswear in general and so I wanted to let those two kind of movements merge, a collection for a chef and a restaurant owner was kind of a select dream since I love to cook. It's kind of cool; I get to make a selvage denim apron and my chef's knife. We found this great selvage denim in Turkey and decided to, instead of actually making the apron long enough, we actually did a full width, narrow loom selvage denim piece so we cut each piece based on the entire width of the fabric so you actually get a selvage up at the chest and also at the bottom hem which makes it kind of cool. You see all these restaurants and you see these bus boys and chefs running up and down with deliveries and stuff like that, they're always wearing their aprons and you know I always think in my head, wish I had my camera like click because they look fantastic, they always have a great shirt and a pair of, like worn out keys and that apron. It looks really stylish but I wouldn't recommend you could go on a date with this. We work as much with the inside of the garment as we do on the outside. You've got to make a garment vibrant to the customer as well when he comes into the store and it's all about touch but it's also about visually what meets the eye when you come in. We try to work a lot with like, small tweaks and small like quirky things, we name most of our garments with really silly names, there's nothing better when somebody comes into a store and like looks at something that looks, you know, it's a nice jacket and then opens it up and there's this fake all over floral print, and it's like, fuck! I think presentation is everything, fading is the chef's way of styling his food even though I hate over-done food and it's the same thing with Gant Rugger, we don't want to do styling that looks over the top and one way that we put stuff together to look

like, that's the guy you want

to see on the street. I think that food should be uncomplicated. It's based on good produce and good quality. You know a lot of love goes into tailoring and making upper

clothes and I think so

should any good meal. The difference is that you know, a good meal you can whip up in like ten minutes, we spend six months working on each season. I'm not that good at cooking, I want that on record, I'm no chef, I think I would have been like four hundred pounds and alcoholic if I would have been a chef. It's like way to much access to all that good stuff.

Stemming from designer (and recently-christened GANT Creative Director) Christopher Bastin's love for cooking, GANT Rugger's newest collection draws on the relationship between a dapper restaurant owner and his more utilitarian head chef. A behind-the-scenes look at how everything went from inspiration to a full-on collection.

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