Out of the ashes of Ardour Brand another promising project has arisen: L.L.C. Outerwear & Goods is the new venture of Shaun Dangerfield. We had a chat with Shaun to find out more about his ideas and inspirations.
Hi Shaun, can you please give us a short summary of how things went for you since you and Saul shut down Ardour Brand?
Calling it a day with Ardour was a big call, and one we didn’t take lightly, we just couldn’t function with the distance between us, both having full-time jobs and trying to organise factory visits, sending each other samples and holding different stock to one another and just meeting up as often as you need to, it was just hard work and in the end and too much of a strain, we both needed a break by the end but looking back now it’s left us with very fond memories of doing something we love and I wouldn’t have done it with anyone other than Saul, we run parallel and I have no doubt that those lines will cross again in the future.
I had just started up a couple of private press record labels towards the end of AB, so when we shut up shop I kind of focused on that, truth be told and for the first time in my life I’d had enough of clothing, I was going to sleep thinking of ideas dreaming of patterns and it became a bit overkill because I just put so much time into it eventually the bubble just burst, so I had some time out and was focusing on music and records and I started to miss it all again, next thing I know I’m walking around looking at fabrics colour matching and doodling ideas down as I always have done and the rest is history.
What does the name “L.L.C.“ stand for and what is your approach to clothing compared to what you did before (if there is one)?
L.L.C stands for Lewis, Leila & Caitlin, my children. I lost my son in December 2007 and he’s never too far away in my thoughts, whatever I seem to do in life I always try to incorporate his name or memory, call it an extension, I just always feel better about something if he’s involved, and then obviously my two lovely girls who are 13 and 8.
My approach to clothing now? I don’t think it’s changed too much, I still have my passions and love for detail, I don’t believe in fast fashion or following trends so everything that I put out will be because that’s what I want to bring out, it’s the reason the first four jackets are all Article One as each different material brings out a different side to the end product, I’ve put my quirks into it and I want to keep it going, so the next design will be Article Two and then Article Three and so on for everything I produce, it means in a year or two if I have an idea or a fabric in my head that I think will look good in a certain style I’ll pull the Article One design back out and I’ll do it in a tweed or a melton because I know that particular pattern suits the fabric/colour/texture that I want to use it for and it’ll look sharp.
I’m the same with materials, I’ve used the Hickory denim before under Ardour, its what I wanted for that particular design and it worked but just because I’ve used it doesn’t mean that I won’t use it again, I just don’t believe in throwaway garments and I want whoever purchases the Hickory Railroad to wear it in and enjoy it for the next 10 years because that’s how long it should last, lads still message me now and tell me that the Ardour Hickory workwear shirt is still going strong for them, four years after being released, I’m still wearing mine and that is how it should be.
I think it’s easy to get distracted when you operate a clothing label, the thinking of “I have to put something new out” is long gone for me, I’m just not in it for seasonal terms or applying a year label to something, if you are going to buy a denim jacket do so with the mindset that you are going to wear it for the next however many years and enjoy it in its later years when it will look its best, not dump it the following year for a new season garment for the sake of it, I want longevity within what I produce and I know it’s not always possible depending on materials used but I want them worn to death.
As the term “outerwear“ suggests a certain focus – will there be any other items than jackets or shirts, e.g. like the leather goods you put out?
Without doubt Andreas, I’m just getting started and it’s going to take me 6-12 months to shape the website into what I want it to be, but I hope to have a fully stocked clothing section next year, jackets, shirts, trousers, denim, accessories, it takes time to build up but it will get there.
When we spoke with Saul about his new venture, he mentioned your passion for fabrics, cuts, materials and such. Can you tell us a bit about how, when or where this passion has its roots?
I’ve always been into clothing, I was involved in the football scene for many years and the various styles that came with it, the house checks of Daks, Burberry, Mulberry & Aqua onto dynafil urban protection, Left Hand Thermojoints, Levis ICD, very much Osti influenced, SI metal shells and Ice jackets etc onto Mandarina Duck, 6876, Maharishi & then that whole transitional period getting into labels like Albam, Garbstore and Heritage Research, so fabric wise there was always something there to crave for, then in 2008 I stopped going to the football and things changed, my attitude changed and I was looking elsewhere for focus, I’ve always been attached to sub-cultures and to creativity and it just seemed to flow from that point, so I branched out and looked around because the casual scene I felt was very static at the time, I was looking for new styles and then a label would lead me down a workwear path and it opened up a whole new world of Japanese labels that you just didn’t see here in the UK at the time like Corona and Post, American workwear went hand in hand and then I got into Ivy style and I just jumped in head first, workwear, Ivy, 50’s block, modern casual and an obsession was born, I just wanted to know everything and boundaries were not there anymore.
Your first item is a jacket that comes in four great variations. Can you tell us a bit about the details on them? (fabrics, cut, craftsmanship, etc.)
You’ll see a lot of different designs as I progress, I love a long hooded mac, I love a parka and I love a smarter cut jacket like Article One, it’s a hybrid of various elements, boxy like an engineers/chore jacket or coverall but with a smarter rounded collar, I’ve played with the pockets creating a half moon contrast just to add a contemporary feel to it, the cord version I think goes back to my casual roots as we love a good corduroy (or at least I did), it looks as good dressed up as it does with a pair of denim.
The nautical ticking stripe I just visioned being worn in Tisno, a backdrop of Disco pumping out on the beach, whiskey sour in hand eyes fluttering from substance and as red as Ray Winstone in ‘Sexy Beast’ – the perfect lad about town garment hence why it’s called the Weekender.
The Rider & Railroad are obviously workwear heavy, the Hickory is one of my favourite denim’s along with Wabash and when worn right I think it looks very sharp, the ConeMills selvedge version is a keeper and I hope whoever purchases wears it in as it deserves, I’ve not even been able to have one for myself as all the XL’s have gone from the site which means I’ll have to get busy on a rework to bring out some time in the future.
One version of the jacket is made from Cone Mills Denim. How did you manage to get a batch of this superb fabric as the CM White Oak Plant sadly had to cease all production in January? And what do you think about the slow death of American-made denim?
Right place right time on my searching, nothing more than that 🙂
As for America’ somebody will always be there to pick up the pieces, not on the scale of the White Oak plant as those days are gone but there is too much call for it to cease, even now in America where the consumer for denim has changed over the years the call for it is huge, it will always be there. Huston in California has been going since 2016 from memory and is producing American selvedge, there will always be artisans in the world and America’ will always have its fair share.
Alongside your love for clobber you are also very much into music and arts. What are your main interests here and does that in turn inspire your designs at L.L.C.?
Thats a good question, Post Modern art & architecture, mid-century Italian art/pottery/glass, personally I love to paint, watercolour & oil, I love sculpture, taking raw materials and making it into something is extremely satisfying, I’m a coppersmith by trade it’s what I’ve done for the last 23 years, I manage a copper shop by day & it’s something I’ve grown to love as it’s taught me a lot of hand skills and given me the knowledge and the confidence with art and sculpture, you’ll be seeing more on the webstore as I progress, a lot of music inspired pieces like below where I’ve made a solid copper headshell/cartridge from a record turntable, that’s oversized to be a feature piece, I’ve got an oversized copper cassette tape on the go at the minute and they are all items that will be included in the art section over time.
In terms of what inspires designs for me I think it all goes hand in hand, at least for me anyway, music, art, clothing, design, it’s all creativity and it all belongs in one place which is where L.L.C is heading.
What can we expect from L.L.C. Outerwear in the future and will the new stuff as well be made strictly in Britain?
Right now I’m working on a modern hooded mac so all my focus is going into that, the rest you’ll have to wait for.
No, I’m not strictly manufacturing in Britain only, I just like using the factories and resources around me locally, at present I have no need to go elsewhere so when you see me type made in England, British made or locally made it’s just because I’m proud of utilising whats around me locally, it’s important.
That’s about it. Thanks for your time, Shaun and all the best for L.L.C.
Thank you for taking time out for me, and again for the support shown.