It’s not often that we can convince our very own creative director, Jolyon Mason, to step on the other side of the camera for our shoots. But then again, it’s rare for his signature item of clothing – the classic white Oxford shirt – to be our singular focus. “It’s such a classic staple, and all I wear,” says Mr Mason, who was charged with conceiving the looks worn by all of the talent featured in this ongoing portrait series. “I really wanted to find each person’s own identity within and around that garment and then add something that would complement and enhance their own personal style.”
Of his approach to styling, Mr Mason says its borne from his teenage years dressing up his friends for impromptu photo shoots where, he says, it was all about a ‘look’. “At the time I didn’t know what I was doing was called styling and that it could be a job.” Of course, much has changed in the years since, now respected as one of the industry’s leading talents. And as evidence of his vision, many elements of his work still remain from those early shoots. “I feel like I’m always talking about textures, fabrics and tones. It’s all quite fluid and never too contrived,” he says.
For Mr Mason, who directs all of the shoots and fashion seen in every issue of Manuscript, it’s an exciting time in menswear. “Of course, I love a suit, but it’s not the only thing happening in menswear today. Manuscript really started as a place for there to be something different for fashion-conscious men to reflect what’s happening out there.” He notes designers J.W. Anderson, Hood by Air, Gucci and Rick Owens as pushing the boundaries of what menswear is and can be in the 21st century. “It’s not what everyone will wear, but I think that spark in the air is something to celebrate.”
Photography Liz Ham | Grooming Linda Jefferyes | Hair Sophie Roberts