As promised, here’s the second edition of Smart People, this time featuring Mark Large. I came across Mark through Instagram some time back and await his daily style updates with great anticipation, as I’m sure many others do.
I got in touch with him a few months back after coming across a shot of some of his old Duffer of Saint George knitwear that he was looking to move on. We made a deal and I became the custodian of some quality pieces that came from the labels London-based shop during the late 80s/early 90s. Saturday – 3 pm – next to Leicester Square underground station we made the exchange. The great thing about meeting people who you see through a screen etc. is that, when you meet them in person it gives you a sense of how a person really wears their clothes. I can safely say that I was taken back by Mark’s dress sense – his outfit, brilliantly put together – colour matching, patterns close to the point of jarring but syncing together effortlessly in an ensemble of denim and tailoring. Inevitably, I got in touch with him again to find out more about what he does and what gets him.
Where are you based and what do you do by day?
I’m based in S.E. London in Eltham, I’ve been in London for 17 or so years. I’m a decorator by trade and lucky enough to still enjoy doing it. There’s a certain satisfaction to seeing a finished project.
You say you’re a Ralph Lauren collector – When did you start collecting?
I’ve loved style and/or fashion since I first saw mods in the revival of the late 70s, I grew up going through all the classic British street cultures, mod, casual, etc of that era.
I’ve had favoured brands throughout the years such as Paul Smith, Etro, Duffer and others but I’ve been buying lots of Ralph Lauren for at least 15 years now.
At the moment my favourite RL brand is easily RRL. I love how it takes inspiration from past eras and the attention to detail is excellent, referencing some classic brands and famous items. I first got into Ralph Lauren through the classic preppy styles of Polo, I suppose Preppy/mod was my first love and I still love it today.What is it about the whole RL brand that just gets you?
Ralph does it better than most and is still a driving force in men’s style and fashion, the RRL team have certainly influenced style and trend in the past few years. It just seems to ‘fit’ with me.
I’ve always had a passion for clothes and I’d probably have to say I’m addicted to buying them. There’s always something new I decide I need, so the search begins(again).
Describing my overall style would be hard, I go with my mood so one day it could be preppy another it could be influenced by the 30s, 40s or 50s, it’s all heritage based though.
I guess my favourite piece tends to be the one I just got, then it’ll be the next one I’m after but I do like re-finding something I’ve put away and forgotten I have.Any thing you’re obsessed by at the moment?
There’s always something I’m looking at getting, at the moment there’s a couple of bits in RRL that I’ve got my eye on.What does Retrospective Modernism mean to you?
Retrospective modernism to me is about moving forward in style, but holding on to classic style too. We’ve not had a significant street culture in Britain for some time, which is disappointing, as from the Teds onwards we’ve produced lots of cutting edge cultures. To me, with my first influence being the mod revival, I remember thinking when casual styles, such as Pringle jumpers, Cerutti roll necks etc started coming in, that this was the new true modernism. It’s always was and still is about moving on to the next thing.