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Meet Stylist Bevan Agyemang

As the temperature starts to drop, we turn to our autumn/winter BFF to get us through the new season – layers! We caught up with Bevan Agyemang, the stylist from our latest shoot to ask him for his top styling tips for tackling layering and more…

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Jayne Bibby
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Bevan has always described himself as a multidisciplinary artist due to his interest in many aspects of the creative industry, starting his career as a photographer before moving into styling. So how did he get started? ‘I’ve always been interested in anthropology, patterns of behaviour and cultural studies,’ he explains, ‘A lot of photography is about space in relation to composition and light. I started to use local styles within my immediate spaces to communicate my identity. The clothing then started to become a language to me and I developed a deeper understanding of it through styling.’

With a passion for the full circle process from researching, to styling, through to the photography and the finished result, we were keen to find out where Bevan’s true focus lies. He begins, ‘Researching is probably the space that ignites everything for me. I love stories and visuals that carry substance. My formula is to register, conserve and reproduce. Sometimes ideas are formed and become conserved or build towards elements of personality. These ideas then become awaken in favourable conditions and then it’s all about application.’

Our latest campaign shoot enforces who Primark are and what we stand for. We’re for everyone, we love to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and unity in everything we do and this is something Bevan is also extremely passionate about. ‘Understanding my Ghanaian cultural heritage allowed me to live my truth. I stopped trying to feed into a narrative and became the author of my own.’ So how much of his Ghanaian heritage does Bevan bring into his work, and how important is this for him? ‘I think initially it was something I wanted to strongly communicate because I was discovering and documenting in real time. I feel like its probably at the spine but the other elements are just as important for my body of work. My space is ever changing and that’s the core influence of my work’.

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We were also keen to understand how important Bevan thinks it is to educate people on different cultures through his work. ‘I leave my work there for interpretation, he explains. ‘I understand that everybody’s cultural library is totally different so there’s bound to be a few things lost in translation. At the same time, at the very least, I want people to question everything. Educating people on different cultures is important but it’s the further research that will leave it embedded in your heart.’

Within our latest shoot how did Bevan manage to bring to life each model’s individual look while also celebrating their diversity through his styling? ‘I believe authorship is integral within an image. Somewhere between the model and myself they’re what is called the ‘third space’. A balance is needed from both sides to truly determine hybrid energy. Once aligned each model can bring a part of who they are to the space and the look.’

With autumn/winter fast approaching and layering is top of the list when it comes to dressing each morning, we asked Bevan to share his top tips for layering without creating a bulky look. ‘Layering for me is always about changing the silhouette. Apart from the functionality of keeping you warm it allows you to make 2-3 looks out of one outfit. Play with different textures so the fabrics contrast and complement each other.’

Another key trend within our autumn/winter collection is print and texture clashing, so how do we know we’re doing it right? Bevan breaks it down for us, ‘Style has always got to be about what feels right. The idea of restrictions when you’re creating your own freedom is contradictory. Sometimes you have to go against the rhythm. If it feels good then run with it – nobody can take that feeling away from you.’

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So what key items will Bevan be layerng up this winter? ‘Oversized cardigans, overcoats and heavy industrial boots. I definitely want to feel as relaxed and cosy as possible. It’s due to be a cold winter in many ways and subconsciously feeling cosy will also keep my mind warm.’ Cosy sounds good to us!

As head-to-toe tonal dressing continues to be a key trend for both men and women, how can we all retain our individual look if everyone’s following the same trend? ‘Accessories will always allow you to accent your looks and make it personal to you. A neutral palette is a great canvas to build upon. Your accessories make everything three dimensional and bring neutral looks to life.’

As part of our new collection we’ve recently introduced our Modest Collection, as we encourage our customers to express their personal style, while keeping their look more conservative and covered up. So what advice does Bevan offer to our customers looking to achieve the modest look, whether for religious reasons or not? ‘Keep it minimal and use contrasting- textures. Implement muted tones and focus on layering and changing the silhouette as opposed to using loud pieces. Develop a more considered language, which leaves a little more for the eye to interpret.’

Men’s and womenswear items were styled together on both our male and female models on this shoot. So do genders still exists within fashion and styling? ‘I think men have long been confined to wearing the same old typical pieces. I believe now we have the freedom to create different shapes and express androgyny. I myself share a wardrobe with my partner and I think it unifies us in a different way. Structures are falling and boundaries being broken down. FREEDOM’

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As we all continue to navigate the current global pandemic and post lockdown life (with the threat of another lockdown still present), we ask Bevan have we all moved away from dressing up and instead continue to embrace the soft waistbands and casual aesthetic of lockdown life? ‘I think lockdown should have influenced people to dress for themselves first. They’re should definitely be more of an emphasis on feeling good. I also feel that we’ve been more creative working with our time and the things we already own. We’re moving towards entertaining the idea of repurposing and now even an old t-shirt can become a new facemask.’

So what does the rest of 2020 have in store for Bevan during this uncertain time, especially within the creative industry? ‘I honestly feel blessed to have been so active over the past few months considering everything that’s happening. I have a few exciting projects I’m currently working on but with the ever-changing landscape I’m learning to appreciate my immediate future.’