Cassetteplaya Interview


Written by Akinola Davies
26 Monday 26th April 2010

Carri ‘Cassetteplaya’ Munden is someone we have been obsessed with since her S/S 2007 collection. Her use of strong visual apocalyptic graphics and symbolism have always set her apart and pushed the boundaries of fashion evolution. After her A/W 1011 show at London Fashion Week pioneered augemented reality, Miss Munden has created a capsule collection in collaboration with Stussy. Don't Panic decided to quiz her on her inspirations, music and her upcoming projects.

What was the concept behind the Spring 2010 collection in stores now? 
It was called Power Drift Nation, inspired by Max Power (UK custom car culture – bass bins and UV trims), Tank girl (post apocalyptic riot girls) and nomadic Bedouin tribes. I’ve been working a lot from archive photography but it was also about modern day Arabic sub-cultures in Syria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. I really like the combination of tradition and the futurism of their cities. The digital prints include Arabic script, runic symbols, manipulated video stills and graphics made in chrome, gold and diamante. The inspiration was ‘Blingee’, an overload of graphics, text and glitter!
How was it received and what challenges did you envisage for the collection?
I’ve had a really positive response. For Believe in Flesh and Metal (A/W 0910) there were only a few main line pieces, and it was about launching the diffusion; mostly crew and hooded tops. S/S 2010 was going back to more of a main line. With the diffusion as well, it’s a bigger collection so that was a challenge. Also we showed in New York, which was real challenge! I’d never shown in New York before.
You’ve collaborated with Rockers NYC and Phenomenon Japan recently. How did these come about?
Both are definitely family. We’re in the same place in regards to references, layered colors and print. It’s a really big thing with all of our work. I felt a real connection with both brands. I’m not really about doing collaborations just for the sake of it. I only want to work with people I have a connection with. I was just out in Japan for Halloween and I DJ’ed out there. We did a night and it ended up turning into a bit of a launch for my Nike collaboration but also with the Phenomenon crew and Faline girls. We just did our Stussy women’s launch in Tokyo too. I DJ’ed with verbal from Teriyaki Boyz.
I gather you’re really into black metal, did you play any?
I thought about it but I wanted people to dance, so I played a little hip-hop and some grime. I wanted to keep it UK, I think a lot of that music no one really hears in Japan so I played baseline and UK funky. I think they liked it, although not sure if everyone quite got the ‘migraine skank’ in the end. (laughs)
What are you listening to at the moment?
Grime, I still really believe in grime. I feel it’s the only music that’s come out of the UK recently which is future. It’s very much our own and is not looking to anywhere else. I like the energy of it because I’m really into metal and grime for me is really similar to the energy or metal. I’ve been working with Tempa T, Ruff Squad, Wiley and Dizzie Rascal. But more recently I’m really excited about baseline. I also like dubstep. But yeah I’m mainly black metal. This year I’ve been listening to a lot of M.I.A, Popo, Big Pink, Horrors, Kingdom, Dizzee, Salem, Telepathe, Nikki Minaj, Blackout Crew and anything on NEET RECORDS!! (M.I.As record label) They are going to take over in 2010!
I bet! So lets talk about your most recent collaboration with Stussy. How did that come about?
I met Paul Mittleman who is creative director of Stussy about a year ago. I have a lot of respect for their brand for its heritage and cult status as a street wear brand. The collaboration was brought about by my friend the photographer Shawn Mortensen, who recently passed away but before he did he made a connection between me and Pauline Takahashi from Stussy, who designs the womenswear. It was a great project to work on; they gave me a lot of freedom and its good doing purely womenswear. I wanted to keep it future and Cassetteplaya but also play with the heritage of Stussy and it’s influence on UK culture, particularly UK street style. The energy of the collection is definitely quite nineties but when we did the shoot I wanted it to be the opposite of that so very California, very LA as that reflects the brands roots and origins

Estevan Oriol shot the collection for you how did you find that?
Yeah! He’s a total legend; he is a big idol of mine I always wanted to work with him. I was a little nervous. He’s quite an intimidating figure. I think we got on really well because the shoot we are all really happy with. When I shoot I mostly street-cast because I don’t really work with models. I knew he’d get that, the casting was really key to the success of the shoot. I wanted to keep the womenswear consistent with the aesthetic of the menswear. Estevan knows how to make his subjects real sexy, proud and strong.I’d love to work with him again
What else was a recent highlight?
We presented our A/W 1011 Neuromance collection with the world’s first augmented reality fashion show. We showed at the British Fashion Council digital space. It was the first time we have been on schedule for London Fashion Week!
What is your opinion about Reset London event and the UK street?
I think Reset is really positive and I was really proud to be a part of it, Nike was supporting it too so that’s how I got involved. I think it’s really positive that they are supporting homegrown designers. I really rate Charlie Crockett who runs A.I.N.T! London. I’ve known Charlie for years and as an illustrative artist I really respect him. I think it’s positive that everyone is supporting each other and I hope that will up the game.
Have you considered doing more art direction for music videos and even films maybe?
If you ask me what I was I’d probably say I’m an art director. I feel like I can translate my ideas or my vision to most mediums. I’ve done three videos for Cassetteplaya and I definitely want to do more videos and more film.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
I’d like to be in the Amazon, living and working from a sci-fi tree house. I’m really drawn to the Amazon. I plan to have stores around the world and I’d like to have had a major art sho.


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  • Guest: berghausbound
    Tue 27 - Apr - 2010, 16:08
    Didn't you know? Behind the times is the new ahead of your time, yeah?
  • Guest: smithy
    Tue 27 - Apr - 2010, 13:39
    WOW, AN IN-DEPTH LOOK INTO THE FOUNDER OF THE NEW RAVE SCENE!!!!!!!!11 fuck you guys are up-to-the-minute, eh?