You cannot deconstruct unless you know how to construct. - Alexander McQueen

Aitor Throup - Part II: Branding Through Construction permalink

All good comic book artists have a signature style when drawing the characters’ anatomy and postures. Aitor Throup has taken his characters to the next level, sculpting them and then making a garment pattern based on the pose of the character’s form in motion. He calls this process, “branding through construction”. “As a child I was constantly (and still am) drawing the body in motion. I spent my time attempting to give each of my drawings an anatomy of their own. And then one day, something amazing happened: Tim Burton made BATMAN. And in his interpretation of Batman’s mask, he succeeded in giving anatomy to an inanimate object.

I honoured this pivotal design classic by creating a wool jacket with a built-in three-dimensional Batman hood/mask. The cut of the jacket was based on a sculpture of the body in a particular ‘superhero pose’, so it hung in a slightly distorted way. Therefore the whole piece (not just the hood), had its own anatomy. The accompanying trousers were also based on the idea of ‘every-day superheroes’. They were two pairs of trousers interacting with each other: the cut of the internal pair was based on the human muscular system of the legs, creating a sort of fabric version of an anatomical ecorché. The external trousers consisted of exaggerated volume and multiple pleats and darts, concealing the internal structure. Should the wearer ever be called to Superhero duty, he could find the nearest phonebox, turn the trousers inside-out and put his hood up.”

aitor stickemup cover image.jpg
Aitor Throup’s “stickemup”

Here he explains branding through construction: “The ‘tops’ (shirts, jackets, coats etc) I create are all cut from a pattern/block developed from my own sculptural pattern cutting process: First, I design a character in a specific pose; then, I create a miniature sculpture of the character, which I then cover in fabric, allowing the darts and seams to be dictated by the structure itself. So, all my shirts, jackets etc. look like generic garments at first, but on closer inspection, their construction lines are all equally distorted and seemingly misplaced.”

 aitor postures 1a.jpg
design by Throup

postures 1b.jpg
design by Throup

With the characters he imagines being such an integral part of his design process, I couldn’t help but to imagine him all cloak-and-dagger on the street, transformed by his own designs. “I do wear my own clothes. I actually love the idea of eventually (once I have built up a big enough archive) ONLY wearing my own clothes…kind of becoming a real-life visual summary of the characters I design. I really do believe that they have the potential to transform the wearer. I don’t think this effect is always empowering, although some pieces are definitely supposed to be. I was commissioned to do two pieces for an exhibition at The Wapping Project in London last year. The exhibition was kind of based on our childhood dreams and adventures, and the relevance that fashion might hold in us remembering them as adults.”

united arrows woody aitors version 1.jpg
Throup’s “Wuddy Wudpecker”

united arrows woody aitors version 2.jpg
Throup’s “Wuddy Wudpecker”

united arrows woody kids designs.jpg
inspiration for Wuddy from children’s designs

Some examples of Throup’s characters:

aitor postures 2.jpg
Aitor Throup

aitor postures 3.jpg
Aitor Throup

aitor postures 4.jpg
Aitor Throup

In his aim to dispense with all unwarranted construction details, Throup is inspired by Massimo Osti, founder of C.P. Company and Stone Island labels. Osti, who passed away last year, was known for his emphasis on the functional, experimental and technological aspects of his garments. “If I find a piece of clothing interesting, I must be able to understand and DEFINE why it is interesting. The fabric used might be created using some new technological development, or the construction details are there to carry out a specific function. This is the reason why brands such as Stone Island and C.P. Company have such relevance in the future of fashion. I have no interest in trends, nor in decoration that isn’t relevant or justified.”

aitor saddle trousers.jpg
Throup’s “saddle trousers”

Throup’s contagious passion for what he does insulates the unbroken line of his own childhood dreams carrying forward into adulthood. This to me is ultimate relevance: never losing a grip on your childhood dreams, justifying your actions by what you’ve always loved to do and not on maximum cash reward.

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6 Responses to “Aitor Throup - Part II: Branding Through Construction” 

  1. Matt (the other one) Says:

    Thanks for writing this blog Katie, I find myself drawn to it more than I first imagined I’d be. I don’t quite visit every day, but I do find that I read all the posts. You’ve done a very nice job and your subjects are, as would be expected, unique and very interesting. You do a good job of bringing a personal edge to what has heretofore been a very untouchable subject for me.

    That aside, I’m now listening to a podcast from the KANU Cocktail Hour, as linked from your roll. There used to be a fabulous lounge music station on the Los Angeles AM dial, “Fabulous 570″, but sadly they have gone the way of Norteno Mariachi and/or Booty Rap, like everything else on the airwaves here. Hope you are well.

  2. The Family Blog » Inspiration….Wow Says:

    […] check this out.  […]

  3. Kyla Says:

    This art is amazing.

  4. donald Says:

    i love this guy i have been following him for some time now, his work is amazing and he is such an inspiration to me and my work.
    all the best to you Aitor.

  5. raegen Says:

    Amazing work. I design performance apparel and this is such an similar approach. Really interesting.

  6. shiv Says:


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