The Journal: Meet John Lloyd

“For me fashion is just another outlet for my creativity…”

It’s easy to see what John Lloyd means, impeccably dressed in his Hackney studio on a sunny spring afternoon. The artist, international collaborator, and former SIRPLUS employee, whose work you may have seen gracing your friends’ homes, hotel walls, or your Instagram feed, can clearly put an outfit together as well as he can put pen to paper. Keen to hear more about what inspires John, whose vast portfolio covers topics ranging from fashion to mental health, we sat down with the still life and portraiture artist to talk 1950s films and vintage polo shirts. 

John’s work is distinctive for its pastel tones, combining whimsy with vibrancy in bold, confident strokes. The inspiration for this, he explains, is found in archival film and fashion footage, citing the 1950s as a treasure trove for the imagination. “I’ve always had a thing for the style of past decades,” he tells us, mentioning favourites Chet Baker, Miles Davis, and 1956’s iconic High Society. In the rare moments he hits a creative roadblock, he seeks out the company of fellow artists, or mulls over films, photographs, or books. “While I do find inspiration from other painters” he reflects, “sometimes I need to step outside the usual boundaries of painting to find inspiration”.

John’s passion for legacy pieces that are still cherished decades later is not only reserved for films. At SIRPLUS, we’re all about creating timeless pieces that are cherished for years to come. Does John have clothes he wants to keep forever? Absolutely. “I’ve always loved the idea of passing down things that hold sentimental value”. John talks of the joy of receiving vintage items from his dad: “these Ralph Lauren shirts mean a lot to me, I can’t wait to pass these down to my own kids someday”.

Beautiful clothing, whether he’s wearing it, talking about it, or painting it, clearly inspires John. Fashionable motifs crop up in his pieces, at times playful and satirical, and at others a serious interrogation of loneliness and insecurity. For John, this is part of a long history of art, a history that he is keen to explore within his own work. “I’ve always been interested in men’s fashion,” John tells us, recalling long conversations with friends and family on the subject, and his early days in our King’s Road shop. “I believe that objects and clothing can carry a lot of meaning”. We couldn’t agree more. 

Here at SIRPLUS, we can’t wait to see where John’s creative process takes him next. You can stay up to date with John’s art via his Instagram or website, and browse his selection of items from our latest summer collection, including tailoring and Nehru styles.