First of all can you introduce yourself to our audience and explain a little about your background/ career to date?
My name is Jonathan Daniel Pryce & I’m a photographer based in London, originally from Scotland. My online pseudonym is Garçon Jon which was a moniker taken from a blog I started at 17 in my hometown titled ‘Les Garçons de Glasgow’. I’m mainly a portrait photographer and I focus on fashion, in particular menswear. I've shot for GQ, Vanity Fair & Mr Porter - that could be an editorial or a portrait in a studio. People often know me for my street style work at fashion week for Vogue.
What is your connection to TWC & how did you cross paths with the brand?
I first met Adam through Mr Porter. I think it was at an event in West London where the brand turned a townhouse into an immersive experience. There were artists drawing portraits, chefs preparing food in the kitchen, live music in the basement - it was an incredible evening.
What drew you to select the pieces that you chose to wear from TWC’s collection?
I love classic, well made workwear. The pieces I chose are all styles that can be mixed together - I like to not have to think too much when dressing in the morning and I’ve created a wardrobe where almost every items goes with another. That’s also true for what I selected here. I loved the navy cord shirt in particular for its handle and cut - I also loved the straight leg jeans as they fit so well.
What projects are you currently working on that you can share a little information with us?
This year has obviously been turbulent for everyone. After the first lockdown, I travelled up to Scotland to spend summer in my grandparents former house and I found myself surrounded by the possessions of two people I didn’t fully know. I spoke with neighbours and got an account of people who’s lives I wasn’t deeply connected with so began to explore that photographically. Im still working on that project - finding out who my grandfather in particular was. He was a minister with the Church of Scotland & profoundly religious. It’s been fascinating to explore his psyche. I’m planning to create a book of the project later this year.
Do you have an ultimate/favourite item of clothing that you own?
My great-grandfathers gold wedding ring is my most treasured possession. In terms of clothing, I wear my Dr Martens shoes constantly & have done for years. I buy a new pair annually, so that consistency is something I value.
What would be your pick for one desert island album?
Music is a huge part of my life. It’s how I first got interested in photography (through an interest in record covers) and I love all different genres of music. I would say one album that stands out to me is Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits from 1988. My parents owned the record and when I was a child my sister and I would push the sofa back in the living room and dance to the music. There isn’t one skippable track for me & each song has a different meaning to me.
Which part of your work excites you the most?
Connecting with other people is what drives and motivates me. I love hearing life stories, triumphs and challenges. We can learn so much when we ask open questions and really listen. That’s the reason I started my podcast ‘Photographic Memory’ last year. I missed the chat on set at photo shoots & really wanted to reconnect with people I didn’t know well. I’ve loved working on that and it’s flexed a different muscle I’ve never really used before. If you’d asked me in 2019, I’d have said I’m undoubtedly an introvert but after all the lockdowns I’ve really seen how much I value being around others.
When looking at personal style displayed in-around fashion weeks across the main fashion capitals, what do you feel creates distinctive personal style that you are drawn to capturing?
This is the question I get asked most and sadly there’s no easy answer. Often it’s a face or a single detail of a look that I’m interested in capturing. As well as this, it’s constantly changing. There’s a newness that is alluring or an unexpected attitude. If I was to define the most constant aesthetic choice I appreciate, I would say it’s vintage workwear, particularly early-mid 20th century American design.
You have created a few wonderful books- can you share the process of your journey in creating these?
Each one was very different. I created 100 Beards, 100 Days from a project I started in 2012 on tumblr. That was one of those viral moments that grew into a life of its own and so I was approached to publish a short-run book to coincide with an exhibition to celebrate the end of the project. It sold out on opening night, so the following year I shot 100 more portraits and we released a larger run of books that captured all 200 portraits.
The second, “gentlemen” was a collaboration with British perfumer Penhaligons for London Fashion Week in 2015. We photographed 60 men who were creating inspiring work - from broadcasters to artists, actors and architects - each one gave a quote about what it means to be a gentleman. This was particularly fun as it was my first studio based project.
Finally, at the end of 2019 I published “Garçon Style” with Laurence King. This is my most commercial book and encompasses over 5 years of work photographing street style at fashion week’s in London, Milan, Paris & NYC. This was a huge about of work and took about 18 months to compile and edit before publishing. I’m really proud of the work because despite the focus on style and fashion, I always want to show the humanity and character behind the subject. We interviewed a handful of men from each city and revealed their journey.
All of these books are available on Garconjon.com.
You have traveled extensively- which cities, towns and places do you feel continue to be inspiring for you?
I have a soft spot for New York City. Some of my best friends live there and I studied in Manhattan for a year as part of my degree so it has a special place in my heart. There’s something about the aesthetic details of the city, it’s layout, the attitude of the people & the weather that combines to create this energy of forward momentum. I love the openness and direct communication you get there which isn’t so present in London.
Who have been creative mentors for you that have shaped how you approach your work and outlook?
One of my photography professors, Frank Gimpaya, really instilled a democratic approach to photography. It doesn’t matter what your equipment is, it’s the story that holds Weight.
During the last decade of shooting street style, I've spent a lot of time with fellow photographer Kuba Dabrowski & he has influenced me hugely. We have different aesthetic styles but his feedback has been invaluable to me.
How do you feel the men's fashion industry has evolved?
The past 10 years have been interesting for menswear. There was a revolution in the early 2010s where menswear sales were exploding like never before and the focus was on heritage and tailoring. Lots of new brands emerged over this time. Since then, the cultural shift has been around our collective perception of gender and questioning the norms we’ve come to hold as true. Unisex clothing is far more popular and sportswear with technical fabrics is now worn daily.
How would you describe british contemporary menswear?
British style is eclectic and steeped in history. I like that there is still a formality to British dress but we love to break rules and this results often in more creativity. Generally we’re still in a culture of “jeans & a shirt” but I feel like the average man now has an interest and understanding of fabric & fit in a way that was less apparent before.
I loved reading this. What a lovely and talented man Jonathan Daniel Pryce is. TWC Worn Your Way Part 12 also great. Well done Charlotte and Adam.
Libby Perry September 14, 2021
That’s was nice, thanks.
delyth Gadd September 05, 2021