There isn’t always a discernible theme during fashion weeks, and happily so, it would surely be deadly boring if designers repeatedly worked on a shared theme. But when an overriding idea seems, genuinely, to bubble up from the collective subconscious it’s a different story and can be a compelling journey. For SS19 that theme seemed to be a dystopian take on science-fiction and that genre’s sometimes prophetic vision of the future. Dystopian is a word we have come to hear more regularly in our post-Brexit, mid-Trump world, as frustration gives way to dread and fear that the worst may still be to come, making stories like The Handmaid’s Tale feel less like fantasy and more of a grim parable for our times. In a way, this sense of the dystopian is not so new in fashion, certain London designers have … Read More »
On Monday morning the David Hockney retrospective opened at Tate Britain for invited members of the press. It says something about this artist’s longevity and wide, cross-cultural appeal that the assembled crowd covered the gamut from renowned TV art critics to fashion commentators such as international Vogue editor Suzy Menkes (who was seen exiting via the gift shop, a large bag of Hockney memorabilia over her arm), as well as assorted oddballs like me.
The exhibition itself, starting with Hockney’s earliest experimental artworks, progresses through the most clearly biographical period of his early life in California, to preliminary landscape works, polaroid collages, drawings and Camera Lucida experiments to his more recent trials with video, iPhone and iPad painting, thereby covering some sixty years of the artist’s life.
Earlier today, I visited Duckie Brown at their studio in the West Village to talk about their bold move in representing a single look for SS17. In a nod to the troubled economic and political times we’re living through, the Duckie’s felt it was “a good moment” to pause, and made an active decision not to show this season (having shown the line twice a year for the last thirteen years). The resulting one look is a triumph; a Haiku poem in khaki, navy and white. The look itself is being shared with fashion editors who would normally attend their show as an exquisitely-produced monochrome poster and in the form of a film ‘The Essential Duckie.”
While Daniel Silver gave me his take on the challenges facing the fashion industry globally as the role of the … Read More »
Events for London Collections: Men SS17 got underway this evening on a bookish note, with the launch of a special ‘menswear library’ at the E.Tautz store in Mayfair. The exhibition, curated by Showstudio’s Lou Stoppard, is a special collaboration with Claire de Rouen, one of London’s most cherished art, fashion and photography bookstores. “You can tell so much about someone from their book collection and their favourite title”, commented Stoppard, “it was a real pleasure to chat to some of my favourite men in fashion about the menswear-related titles that they love.”
The eclectic range of photography titles on display (many being limited editions), spans topics from David Bowie (perhaps inevitably this year), to Disco and includes not one but two works by Wolfgang Tillmans. The books have been chosen by menswear influencers and commentators including Julian Ganio of Fantastic Man … Read More »
I’ve only come back to wearing blue jeans very recently, I’ve had a thing about black denim for quite a few years now, which has seen me go through various cuts of Acne Jeans and more recently, versions from Robert James on the L.E.S. in New York, whose black denims are blacker than black.
Interestingly, my first port of call on my return to the blue denim fold was to find a pair of Levi’s 501‘s, the looser cut (albeit in the newly-tapered ‘CT’ version), higher waist and general sense of deja vu creating a perfect counterbalance to more obviously contemporary pieces, like my beloved Common Projects low tops and Gucci knitwear and blouse-y shirts.
I say interestingly, because tonight I’m off to the opening of “The 501® Jean: Stories of an Original”, a three-part … Read More »
Having grabbed the headlines with his Grindr-hosted live stream, there was little that JW Andersen would do to raise eyebrows any further, given that his designs are already renowned for their off kilter, gender defying singularity. Looks including satin pyjamas in pastel colours and a cropped floral quilted jacket worn with knitted trousers, all accessorised with chokers, were in keeping with Anderson’s determined approach to exploring clothing that is typically defined as female. But there were also more whimsical, cartoon-like features: a snail silhouette appeared as a motif, tracksuit pockets in the form of clouds. Whatever accusations of being too out-there might be thrown at Anderson, a look back at last Autumn Winter’s cropped shearling jackets, ’70s ski wear and horizontal blocked stripes should be enough to demonstrate that he is often prescient in his menswear, however outlandish it … Read More »
Day 2 of London Collections: Men is typically the busiest of the whole long weekend and AW16 was no exception, here are some personal highlights from a packed day of shows and presentations.
Charged with the unenviable 9.30 Saturday morning slot, E.Tautz nevertheless offered us some warming nostalgia to counteract the leaden skies outside on The Strand with a collection inspired by Patrick Grant’s youthful experiences growing up and going out in Edinburgh. Reflecting that city’s sombre elegance, the colour palette was largely shades of charcoal and sandstone. Wide-legged pleated trousers were layered with bombers featuring oversized epaulettes and capacious double-breasted coats. These soft, roomy shapes emphasised the youthful form of the models and in a sense, the indolent innocence of youth itself.
Agi & Sam
Gone are the days when an Agi & Sam collection meant cacophonous print and … Read More »
LC:M is back again, and feels bigger and more sprawling this time with attendees being expected to navigate three official locations as well as the off-schedule curveballs in Soho and beyond. What used to feel like a celebration of menswear is now very much a corporate machine but London is doing very well at maintaining the voices of smaller-scale independent designers.
Offically, LC:M started on Friday, but it felt like it started Thursday night with Matthew Miller’s SS16 Goodhood launch event in Shoreditch. and the opening of Mad About the Boy, the exhibition curated by Lou Stoppard at the London College of Fashion’s gallery space in town .
LCF continued it’s fanfare to the onset of the weekend, with the MA show in the City of … Read More »
Mad About The Boy, curated by Showstudio alumnus Lou Stoppard, opens on 8 January exploring fashion’s obsession with youth, focuses on the way ideas of the teenage boy are constructed through definitive collections and fashion images. Inspired by designers’ fascination with youth culture, Mad About The Boy will examine the motifs and parallels within fashion’s treatment of youth.
The exhibition will collate the work of designers and image-makers including: Raf Simons, J W Anderson, Nick Knight, Larry Clark, Jason Evans, Kim Jones, Meadham Kirchhoff, Tyrone Lebon, Nasir Mazhar, Martine Rose, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Christopher Shannon, Judy Blame, Undercover, Patrick Robyn and more.
… Read More »
Marsèll – how a tough-looking capsule collection for Mr Porter got me excited about Italian-made shoes all over again
It’s been a good old while, and fittingly my return to blogging is on the subject of shoes, a subject in which I have a perennial interest and am always happy to be associated with.
Mr Porter bravely declared itself the home of the world’s best shoes recently, and a well-lubricated event at their Westfield HQ demonstrated their handle on high-end footwear, from the trad to the defiantly un-trad (hello Rick Owens futurist trainers). Among the exclusives on offer (an impressive list: Grenson, Officine Creative, Filling Pieces, Neil Barrett, Christopher Kane and more) I came across the Marsèll brand for the first time, specifically in the form of an impressive pair of black boots, featuring a distinguished contrast between two very differently-treated leathers.