NYFW, SS13: General Idea’s psychedelic lumberjacks
I have to admit to my heart sinking slightly when reading the title of General Idea’s show at Eyebeam studio in New York during NYFW: The Last Lumberjack. But I should have trusted that Korean designer Bumsuk Choi’s creative vision would be far more interesting than just another encounter with American heritagewear. From the first look, involving a revitalised camo fabric shot through with neon green, this was a collection that tantalised the eye with colour.
And then I spotted the shoes… chunky, outdoorsy hiking boots and tough looking trainer hybrids, again with neon highlights. Not dissimilar to the neon colours used by Prada in the more outré (and little photographed) end of their recent golfing-inspired footwear line, the bright pinks, oranges and neon yellow make these sturdy looking shoes instantly modern, urban and relevant. Styling throughout focused on the combination of this interesting footwear, with large-scale rucksacks, wooly hats and outdoorsy jackets completing the woodsy theme. Reading the shownotes, Choi was inspired by a documentary about the plight of lumberjacks in China’s Heilongjiang Province whose lifestyle, heritage and livelihood are under threat as urbanisation spreads. Something about the use of neon colours lifts the familiar outline of these outdoorsy, hiking clothes and thus highlights the urgency of this particular story, creating a visual alarm call.
Colour was definitely the big story with this collection, not just in the shoes and accessories, but in some really strong pieces involving blues, golds, oranges and yellows. Proportion play with shirt hems, some oversized T-shirts, and panels of contrasting fabrics revealed a visual language full of playfulness and a sense of boyish humour, part Moonrise Kingdom scout, part grunge-era Marc Jacobs. I’m definitely keen to see more of the footwear in person (a collaboration with Moon (shoes) and Head (sneakers)) which are a definitely on my shortlist for SS13 footwear. Just don’t expect to go undercover with any of this ‘hikerdelic’ gear: there’s little prospect of you fading into the background with a colour palette more likely to frighten away bashful wildlife.
Some of my favourite looks and details from the collection, note the grungy layering mixed up with the current interest in hem lengths:
And a couple of favourite footwear shots. I got a little carried away with snapping the shoes. For more, please visit (and Like) the new Sharpened Lead Facebook page, where I’ve just added a Gallery of this acid footwear.