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So much has already been said about Agi & Sam‘s collection shown as part of MAN AW13, or more accurately, has been shared. Images of designers Patrick Grant and William R. Green rouged-up and walking in the show, the basset hounds! the Marquess of Bath-alike! all proved infinitely shareable as a delighted crowd were caught up in the infectious buzz and sense of fun and got busy with social media.
But in reviewing the images again now, what strikes me is what an elegant and grown up collection it is. “We tried so hard to mature the collection without losing the fun” said they duo as I offered my congratulations after the show. And that effort really comes across. As a development from last season their use of colour and print is much more precise, the overall shape and outline more refined. Yes, there is still the comedic value, pushed to hyper-real Grand Guignol heights by the genius styling touch of Julian Ganio, but look beyond the rouged cheeks and there are some very sophisticated clothes to be had. I’m particularly keen on the effect of the patterned bodywarmer over the slim overcoat, an outline I’m keen to try out, at least until there might be an option to get hold of the real thing. The tailoring with the small-scale print also strikes me as infinitely wearable and modern, and overall, the mix of small-scale pattern and print with solid, primary colours looks very fresh to the eye. Whilst I see parallels with Prada’s AW12 collection e.g. in terms of the use of white as a styling note, and in the references to classic portraiture, here the aesthetic is pushed further, like Gainsborough portraits re-envisaged by Tim Burton in Disney colours, and the underlying sense of mischief is very much Agi & Sam’s own.
I’ve found it really hard to select which images to use, here – it’s all such fashion eye candy – but here are a few of my favourite looks from the collection. I’ve focused on the patterned tailoring, the aformentioned bodywarmer-over-slim-overcoat shape I love and the mix of pattern, check and solid colours. I’m also dead keen on a beret for next winter and intrigued by winter shorts. The bassets were obligatory: rewind!