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On Thursday in New York Duckie Brown showed a collection of crisp whites, plaids and high-waisted trousers accessorised with bucket hats; a spin on elder style made relevant through the choice of fabrics and colour.
As ever with the Duckies, the invite held a clue, this time featuring an image of designer Daniel Silver’s father, now 91, in bucket hat, a tucked-in short sleeved shirt and the kind of high-waisted trousers men of a certain age and ilk wear. What couldn’t have been predicted was the precision with which the details of this specific look would be recreated; in the shape of the trousers, high up on the waist, roomy in the middle but tapering towards the ankle, the crisp outline of the short-sleeved shirts and, yes, bucket hats.
Whereas last season Steven and Daniel mixed things up, showing womenswear alongside the menswear with astute awareness of the unisex zeitgeist, this time womenswear was confined to a discreet lookbook and the boys took centre stage again.
Styling–wise the hair was softer than at recent Duckie shows and while there were still the occasional thousand-yard there was less laddish swagger from the models, with more of a bounce to the step as a looped and extended version of The Stone Roses’ Fool’s Gold kept the pace upbeat.
This particular influence was perhaps less resonant to an American audience; the associations with late ‘80s Manchester; the layered, Ian Brown-esque hair, and the bucket hats, blousons and cagoules referencing a very specific tribe whose casual uniform defined an era in British music and nightlife history.
One gets the impression with Duckie Brown that eventually they will have unpicked all the standards of menswear, forgotten or otherwise, whether they be uniform, workwear or tailoring staple and re-created them to suit their personal vision. Here the generations were overlapped by mixing up the associations of late 80’s Manchester and the fastidious dress codes of an elderly man.
The looks formed a very coherent collection – when the boys came out to do their final walkthrough the looks held strong; soft summer colours and shapes familiar but refreshingly simple.
This collection laid bare the craft in Duckie Brown’s work; it’s always been about form, proportion and tailoring but on Thursday the shapes were more straightforward with fewer visual puns to take note of; the shape of the trousers was beautifully considered, shirt sleeves fitting just so.
As with the choice of soundtrack – Fool’s Gold re-engineered and looped – the Duckies took familiar shapes and repositioned them, with reverence but never purely for the sake of re-creation.