As tributes to the late Frankie Knuckles, godfather of house, continue to pour in from across the music world following his death this week, its clear that the musical genre has had a huge influence, but what impact has this massively-popular music subculture had on British fashion, if at all?
The arrival of house and the later onset of the rave era in Britain has often been derided by the likes of sartorial commentators like Robert Elms as marking the end of club dandyism and triggering an era of pastel tracksuits.
In fact, many of the influential dandies and club kids from the Blitz club era embraced house because the music came from a newly-emerged urban, black gay subculture and therefore appealed to the free spirits and mavericks within the club scene here (as evidence, Boy George is still a house music … Read More »
For the benefit of newcomers, particularly readers in the UK, Duckie Brown are a menswear label based in New York designed by partners Steven Cox and Daniel Silver. They are noted for a very European, if not specifically English take on menswear, despite being very much a New York phenomenon. Recent collections have been seen to push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in terms of American menswear, particularly in the use of colour and fabric and how this might impact on the perceived sexuality of the men who wear it. These themes are explored candidly in the recent film The Guts of Duckie Brown. The partnership also has a very successful and ongoing collaboration with the classic American shoe brand Florsheim.
For all of this and more, one of the main reasons I wanted to attend NYFW this season was to attend the Duckie Brown show. As my flight arrived too late to attend the early-in-the-schedule show on the first afternoon of fashion week, Daniel and Steven were kind enough to invite me to their studio for a chat and to see the collection in person the next morning.
I’d been told that the show was ‘much darker than anything you’d imagine from Duckie Brown’, and on hearing me repeat this, Steven was quick to clarify that one of the factors influencing the outcome of this collection was that his mum had died last week. Needless to say, the Spring collection had been put together during a difficult time for them as individuals and as partners and co-designers of Duckie Brown.