Saturday, 10 January 2015

Saturday 10th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Agi & Sam via Isamaya Ffrench

Thanks to makeup magician Isamaya Ffrench for her backstage photos from the Agi & Sam show "Coolman" for which she created Lego masks in keeping with the Montessori theme.  The thing I count on when anticipating an Agi & Sam show is that it will be FUN and this season the duo delivered a collection actually designed with kids!  The idea was spawn from re-discovering sketches Agi had drawn at four years old, his first foray into a future fate of a clothing line!  They contacted their primary schools to get the current pupils involved in pattern cutting by giving them deconstructed garments with velcro to piece back together.  A clue to this puzzle concept arrived in our post as the invite to the show, printed and cut into a jigsaw.  The artwork to follow to figure out the arrangement was the collection's print of the children's painterly mark-making from their original graphics.  Although the foundation of the mis-match silhouettes came from junior sources, the outcome was seriously sophisticated with knitwear in collaboration with Jaeger.  The timeline and lineage of Agi & Sam's progression is becoming increasingly refined and streamlined as the season's roll on.  There's still the inherent playfulness but the outcome is swaying more subtle and potentially, well, grown up ............... albeit from Agi's 4 year old designer self!!  
(top photo by me, other three by Isamaya - follow her Instagram here)  

Saturday 10th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Wales Bonner "Ebonics"

What can I say?  I am in LOVE with Wales Bonner.  I think this is going to be my absolute highlight of LCM and we're only half way thru.  Not only did she present this stunning collection / installation, but I also got given a beautiful accompanying publication with her collages in collaboration with Ditto Press "Everythings For Real".  Follow her here.

"Ebonics is a black symphony.  A riff of exoticism - echoing through the ballrooms of the Harlem Renaissance.  The Afro-American poet/dancer performs with the vibrating interrogation of the radical Amiri Baraka.  Seventies decadence reprises early 19th Century representations of the Other via Chanel and Poiret but with an immediacy of the street.  Carl Van Vechten's portraits of homosexuality entwine with the tones of Langston, the gentle elegance of synchronised lovers, the music of spoken word is all there.                 
Everything is for Real.   "

Saturday 10th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Astrid Andersen

Astrid Andersen strikes again with a slick sports-centric luxe collection of iridescent moire oil sheen woven cloth and foil placement prints layered on knits.  It's the second stage of her Sumo and Samurai inspiration continuing from last season's Summer styles but souped up for Winter with these super lush fur trimmed hoods and hats.  Her gangster muse is from the fictional Jim Jarmush "Ghostdog" and currently being championed by not only A$AP Rocky but also stars closer to home via Jammer (BBK).  The Danish designer is continuing to showcase her mainline collection during LCM but will be presenting her debut bespoke line during New York Fashion Week next month!     

Saturday 10th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Christopher Shannon

Christopher Shannon combined lots of my favourite things this season in his collection coming out of the raves of Acid House.  This democratic movement which has just struck its 25th Anniversary from the 80's "Second Summer Of Love" transcended geography, class, race and culture........... needing no explanation as a source of fascination for Shannon.  He converted the curved scoop of the runway as a backdrop lit up with original footage from the raves, turning London's Old Sorting Office into the perfect factory "Hacienda" setting for the show.  Boys doused with a dewy wet sheen of an all night dance had plastic bags blown onto either their face by Issamaya French or woven into their accessories by Judy Blame.  The concept for this motif came from photographs Chris has collected by photographers such as Nigel Shafran (see over on his Instagram of research imagery).  Chris's invitations are always the best and this season he used a photo from his inspiration archive which once appeared on my blog back in 2008.  My favourite two facets of his latest designs are deconstructed tracksuits reminiscent of Kappa popper down seams and his interpretation of the Ikea bag.  It's when you see something new and question why it hasn't been done before, that you know its going to be a star of the season.

Thanks to Fudge for backstage entrance to see their work up close with John Vial on the tools - a long standing collaboration with Chris over his career via Louise Wilson.  Head over to their site to see more.