The whirlwind of London’s designer hype traditionally starts in grungy East End underground clubs, the kind that get going way after dark and where only the young and brave dare venture. This season, Kim Jones was the name being tossed around by the seasonal cyclone. A menswear designer, it was rumored he had something new to say for women.
New or not, at least he has a fresh reference point: for his first women’s collection, Jones incorporated aspects of nineties youth culture on top of the 1980’s references already in heavy circulation. “Rave festivalsthat was when I first started going out,” he said, to explain the striped Peruvian fabrics that were spliced into a fifteen-look collection of cropped jackets, colorful curvy dresses, and ruched leggings that also invoked that other totemic figure of the season, Azzedine Alaïa.
Although all the women’s pieces will be sold under the Kim Jones label, the collaborative-minded Jones didn’t actually design the collection; that was done, quite openly, by his pal Marios Schwab, a recent Central Saint Martins graduate. Jones, meanwhile, concentrated on menswear ideas like making pants out of patched-together handkerchiefs. The whole endeavor has the authentic air of the amateur start-up that doesn’t quite make sense or play by the rules. Partly annoying, partly intriguing; but then again, definitely on the radar for next season.