Tim Hamilton was operating well within his comfort zone this season—and that's not a bad thing. The designer has always flirted with the curled-lip sensibility and raw, thuggish aesthetic of disaffected youth, and now the world has come to meet him at his sweet spot. There weren't any hoodies at Hamilton's presentation tonight, but the attitude felt familiar to anyone who followed the rioting in London this summer. That might sound trite, but Hamilton was sincere about his goal of addressing the present-day chaos of the outer world by bringing it into the venue, and the engagement was welcome.
He was assisted, this time out, by the artist Seth Price. "I was inspired by a painting of Seth's of a vacuum-sealed bomber jacket," Hamilton explained. "And then I ended up meeting Seth at a dinner, and he was wearing a pair of my sweatpants." So, kismet. Hamilton has a history of working with artists—last season, for instance, he turned Ross Bleckner paintings into vivid prints—but with Price, he was pushed into more provocative territory. Together, they came up with a range of undyed linen and heavy-duty twill pieces, all of them unisex and most of them visibly lined in Price's prints riffing on corporate logos. Price also created two videos for the presentation, of the shooting of Ronald Reagan, and created the anarchic sound collage that greeted viewers upon arrival at the gallery.
Price's chaos also provided fitting atmospherics for the clothes Hamilton designed on his own. On the menswear side, the designer hewed close to his signatures, staying within his standard palette of blacks, grays, and royal blue and sending out new iterations of his trademark drop-crotch sweats, collared shirts, and rude boy staples such as long shorts and tanks. A particularly intimidating item was the loose, beltless navy trench with its oversize shoulder yoke.
Hamilton also kept his womenswear on terra firma this time around: Straitening his ambitions a bit, he mainly created looks for the girls that wouldn't have been out of place on the boys, such as a coated linen lab coat or a pair of long perforated leather shorts. The hip-slung gray trousers, in wide-leg and tapered styles, were particularly strong; so too the pair of Lurex-striped bicycle shorts, which looked both chic and tough. Hamilton may have erred a little too much on the side of androgyny, but those bike shorts and gray trousers suggested that he's finding a way to feminize shapes without neutering his brand's scowling attitude.
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