June 24, 2014 London
In its stead, there was a world. Take a piece of Sauvage's Ghanaian roots and add the artist Matthew Craven (his mix of traditional imagery with contemporary patterns was turned into prints that featured African masks and African dictators). Then mix in Britain, of course—Sauvage's home—and populate it with the people the designer meets, knows, or connects with. He calls them "orphans."
The collection, then. A print that started with a photo of a ficus elastica robusta plant in the studio permeated the lineup. It was on almost everything—from coats, T-shirts, shorts, bombers, and bikers to shirts, shoes, and vests. (Sauvage played basketball for the British national team for seven years.) Sometimes the print appeared on a dark green background, or on turquoise for vivid effect. There was also a fabulous mint green biker jacket and A. Sauvage's leather-trimmed take on the classic Crombie coat. Trousers, too, came with leather trims, and the designer joked that he was "getting a bit leathered out at the moment."
Naturally, there were suits. They came in bright hues of yellow and tomato but also in dark green and black—again, with leather-trimmed lapels. But this didn't feel like a collection from a suit brand. It felt more like—as Sauvage himself would put it—"a lifestyle." Perhaps that's what the suit has to be today, more a choice than a necessity, now that dress codes are under sustained pressure from people's need to be casual.