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August 29 2014

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Fashion East’s Menswear Designers Walk on the Wild Side

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Fashion East

Long gone are the days when skirts on men used to shock. Now we have aprons, dangly double tribal earrings, balaclavas, and patent-leather chokers. Or, at least, that’s what we saw at Fashion East’s Fall ’14 menswear installations in London today. Lulu Kennedy’s emerging-designer initiative welcomes three new talents this season: jeweler Roxanne Farahmand, shirtmaker Massimo Casagrande, and CSM grad Nicomede Talavera (above, left) join Fashion East veterans Tom Ryling (above, right) and Liam Hodges. These three may be freshmen, but they each offered that daring, eyebrow-raising edge that has become synonymous with the platform.

Talavera cited artist Robert Morris as inspiration, but his lineup felt more Star Trek: The Original Series. Graphic, Spock-like sweaters, leather chokers, too-long spliced pant hems over Vans, three-quarter-length aprons draped just so, and color-blocked details reminded us why the word directional was probably invented for Fashion East. Casagrande took cues from artist Adam McEwen’s photographs of New York sidewalks and turned out wares with studs, graphics, and rubber details.

Farahmand, who used to work with Dominic Jones, looked like she had the Fast and the Furious on her brain—speed was her Fall ’14 theme. Tattooed models with menacing haircuts and even scarier oversize knuckle-dusters were draped over fast cars, showing off her rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Amusing under-the-armpit body harnesses and straps over trainers looked so cool, we didn’t care if there was a purpose behind them—and we were too afraid to ask.

Ryling, meanwhile, put balaclavas on his models. He also showed some great graffitied and paint-splattered jean jackets, and trousers with red chiffon overlays. Rounding it out was Hodges, who carried on his theme from last season—no “high-borns,” please. Steel-toed workman boots, lashings of electrical tape, cracked leather, hoodies, and boxy silhouettes made Hodges’ boys look like they were ready to rumble at any time.

Photos: Elise Rose, Lorenza Dalbosco

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