4 posts tagged "Agi & Sam"
“I like a lot of embellishment and I like a lot of print,” said Holly Fulton. She might have been speaking for all her fellow English designers at the London Showrooms, the traveling, British Fashion Council-sponsored showcase which arrived in New York this week, following a stint in L.A. It’s almost a cliché that London designers trend bright and buzzy, but it’s become something of a calling card for the young talents nurtured by the BFC. To tweak the old saw, go big or stay home.
Fulton served up her groupie-inspired Fall collection, which featured lava-rock embellishments, hand-drawn prints, and a rather impressive dress constructed entirely of feathers. Others, like Simone Rocha (above), who’s currently selling stateside in Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony, offered less print but more color. Her key pieces were voluminous waffle-knitted neoprene looks in what she laughingly referred to as “Pepto pink.” Thomas Tait also played on unexpected fusion of spongy, bonded leather and quilted nylon in Day-Glo oranges and lime greens. “I feel like I’ve been shouting,” said Tait, whose line is also carried at Jeffrey. “I’ll be doing something mellower next season.”
Meanwhile, Fyodor Golan, designed by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, balanced elegant, elaborately embellished print dresses with more playful leather pieces embossed with smiley faces. Turns out Smiley—the company that owns the rights to the icon—approached the duo for a collaboration, and they jumped at the chance to create, as Frydman put it, a “sexual smiley.” Another duo, Teatum Jones (that is to say, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones) showed bright, seemingly tie-dyed dresses in perforated bonded jersey, as well as a few particularly interesting coats in latex-coated alpaca wool. Yet a third duo, Palmer//Harding, also in attendance, used a similarly clever technique on their wools to make them look like leather.
Men’s designers were on display, too, and they came with news to share. James Long whispered that half the designers showing on the Paris calendar had called to personal-order his sweater knitted with a giant picture of Divine. Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of Agi & Sam had news of an offbeat football (read: soccer) and owl-inspired capsule collection they’ll launch at Topman next month. And jeweler Dominic Jones revealed he’ll show his first-ever men’s collection during June’s London Collections: Men. In the meantime, he was showing his mainline collection as well as his recently-launched lower priced range, DJ by Dominic Jones. “I wanted to make something that all my friends could afford,” he said when asked about the gold-plated and bright enamel collection of baubles, which average about $100 apiece.
London is jam-packed with emerging fashion talents. And now you can find all of them (or, at least, a lot of them) in one place. On February 17, Machine-A, a concept store founded by Stavros Karelis, will open permanently on 13 Brewer Street (it existed a few years ago, in an experimental capacity). Working with rainbow-haired stylist Anna Trevelyan, who serves as the store’s fashion director, Karelis will stock clothes by brand-new designers (Ashley Williams, Shaun Samson, Agi & Sam) and bright young stars (Louise Gray, Christopher Raeburn, Sibling), alongside wares by established labels like Raf Simons, Chalayan, and Mugler. Karelis hopes that Machine-A will serve as a platform to help promising youngsters establish an early retail presence. In addition to simply selling new designers’ collections, Machine-A will work with up-and-comers on collaborations and in-store installations, the first of which will feature Alex Mattsson. “My personal aim is to [offer] inspirational collections, innovative products, and comfortable high-quality clothes,” says Karelis, who also notes that Trevelyan’s input and keen eye for the next big thing have been invaluable. Case in point: the Spring ’13 ad campaign Trevelyan styled for the shop. Style.com has an exclusive look at the Meinke Klein-lensed images, which feature Machine-A’s Spring stock from Louise Gray (above) and Ashley Williams (below).
Machine-A, located at 13 Brewer Street in London, will open on February 17.
London’s fashion boom has been a particular boon for menswear, and as of last June, the city inaugurated its own menswear weekend to recognize it. I was glad to be in the early guard of editors who made the trip, alongside Style.com’s Tim Blanks, who serves on the Menswear Committee of the event, and came away impressed with the energy and individualism of the city’s designers. Even the youngest—the trio of Agi & Sam, Shaun Samson, and Astrid Andersen, who showed collectively as part of the MAN show—had more courage of their convictions than many far more seasoned labels in New York or elsewhere. And while everyone agreed that the start was an auspicious one, the unofficial consensus among the attendees I spoke to was that the week could use a few tentpoles from the big-time ranks to solidify its position and round out its offerings. The provisional schedule, announced today by the BFC, suggests it is getting just that. London is still extremely supportive of its emerging set—eBay and the mayor of London are teaming up for a Fashion Forward sponsorship, which will be extended as in seasons past to Christopher Shannon, E.Tautz, and J.W. Anderson, and for the first time, to the promising Lou Dalton—but several more established houses are planning to show as well. Alexander McQueen (a look from the Spring ’13 collection is at left) and Tom Ford, both of whom previously presented by appointment in Milan, will show in London; Savile Row’s own Hardy Amies, which showed in Paris, joins as well. More to follow? To be seen. In the meantime, to catch up on London’s Spring 2013 show coverage on Style.com, click here.
After a more leisurely opening day, London ramped up the action considerably for Day 2 of its nascent London Collections: Men. Sibling’s first runway show had bodies in the seats at the unfriendly hour of 9 a.m., a requirement that proved worth it when their gold-flecked riot gear took the stage. E. Tautz’s Patrick Grant required a firm commitment from his guests, too, with a Wapping show space—his new studio#8212;farther afield than most. Once showgoers did secure cabs and made the journey out east, their perseverance was rewarded with a show about, appropriately enough, an explorer in foreign lands.
Traveling man segued into MAN, London’s group show for select up-and-comers. London is now quite good at supporting its young, and the heartening thing is, its young are quite good at supporting it. Happily, the three labels of MAN—Astrid Andersen, Agi & Sam, and Shaun Samson—were three of the most exciting of any seen so far. Andersen’s dark, sensual take on sportswear—as in, for sports—included sheer jerseys paneled with fur and boxing shorts worn over lace tights, mixing masculinity, sensuality, and exoticism is a way that at times recalled Riccardo Tisci. Her collection (pictured), she said backstage, owes something to the calm of her native Copenhagen and something to the turbulence of her adopted London—”and it’ll sell in Tokyo,” she added with a laugh. Shaun Samson, the most developed of the bunch, looked more than ready for his own show next season. The California native and Central Saint Martins grad added subtlety to the pieces he’s known for, like the felted and needlepunched chimera tunics, here worn over complementary pants. They gave way to low-slung, baggy shorts embellished in disco-ball silver with hand-embroidered tops whose silver beading made them look like gorgeous motherboards. There was a nineties flavor to the sagging plaids and ironic T-shirts—printed with Kawaii kittens, some sporting piercings to undermine the effect—and backstage, Samson cited Clueless as a point of reference. Continue Reading “Letter from London:
The Men’s Collections, Day 2″ »