4 posts tagged "Topman Design"
Jo-Ann Furniss reports on the highs and lows of London fashion week’s dedicated menswear day.
Fat Tuesday swiftly followed by Ash Wednesday, excess followed by penance. London fashion week’s MAN Day had the luck to fall on the latter this season. After the heady womenswear week closing on Tuesday, was it the turn of the sackcloth and ashes of menswear for Wednesday? Not quite; there were still some traces of carnival in the first day of Lent, even if at times they looked like the discarded remnants.
Earlier in the week, knit line Sibling’s carnival-referencing women’s collection, Sister, had been presented, alongside a few looks from the men’s—it made their best outing yet. But for the full men’s presentation on MAN Day, the party was over: Designers Joe Bates, Sid Bryan, and Cozette McCreery created an installation (pictured, above) in the form of a prison visiting room with a clever film by Sam Renwick and Thomas Bryant. It was in the shape of a triptych echoing the visiting booths, complete with telephone connections to the sound. “It’s where a matriarch might visit a son. Or vice versa,” Bates said. Yet the clothes were still their bright, excessive selves even behind bars. Called Marked Man, with designs based partly on prison tattoos, there was as much of the matriarch in the collection as there was the jailbird. An institutional bright orange was combined with pink ocelot spots in a men’s twinset. Their signature Fair Isle knits were further warped with the seamless addition of a skull with pompom ears blended into the traditional patterns. (It reflected the pompom-decorated full face masks and beanies also on view.) At once sinister and sweet, carnivalesque and penitential, there was something quite Leigh Bowery and Trojan in these proceedings that felt very true to the spirit of London. At the same time, Sibling’s output is so accomplished as to hold a global audience with ease.
Christopher Shannon’s catwalk was the first thing you noticed at his show. The brilliant backdrop was by the all-round creative and too-many-credits-to-mention Julie Verhoeven. “Creatively, I trust her implicitly,” said Shannon backstage. “I did want that inside of a Hoover bag vibe.” That’s certainly what he got. The set featured old tires, strewn pink net curtains with bricks caught in them, abandoned foil balloons in the shape of love hearts, and the bottom half of a female shop dummy, among other violent after-party detritus. At their best, the clothes and accessories had something of this random perversity, too; a broderie anglaise shirt with a ruffled back, a jacket covered in the designer’s swing tags, and a rucksack decorated with innumerable key rings. “We started excessive and pared back,” said the designer, yet there was maybe a bit too much paring back or, ultimately, the simple color palette of navy, white, sand, and black was a little too conservative or too flat to really help make some of the interesting points he was driving at. Continue Reading “At London’s MAN Day, A Dance With Decadence And Repentance” »
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” So said Gore Vidal, yet this statement could easily be applied to the best of the designers at London fashion week’s Man Day.
There was something peculiarly British and personal about much that was on offer this season. Our particular genre of sportswear was mined mercilessly. It is something that many of the young designers showing here were weaned on from school age, and it was always much more about style in its appropriation rather than fashion. Christopher Shannon, Martine Rose, Matthew Miller, and New Power Studio were all treading on this territory. Yet at its best, this initial inspiration took flight into something much less nostalgic and into something much more personal and fashion focused—these are fashion shows and collections, after all—spliced together in a hybridized way to become much more theatrical.
This was true of the best elements in Christopher Shannon’s collection (above), which lifted them away from just going through the sportswear motions of “scally drag.” His tasseled pieces had that decorative and tribal element that was also emerging in many of the shows (he explained he had been looking at the African photography of Pieter Hugo), and his “comb crowns” reinforced this peculiar point. Continue Reading “Jo-Ann Furniss On London’s Man Day” »
London, like most of the great global cities, is one divided. The same is true of its fashion, especially its menswear. On the one hand there is the Dickensian decrepitude of the East End, the home to much of the young design talent, who use it as a playground for experimentation. The recently graduated Saint Martin’s and Royal College students rule that particular roost. Up West is seemingly a different story. This is the site of Savile Row, Jermyn Street and Saint James’, with all their sonorous, distinctly English, gentlemanly connotations and the tailoring traditions that are the finest in the world.
On London Fashion Week’s annual MAN Day, devoted exclusively to menswear shows, the surface contrast between East and West is never starker, and this season it was starkest of all. But what emerged in the best fashion was at times a strange shared ethos of extremes. Often, the more extreme the approach, the better.
Topman Design (top left) offered its most accomplished collection to date, with very little high street about it. Inspired by Brassaï’s Paris street photography and the style of gypsy and traveler men, the heavy Harris tweed suiting, paisley silks and a section of naval-braided evening wear harked back to a different era. “Romany princes” creative consultant Alister Mackie called his well-cast boys. “There was an idea of thirties and fifties clothing being worn in the eighties, passed down through successive generations and classes,” he said.”It was a statement of elegance, that made the grimy feel glamorous.” Continue Reading “The Wilder, The Better At London Menswear’s MAN Day” »
Jo-Ann Furniss, editor in chief of Arena Homme+, reports from London fashion week’s MAN Day for Style.com.
One of the great things about MAN Day is the radically different perspectives on offer, perspectives that somehow all seem to get along famously. There are none of the handbags-at-dawn shenanigans of womenswear, so the faultless Savile Row tailoring traditions of E. Tautz can literally sit next to the punky, poppy, yet brilliantly accomplished knitwear of Sibling in Somerset House. (Sibling’s collection film by the photographer Alasdair McLellan was also one of the standout moments of the day.) Many of these fledgling London-based menswear and accessories designers have matured into forces to be reckoned with on an international stage this season, while at the same time losing none of their sense of fun and a take on a wider pop culture that seems more relevant than ever for fashion in the city.
This influence of musical subcultures was found in many of the shows, more precisely, the sixties and the seventies seen through the filter of the nineties. This was the case at Topman Design (above), who presented the sort of thrift shop boys you used to see in London idolizing West Coast psychedelia and wanting to be Bobby Gillespie, in effortless washed silk shirts and crumpled parkas. Continue Reading “At London Fashion Week, MAN Power” »