LC:M DAY ONE
Elegant brutality and masculine sensitivity at London Collections: Men
by KOD Staff
Day One of London Collections: Men is dominated by elegant brutality and an East German aesthetic. Matthew Miller’s show saw skinheads in sharply cut fabrics, lending the collection a utilitarian feel. With hints of revolution, dystopian manifestos were printed onto oversized scarves – the models wore slogans such as “we will build utopia” and “rent life”.
Miller, who went to Berlin for the first time last year, chose a clip from neo-Nazi gang film Romper Stomper to represent this season’s work. “We’re here to wreck everything” a shaved head says to his quivering victim.
Astrid Anderson also adheres to the bad-boy theme. Citing the movie ‘Only God Forgives’ as the season’s inspiration, she revealed ‘I’m fascinated with these boys who are so hard but then they’re also so sensitive”. In her pieces, male sensitivity comes to life in very feminine currents – long hair, fluid shapes and satin.
Even Lou Dalton’s acid wash jeans and laced up boots would not look out of place in socialist East Germany. But for the designer, the collection is more personal. “It’s a man I know well”, she said. Her work re-creates the farmhands of her youth with bleached denim, glimpses of camouflage and ballooning roll necks. Referencing Dorothea Lange’s photographs of migrant farmers, she evokes a long history of traditional work-wear.
The utilitarian theme continues in Craig Green’s collection. The designer’s ‘anti digital’ ethos came to life in print on print fabrics which were teamed with functional work-wear. Topman reveled in the idea of functional fashion, literally drenching their models in an apocalyptic rain storm. Lee Roach also incorporated wet hair and dewy complexions in a show dominated by 90s minimalism.
Bobby Abley transformed his models into nightmarish Mickey Mouse characters. With their mouths forced into unsettling O shapes by metal braces, the models took menacing shapes – with hulk shoulders and horned hats. Accompanied by stuffed teddies, they referenced childhood terrors and the vulnerability of the adult male.
Jonathan Saunders re-imagines sportswear in print and silk, stating that his vision takes the form of ‘balletic pikeys’.
Primarily it was the tension between delicacy and brutality that defined Day One. Watch this space for an update on Day Two.