A year on from the first London Collections: Men and Fashion East swapped Carlton Gardens-their home for the last two seasons-for Covent Garden’s Mercer Street Studios. The last time we queued to gape and gawp it was dark, this time round the sun shone and the Red Stripe, almost flowed. It was 10:30 in the morning after all.
Kit Neale continued the love affair with SE15, as the ‘Whammy!’ collection debuted the ‘Peckham Riviera’ print; a second print named ‘Love Shack’ was inspired by the B52’s song. While the former recreated the play mats that filled the classrooms of our youth, the latter was more likely to be seen hanging as curtains in the house of a particularly whacky aunt. Produced as clothing, the two contributed to a more refined collection (no wipe clean puffa coats here) that even included a shirt and tie.
The ‘Twitter highlight’ of his work was not an exotic print-for which he is most known-but a sweatshirt with the logo ‘Perfectly Fried Chicken’. As anyone who’s delved down Rye Lane will tell you, fried chicken rules supreme as the number one all day snack.
‘A chance to breath and take notice of the world around us undistracted by noise and chaos’ was how Tom Ryling proposed SS14, according to his press release. New to the Fashion East nest along with Liam Hodges, his bow has many strings besides designing, namely writing and photography.
For his debut his boys wore black berets and red shoes and socks, their torsos dressed up in bleached denim, hessian and clear plastic. Texture and layering were key, while his background in fine art was a clear component of what he presented.
Joseph Turvey politely called his collection ‘No.4’, referring to how many collections he’s produced since university. In contrast with AW13, colour was prominent with the models hair even receiving a lick of paint. The set mirrored the clothes, with a clean white base smothered in thin blocks of blue, pink and orange.
The clothes themselves featured illustration, applique and quilting, the latter a collaboration with heritage brand, Lavenham. Along with Neale, Turvey’s felt the most mature of the bunch, not because a suit featured (navy, streamlined, worn with a knit reminiscent of his AW12 collection), but due to an air of quality that surrounded it.
‘Girls like Marques’ Almeida and Boys like Marques’ Almeida’ was probably the best title Marques’ Almeida could have given their menswear line. Much more about giving guys an excuse to wear what girls wear then giving guys something completely new, the Opening Ceremony exclusive focused on the denim camouflage that featured in the women’s AW13 collection.
For their part in the room, two girls and two guys sat below a projection of the short film the pair made. Simple, lo-fi, perfectly in-sync with the label’s aesthetic.
The second new addition to the gang, Liam Hodges’ presented probably our favourite scene. Six guys on a sofa, TV flickering, things taped to the wall, beer cans and fairy lights at their feet; the stuff of student dreams.
In fact, his inspiration came from Morris dancing, or rather ‘putting Morris into clothes that’d make me wanna go out dancing with Morris’ the press release noted. This translated as printed jersey and denim, hats, jackets and baggy shorts. Black and white were used throughout with green, brown and blue also making an appearance.
And lastly there was Craig Green. Hero to many following MAN two days previous, Green showcased his collaboration with Purified footwear on wooden frames. Next to the shoes-simple leather slip-ons with a black strip-hung the sculptures that had swallowed models heads at MAN. Fantastic creations of white, black and tie-dye, it gave a feeling that an art exhibition was being staged in the centre of the room.
Another banger from Team Lulu then.
Words and photography: Zoe Whitfield
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