Topman's petri dish of new talent, MAN, is looking increasingly like the sort of thing people think of when they think of full-blown fashion mentalness.
For Martine Rose, vivid colour and graphic print were the order of the day in a collection that fused “90’s punk nonchalance Vs Hip Hop style from the same era”. Felipe Rojas Llanos’ collection had all the ingredients that make up a comprehensive menswear collection: men in sheer sporty fabric with little shorts, odd music, the full shebang. The colour palette was a sensitive combination of cement, cobalt and royal blues. The highlight of the collection was what amounted to deconstructed, ethereal cobalt blue parka that was pretty brilliant.
Following this, New Power Studio ripped a hole in the otherwise tranquil vista. Though the label has been showing wearable, engaging and thoughtful collections over recent seasons, NPG has a knack of making interesting casual bits that slot straight into a modern wardrobe. For S/S ’11, they dealt the off-the-wall madness stroke with what initially looked like a formation shoulder jumper-ing display as four models/dancers hopped into view with neck/shoulder drapings and connected sleeves. However, turns out the tracksuit/jim-jam-be-decked quartet were styled with generous swathes of pastel coloured toilet paper. Distracting, at best, from wearable, feasible style. We managed not to notice a small child in a ruck sack that everyone was talking about later... We might add that the dance element was very superior hopping, with at least one Michael Clark dancer involved, hence the oversight.
Knit and outerwear specialist Carolyn Massey took us back onto the ground (or more specifically the harbour) with a collection of wholesome dingy-sailing based nautically inspired kit. Quayside men’s kagool cache was evident in her pull-on sailing jackets and her interpretations of Breton striped knits were the sort of pieces we could see low-key style fans sporting with confidence. A bright cobalt blue summer parka with cinched waist was a favourite piece for those of us who acknowledge terrace outwear credentials. Earthy action style for the outdoor savvy I’d call it. Brilliant outwear and sophisticated mannish knits is all her. She’s gonna be making pieces for men who care about such mannish) values in years to come, trust.
Is it possible to be enigmatic at 27, (and while showing only your second collection)? Not sure. Regardless Mr. Adrian Sauvage is certainly intent on creating an atmosphere around himself and his brand. While refusing to yield to our camera, he and his partner George Lamb have produced a short black and white film which screened yesterday. His collection of elegant, masculine and tres suave suiting was showcased in a Sixties style art film skit, with dashes of Magritte-esque surrealism. A series of dramatic voice-over exclamations and questions in a strong American accent courtesy of Larry Lamb laid out the Sauvage manifesto. Slick, unfussy and classic suiting and formal wear that will appeal to men who wear suits because they want to, not because they have to (types who might normally drop Lanvin and Jil Sander tailoring). The films theme was ‘D.E’, or dress easy, taking the fashion dilemmas out of men’s dressing using Sauvage’s sheer style logic. On screen, Sauvage himself walks, reclines, ponders and even dances in his gear. It’s very stylish, also funny at times, Grazia Daily repeatedly LOL’d in the small audience, whether we were supposed to or not. We’re loving the collection and the ethos, especially as the brand is managing to deliver that key element of fashion frequently neglected: entertainment; alongside a slice of brilliantly sharp style.
- Tom Stubbs