Pokémon prints, khaki, flowing cuts and a raft of young talent were among the standout features of London’s Fashion Week Men’s, which ended on Monday after three days of catwalk shows.
With the big names of British fashion, most notably Burberry, abandoning the men’s version of Fashion Week in favor of presenting mixed collections during the main event, the path was clear for young designers to make their mark with their Autumn/Winter 2019 wardrobes. Nigerian-born designer Mowalola Ogunlesi, who graduated in 2017 from the prestigious Central Saint Martins, was one of those to grasp the opportunity.
Ogunlesi, stylist on a recent video for rapper Skepta, has been earmarked as one of London’s rising fashion stars, displaying his collection under the banner of the Fashion East talent incubator. On the menu, a sexy and inventive wardrobe celebrating African culture with tawny patterns and tight trousers with low waists in khaki, blue and grey.
Christopher Raeburn presented his eco-fashion wardrobe, marked by sophisticated canvas pants and winter parkas worn with Cuban caps. Green gave way to olive at Hussein Chalayan’s show and his minimalist, geometric wardrobe that included trousers made of removable parts to adapt to the weather. The Turkish-British designer’s muted camouflage palette was broken by bold flashes of fluorescent yellow.
Also playing on contrasts, Danish designer Astrid Andersen matched traditional autumn brown with vibrant blue azure, as though welcoming the season’s first flakes of snow. Fluidity was the watchword for young British designer Craig Green, with his collection of lightweight and comfortable raincoats with oversized hoods like bridal gowns. Compatriot Edward Crutchley showed off his more High Street friendly collection, revealing his Japanese influence with long, kimono-style jackets.
He described the collection as representing “a sartorial, no-frills attitude” where “signature roomy silhouettes have been slimmed down in homage to the no-nonsense tailoring of mid-1980s Japanese and American” ready-to-wear. British designer Bobby Abley cemented his reputation for playfulness by mining Japanese cartoon phenomenon Pokémon for inspiration. Pikachu, Charmander and Squirtle, three creatures from the famous franchise, adorned sweatshirts and jogging pants, worn with Docs Martens and stetsons.
Events took a darker turn with Chinese designer Xander Zhou, who drew on his own “fears” with intriguing combinations of faux fur in a yeti style, complete with shark fins and wolf masks. Bulgarian Kiko Kostadinov took an even more unsettling path with his collection inspired by cult horror film “Ring” (1998).
Like the ghost that haunts Hideo Nakata’s feature film, his models marched with their faces hidden by long black hair. Unisex label “Art School” surprised the London public by parading men in dresses and miniskirts for its very first solo show at Fashion Week.-AFP