I have to admit that there was a time on Wednesday when I became a little overcome by the hustle and bustle combined with the waiting and waiting over in the tents...thankfully there was a safe haven of creative talent close by. I only had to cross the road over to the stunning Old Embassy Building to see Fashion East’s specially curated menswear installations and I felt a whole better in doing so! A few of my favourite emerging designers were given free rein to do as they wish with their room in the house. In two posts today I want to turn your attention to the wonderful worlds created by Jaiden rVa James and Katie Eary as captured by me (I need to a camera upgrade!)
First up, Jaiden RVA James. For A/W 08, my favourite emerging design duo took a dark turn towards the character of Orphelia and conjured up many talking points with a mix of floral skirts, PVC bondage trousers and straight jackets. The collection featured marvellous collaborations with J. Smith Esquire and Schott. I loved how the design duo explored masculinity and femininity trying to push conceptions of what a man could and should wear. Why can't men wear floral skirts? They allow more freedom and movement than trousers and this collection proves that men can look great, are you brave enough to show a little more leg?
The relationship between menswear and social constructs of masculinity is such an interesting subject and one both myself and EJ are keen to discuss. The difficulty lies in the fact that social ideas of masculinity have shifted over the course of history and what was acceptable centuries ago is now frowned upon and even laughed at, but why? Jaiden RVA James have started the discussion and we will explore if further in subsequent posts. In fact, Katie Eary's aesthetic similarly explore a new kind of androgyny which is far more exciting than the usual androgyny which frequently entails women wearing suits.