Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Fashion East Menswear Installations SS13

Nothing quite represents the diversity of London menswear design talent quite like the Fashion East Menswear Installations. Ever since they were introduced to the London fashion week schedule back in 2009, I've excitedly bounced from room to room inside its various incarnations uncovering the beautiful alongside the wonderful and even the unusual at every opportunity. The platform provides discovery at every turn for us whilst offering invaluable exposure for the designers themselves and often acts as a springboard for them. The likes of Matthew Miller, Martine Rose and Agi&Sam have all gone onto MAN, NEWGEN and the solo catwalk schedule. Each season the next generation of menswear heavyweights present their collections using a combination of static exhibits, live models and multimedia. This season's were the biggest ever. Set in a luxurious Georgian townhouse overlooking The Mall, this melting pot of emerging design talent had the pulse of my eyeballs racing as I excitedly buzzed my way from each designer's vision of the new season.

Over the course of two full afternoons the grandiose setting of Carlton Gardens were a true celebration of London menswear. From the debut menswear collection of Maarten Van Der Horst and return of Meadham Kirchoff to the mouth watering lineup of Kit Neale, T.Lipop, Craig Green, William Richard Green, Duffy and Lee Roach (to name but a few), those fortunate enough to wander the space were left dizzy, drunk on design.  Having been under the weather this season I was unable to go to both days but enjoyed the Saturday lineup immensely. Here's a closer look at a few of my favourites...

William Richard Green

My first stop was William Richard Green's 'anti-postcard' view of Britain with his military inspired exploration of utilitarian attire. Given that we've already discussed the designer's inspirations for this season, we won't go in to too much detail again but rather take your hand and lead you on a visual journey of 'Home Is Where The Heart Is' whilst introducing you to the Veriform figures donning the collection. This is my kind of flag waving...

Highlights include  the transformable bomber jacket come coat, the storm flapped waterproof and the fruits of Green's collaboration with Brady Bags.

Building on the success of his Central Saint Martins MA collection, Craig Green continues his fascination with the delicate interplay of light and dark but approaches it with a renewed subtlety. Playing with the balance of tones within a palette of white and cream the design talent creates a collection that longs to be softly stroked. A self proclaimed DIY enthusiast, Green has carefully treated each one of the fifteen garments as an individual project whilst celebrating British tradition. From crinkle washed calico, cotton knitting yarn, mohair, screen printed suede and muslin cheesecloth and the application of unusual finishing, the physical potential of each fabric is vigorously explored to create considered and exciting clothing... 

Soft and delicate, Craig Green has created a collection that longs for your touch.

Following a successful debut presentation back in February, Kit Neale returned to the Fashion East talent roster with his vision and portrayal of suburban and multicultural Britian. Soundtracked by Chas&Dave, his 'One Fing 'N' Annuver' collection pays homage to his hometown of Peckham and the ever eccentric British seaside whilst peppered with Acid House reference. The result is a heady cocktail of dazzling and smile inducing prints amongst icons of home. Having grown up in Margate I instantly spotted the symbols of my hometown. Reebok classics and giant Argos bought sovereign rings were my youth after all. I recommend listening to Chas&Dave's hit 'Margate' as you pore over the below...

"Down to Margate, you can keep the Costa Brava, I'm telling ya mate I'd rather have a day down Margate with all me family..."

Home sweet home.

Showing for the second time as part of the Fashion East Menswear installations, T. Lipop took our outstretched hand and took us on a sartorial journey of Mexico with his 'Day Of The Dead' inspired installation. As Susie was exploring Mexico City and buying all manner of cultural artefacts, we explored Lipop's floral and cultural explosion....

Highlights included floral trousers, fine embroidery work and the fruits of the collaboration with Del Toro.

These picks only account for one third of the design talent on show over the course of two afternoons of Fashion East Menswear Installations. It truly is a melting pot of excitement and wonder.


Matthew Spade said...

why didn't i go again!? at least you're doing some good coverage. Kit Neale stuff is my fav

Sam said...

Great styles. Absolutely love Kit Neale too.

Duck said...

Loved the venue but seriously toooo faarrr awayyy. I got so exhausted I couldn't be bothered going back the next day to see Meadham Kirchhoff. Thank God for Twitter/Instagram.

As with the others above, Kit Neale was probably my favourite (who thought lobsters could be made surreal all over again?) along with Maarten van der Horst (from what I could see through the dark).


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