Thursday, 24 June 2010

RCA MA Graduate Showcase: Damion Le Cappelain

Damion Le Cappelian's spiral zip boots forced me to rethink square toes...

RCA's MA graduate show is undoubtedly one of the most exciting places to discover the fashion stars of the future. The press show took place at the College in the Henry Moore Gallery on 10 June 2010 and I was able to admire a gathering of some of the best menswear design talent to be be unleashed this year. Damion Le Cappelain’s footwear caught the eye – and raised a smile to many visitors including myself. Now, I normally run a mile when I catch sight of a square toe. I have far too many memories of Margate 'geezers' wearing sharp rectangular toe loafers with their ill fitting jeans and tight, unbuttoned party shirts. Shudder. However, Le Cappelain's designs were different, they were strangely intriguing. Perhaps it was the exploding nature of the toe. After waltzing in and out of his exhibition space I began imagining myself wearing his creations..

Le Cappelain's entire collection in sketch form

Le Cappelain has a graphic design background, having designed websites and music packaging for various bands including Basement Jaxx. He earned a diploma in Footwear from the London College of Fashion before studying Menswear at the RCA where he specialised in footwear design. Last year we reported on the Brioni and RCA award where Le Cappelain was rewarded for his tailoring. Now his ambition is to develop new concepts in footwear, such as footwear creations designed for an art space or exhibition. Here his chunky, uncompromising shapes for men featured emerging, exploding square toe cap details and cutaways – adding a fun, almost ‘cartoon’ element to the designs.

Two of my favourite designs, including the spiral zip boot.

Gladiator Zip boot.

A close up on an exploding toe.

Three layer boot.

One cut Oxford.

A complete look showcasing the thigh boot.

Another look at those spiral zip boots.

Ordinarily, the thought of wearing square toed shoes turns my stomach but Damion Le Cappelain, through his experimentation and disfiguration, has forced me to rethink my stance.

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