Politics & Power Rangers: Welcome to 2017!

When the world is falling down around us (which it is, by the way), there’s only ever one of two things to do: protest and take a stand about it, or wish yourself away to a fictitious fantasy land where the idea of goodies and baddies seems straightforward and solvable enough. Luckily, fashion facilitates both such options. And on the first day of the newly crowned London Fashion Week Men’s (you may have recollections of it being called London Collections: Men – no more), both trains of thought came into play – as, of course, did a spot of the ongoing effect of Vetements-Balenciaga ie. big boxy shapes and oversized tailoring. Come this time next year and it will be time to move on. But what we’re talking about is politics and Power Rangers (move over Disney). Step forward Liam Hodges and Bobby Abley, respectively. 


Bobby Abley Fashion Show Menswear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)


You’d have to be living on a different planet right now not to be aware and affected by the turmoil we find ourselves in at the beginning of 2017. We might have waved goodbye to 2016 but, frankly, that doesn’t mean 2017 is going to be any better. Which made Liam Hodges’ dystopian vision all the more apt: the Royal College of Art graduate took the line “Looking for a vocation in the decline of civilisation” by performance poet Hector Aponysus as his starting point, the result of which made for slogan-ed street and casualwear imbued with military references along with Mad Max and A Clockwork Orange styling notes which, sure, a little on the doom-and-gloom spectrum of things in terms of apocalyptic inspiration, didn’t actually turn out as doom and gloom in physicality: these were easy-to-wear pieces filled with character and personality, Hodges was out to find some light in all the dark with a streetcast show to prove his clothes have individual appeal. It also came with a healthy dose of angst: T-shirts layered over long-sleeved T-shirts in typical teenage style, more slogans – “Ideology is a myth,” and robust puffa jackets. One imagines that over the next couple of days we’ll see more of the dystopian dream slip into collections, with the Autumn/Winter 2017 season created in the aftermath of Brexit and the onslaught of Trump. Hold. On. Tight. 


​​Liam Hodges Fashion Show Menswear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London (by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)


Which is why, sometimes, it’s nice to get away and pretend that you’re just a kid all over again; when the only concern you had was what time your favourite TV show was on (what we did back then pre-Netflix, Amazon TV, and the like). And so turn the clock back to 1993 and that, my friends, was Power Rangers, the very Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Finally, for those who harboured dreams of kapowing around in a catsuit over curtsying in a Disney princess dress, their dreams came true care of Bobby Abley. The designer – whose signature resides in childhood nostalgia; it was Aladdin last season and there’s always a bear about in his collections – put his own spin on those colourful costumes, turning them into sweatshirts complete with accompanying helmets, then added some of the fluffy stuff and some dinosaur graphics into the mix too. Hello my eight-year-old self. 


Bobby Abley Fashion Show Menswear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)


But like so many of the brands this season, Abley was also part of a line-up experimenting with the straight-to-store concept (see-now-buy-now, surely now a fashion contender of a word to enter the dictionary!), though that has almost become old news among all the changes happening right now – the menswear shows now becoming home to womenswear collections for some brands (Belstaff, Christopher RÆBURN, Nigel Cabourn, and YMC), while others have chosen to streamline themselves the same way but at the womenswear shows next month. If you can’t keep up, it’s probably best not to even try. Just take a peek at all the photos, which we conveniently have all here for you to look at instead. 


​​Bobby Abley Fashion Show Menswear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)


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