Agi & Sam are no longer the new kids on the block. When they handed over the reigns as “Emerging Menswear Designer of the Year” to Craig Green at the most recent British Fashion Awards, it felt like a rite of passage. The council’s endorsement and their natural popularity could not have been more helpful in launching a brand. Such early successes however could prove cataclysmic to some designers, particularly when the focus gets diverted to producing “critically-acclaimed” collections rather than honing in their personal voice. Today Agi & Sam presented a show that brought back the emphasis precisely on the latter, reminding us why they are so endearing in the first place: just a pair of British lads “doing their own thing”.
Fall/Winter 2015 began with a trip to Agi’s family home in Yorkshire where he discovered old drawings of a collection titled “The Coolman Collection”, conceived at the tender age of 4. It then sparked the idea of involving primary school students from Agi’s alma mater tasked to sketch out their dream clothes. The result was a deeply personal offer free of grown up inhibitions.
Crayola-tones or Piet Mondrian colour-blocking –- depending on your preferred cup of tea –- accented the collection. Household tailoring segued into more deconstructed shapes, with clever Velcro seams barely piecing the patterns together. The fit was just slightly oversized, like kids playing dress up. The comparisons to Comme des Garcons and Jacquemus, via the cutouts and paneling, were inevitable. But the Lego facemasks employed sparingly were just enough to etch the collection into people’s minds.
Truth be told, Agi & Sam outwitted the audience today, many of whom came to the show expecting bigger and grander from London’s most promising designers. But a collection designed by a precious 4-year old Agi gets a Carte Blanche any day. Thankfully, an escape clause wasn’t what they needed today.