HEIR APPARENT; A-COLD-WALL LOOKS AHEAD

Then the rain came. After two days of soaring temperatures and sunshine, Monday morning in London began as it all too often does; with cloudy skies and bad-tempered traffic jams, torrents of rain and flailing umbrellas. And instead of the weekend’s sun-kissed, open-air venues, Samuel Ross dragged his audience into the depths of an old printing works-turned-nightclub complex.


A-Cold-Wall* Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in London. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

It’s been a busy few days for Ross. On Thursday, he’d opened a pop-up A-Cold-Wall* store in the Truman Brewery; on Friday, the first teaser of his upcoming collaboration with Diesel’s Red Tag Project (following in the footsteps of Shayne Oliver and Glenn Martens) dropped online. Yesterday an upcoming tie-up with Converse was announced – and last night, rounding off London’s 2020 schedule, he was awarded the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund for 2019 – a bursary of £150,000, which he plans to deploy to focus on expanding the brand internationally. On the jury, Dior’s Kim Jones – whose London debut, almost two decades ago, heralded the dawn of London’s menswear renaissance – explained the designer’s appeal; ‘a British home grown talent with a global view.’

A-Cold-Wall* Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in London. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

With a pipeline of development that promising – and a burgeoning global audience hungrily following Ross’s every move – it hardly seemed to matter what A-Cold-Wall* actually showed. But it was interesting to note how stripped-back his show was (both in terms of staging, and of aesthetic) compared to previous seasons. Dusty whites, storm greys, and flat black layers alternated with bursts of rust and deep, high-gloss greens and blues; harnesses and hoodies alternated with glossy trench coats, ruched sweaters, and sleek tailoring – all stamped with utility pockets, statement zips, and safety harnesses, reinforcing the ominous, protective aesthetic that’s long underpinned the brand’s appeal.

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