“I was looking at people who are so natural in their clothing, they think they’re blending in, but they’re totally not. There’s a real freedom to it,” said Long. The flag bearer for London-centric individuality and creative license found interest in the antithesis to what’s in vogue. The look was one of Goldsmith kids, so at one with their sense of self, chugging a pint of beer inconspicuously in an unknown pub in Peckham, but still managing to make it a thing. They are the types that bring the party with them, turning their lo-fi regular hangout into the next “it” spot overnight. Tossing together ruffles, patchwork denim, riotous hand-painted swashes, tie dye, and patterned knits into a lethal cocktail of textures; the deliciously spontaneous styling was reminiscent of the morning after a legendary night out. Models still had glitter smeared on their brows as they walked down with unabashed ease.
Long’s clothes are the very opposite of studied carelessness that many try to mimic when channeling London cool. The informality of his fabrication straddled the fine balance between gauche and genius. The characterization of the James Long customer is so evolved that the hand of the designer almost felt invisible through all that fabric maneuvering. At times you forget you’re looking at freshly minted clothes. This collection also sees the return of James Davison’s sketches on sweatshirts after the artist’s hit cameo last season. Long’s approach of making his clothes a by-product of real-life characters rather than designing to arbitrary concepts gives his collection a certain documentary-style believability that is nothing but a breath of fresh air.