Nostalgia, it’s a bit of a thing at LCM. Of course fashion goes hand in hand with it – that’s where we all get inspiration from at one point or another. So yesterday we had Bobby Abley plundering the Disney archive for Aladdin references; today Agi & Sam kicked things off with a collection that riffed on homespun charm and had a hint of granny chic about it, playing with that magpie-dressing mentality that we have so seen in womenswear of late. Cameos, headscarves, and plenty of plaid, blasts from the past didn’t stop there – Only Fools & Horses’ Del Boy, aka Derek Trotter, too made for an appearance on one T-shirt. Now that was the money shot – blink and you missed it. But what you didn’t miss was a well-executed collection that explored the elegance of layering and the roles of men and women today and in the past – which accounted for the marigold-style gloves. As has become a hallmark of this pair’s work, faces were decorated, this time pressed with flowers, which was pretty and replaced the Lego of seasons before. But that’s about as far-out as it got: the styling, which makes this pair's offering a clever combination, one that sits between being innovative but wearable, a tricky line to tread and get right.
Une photo publiée par NOWFASHION (@nowfashion) le 11 Juin 2016 à 3h36 PDT
Plundering the past further was Tiger of Sweden, via a trip to Versailles and the Kungliga Swedish royal palace, inspired by the former’s opulence and baroque sensibilities at the time. What was clever here was the translation of “baroque opulence” into a brand that is typically Scandinavian in its sense of style restraint. By its very nature baroque isn't restrained, or quiet, or calm. But no problem. Tapestry jackets and two-pieces were utilitarian in design to make them totally within the realms of tame – this was the answer. Men would and could wear this. It was a sophisticated slant on streetwear which went down well (this a collection that cropped up in conversation on more than one occasion post-show) with some costume numbers thrown in towards the end but still managed to maintain a wholly modern aesthetic.
At Fashion East there were further nostalgic elements to be found in the work of Rottingdean Bazaar, the combined efforts of James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks, each of whom graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 and 2012 respectively. It was in 2015 the pair decided to pool their creative forces – between them having previously had fingers in both design, media, and styling pies – and work together. It was a decision that took them to the seaside village of Rottingdean (ah, it makes sense now), where they began to build up their work via found objects. How this translated into fashion terms was very clever: more pressed flowers; fresh tennis socks, balloons, bras, and, basically, bits for flotsam and jetsam pressed onto pristine white sweatshirts, T-shirts, and tunics. It’s such a simple idea. Why didn’t anyone… oh they did! And it looked great. This will be a label we’re bound to hear more from and one that will be more than a little bit interesting to see where they go next and how.
Une photo publiée par NOWFASHION (@nowfashion) le 11 Juin 2016 à 10h28 PDT
Nasir Mazhar is a stalwart when it comes to the London fashion scene and of late he’s been the centre of fashion chat because of his decision to take everything about his business in-house. Ditch the middle-man – aka the wholesale element – and do things on his terms. It’s a move that has got other designers talking and thinking, too. Now, aside from a few selected retail partners, his designs will only be available via his website: today’s collection showed that to be his signature blend of counter-culture, underpinned by trousers and shorts that boasted exposed knees with ruched circular holes, lots of silver and khaki and crochet tracksuits for a 90s hip hop mash-up, complete with thumping music for a Saturday morning rave.
Calm and serenity was restored by the end of the day, though – Matthew Miller seducing with his blend of beautifully cut and contemporary tailoring which always comes with a subtle rebellious streak through slogans and affixations. Today the former were pinned on and badges, too, plentifully filled T-shirts, jackets, lapels. Not-quite bows draped on great bomber-biker hybrids and one leather jacket sat neatly and innovatively under a suit one. Miller has refined his aesthetic to a new level of sophistication and elegance over the past few seasons and is seriously showing off his skill set – there's stuff for the girls too. And among it, there’s a quiet anarchy – his inspiration for this collection in part coming from skinhead culture, and then re-designing it with a combination of cultural styles.