Review: Christopher George
LONDON FASHION WEEK MENS Came to town and did not disappoint.
This season we had an expressive arrangement of designers pushing narratives within their collections, as well as gender identity being a big part of the question on the cat walk.
Loose and easy fitting designs seemed to be a trend that is holding fast we are please to see at 55HQ.
Our modern man want room to breath, move around more freely, and be able to wear some items more feminine. We are fans of this approach and are never afraid to cross the dress code, and share items from both the male and female wardrobe.
We chose 5 designers to emphasise the diversity coming through for SS19.
Romantic sensibilities are seen through exaggerated and amphorous silhouettes, flowing tulle and hints of opulent costume. The dream-like and fantastical decadent patterns, castle-like ruffles and their signature use of pearls in accessories. The collection has a clear and precise message in its defiance of sociological binary norms and aims to be gender-fluid, cross-cultural and unafraid of self-expression.
Having loved the brand since its brith, 55 are alwasy first in the line to get access to Phoebe's shows. This season a mix form men remains utilitarian with block colours and tonal breaks. Loose is the way to dress for men as we are seeing across fashion. A direction taken by Pheobe to a more sports asociation, waxed cotton, textured shirting, waffle linen, bridal tulle, denim dense linen and light cottons; what is not to fall in love with yet again from this talented designer.
Inspired by a desert at dusk, the pleasure of exploration, synthetic strobe lights, the eerie lull of a London dawn. The collection was sharp with block colours and visually textured fabrics, creating movement, graphic contrasts and a dramatic presence. Working with volume and strapping, the BERTHOLD brand is really making a mark on mens fashion.
NEW & LINGWOOD at St James's
This heritage English brands celebration of men’s style, creativity and craftsmanship which took place in the heart of St James’s. With this seasons usa of zesty colours and a more loose tailoring for a simpler casual but smart look. New & Lingwood’s Jermyn Street store offers an informal service for a bespoke look away from the exclusivity usually surrounds London Fashion Week Men’s.
Outdoorsy but not, easy-wear slick trash and flames with everything. Inspired by Donna Tartt novel The Goldfinch, Hodges new collection SS19 hovers between the eclectic and trash of the urban misguided youth dossing around Las Vegas. A mix of styles coming together from leopard prints, Hawaiian shirts and cowboy boots creating a slant on alternative dress and a relaxed but quirky approach.
Review: Jaswant Bhachu
If you love a mod inspired look mixed in with some contemporary athletic trims, we have found the brand for you. The 55 team are always on the lookout for some stand out menswear; so when RESERVED got in touch with their latest launch, we had to take a closer look…
This is the third instalment of Re.Design by RESERVED which launches online and in-stores this week. Continuing on from the success of the first collection, Re.Design combines daring forward thinking design with surprising cuts and contemporary silhouettes.
Form and structure play an important role across denim; constructed from heavier fabrics the boxy silhouettes have pronounced shoulders with overlapping pockets. The two-piece denim offers a contemporary take on the classic double denim look.
Tasteful. Affordable. Fresh. A winning combination.
Article: Christopher George
The 25th anniversary of Viktor&Rolf couldn’t be better displayed than at the Kunsthal Museum, Rotterdam. The duo exhibited works spanning through extreme and unique career.
With Rotterdam barely an hour’s flight from the UK, it’s just as easy to pop over to the Netherlands as it can be travelling across London to see any exhibition. Personally, I find journeying to Rotterdam a far more enjoyable experience than battling the crowds and congestion of smoggy London. It has so much to offer with its wealth of chill time, architecture, arts and entertainment.
Recently, some of the biggest contemporary artists have opted to show their exhibition in the city of Rotterdam. Such as Jean Pail Gaultier in 2013, Peter Lindbergh in 2015, and most recently, the Viktor&Rolf Fashion Artists exhibition. Their 25 year retrospect at the Kunsthal Museum was curated by Canadian Thierry Maxime-Loriot.
Fortunately, 55 has managed to attend all the above exhibitions. One reason being, we love these contemporary artists and their unique vision of the fashion and art world. These artists often push the boundaries of acceptability and fashion itself. Also, we love Rotterdam and we will find any reason to spend a few days in this Utopian City. In fact, we even arm wrestle around the board table at 55factory to see who will bag the Rotterdam trips these days. And yes, I have been working my biceps out especially for the opening of the Viktor&Rolf Fashion Artists at the Kunsthal Museum. (It helps to be creative director).
75 spectacular items on display covered 25 years of the Viktor&Rolf fashion house. The Kunsthal Museum, with its ethos to make art accessible to the public, are exhibiting exclusive fashion to the public. Much like the Gaultier exhibition in 2013, (also curated by Thierry Maxime-Loriot), this new exhibition highlights Viktor&Rolf with huge video installations from the infamous duo’s legendary catwalk shows.
Viktor&Rolf are more than creators of pretty clothes. They are innovators of ideas through which they tell their stories. Each of their collections over the past 25 years are completely different to any other collection they have ever produced.
Working with obscure narratives, it remains clear who the designers are with their unique take on fashion, art and ideas.
The Viktor&Rolf collaboration began in a classroom at school in a small village, far, far away from the dizzy heights of hi-fashion and its exclusive culture. Both coming from simple working families, and equally solitary and reclusive characters, it is a huge contrast and achievement to be where they are 25 years later. Their unique story and stability in their relationship and creative friendship is inspiring to young, introverted designers globally.
In response to 55 asking the duo if the idea of working independently was something they would like to explore, and if working together for so long has had its issues... they replied:
“We have a great friendship and a hugely successful creative relationship for 25 years in fashion. We have our own individual private life of course, so its not like we are always together. But for us to have such a successful creative relations that has evolved from when we were children is unique, and we are both extremely fortunate to have this. At school we would dream of working together, and it is something we have done now for many years”
For Viktor&Rolf, art always has and will continue to be before fashion. Before entertaining and entering the fashion industry with their first show in 1993, the first 5 years in their initial collaboration completely revolved around experimental art and installation. Creating conceptual and avant-garde fashion shows, the pair changed the path of contemporary fashion forever.
Using their personal emotions and the opposition of fashion to be their creative inspiration. Language has also always been vastly important to Viktor&Rolf as their starting point. The visualisation of an idea only comes once the duo have eliminated items over long discussions. Neither being argumentative; it is a matter of finally agreeing over time with level-headedness rather than agitation.
After gaining everlasting fame at the beginning of the Viktor&Rolf fashion house journey, their name 'Viktor&Rolf' only became the brand due to the pair not actually having a brand name. On receiving prestigious awards in a short period of time as emerging designers, they were introduced as Viktor&Rolf and the rest is history.
With a wealth of over 25 years producing elaborate style and exotic design, they are known as much for their art as they are for their fashion. Often going against the grain of the norm and causing the best kind of friction within the fashion industry.
This has been a lifetime together, continually growing as a creative partnership.
For the luxury experience of the exhibition and an overnight stay in Rotterdam visit ‘The Viktor&Rolf VIP arrangement’ at the 5 star hotel Mainport. This offer includes an overnight stay in a City XL room, entrance to the Kunsthal ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’, a signed catalogue of Viktor&Rolf, a poster, champagne breakfast buffet, access to the spa, swimming pool and fitness centre and free WiFi throughout the hotel.
The offer is 144.50eu per night until the 30th September.
Book via Mainport hotel here
Review: Christopher George
Regent’s University London has educated a league of illustrious designers, renowned for competitively situating graduates academically and professionally from every corner of the world.
This seasons graduates kept the international expectation of excellence true to form for Regent’s University. With the strength of cutting edge ideas, patter cutting and expertly crafted tailoring. In addition to some breathtaking print design and fabrics, and the all important styling of the students collections.
Experiencing the new designers graduating with their catwalk show always excites 55's fashion department, and this season from Regent’s University was a GEM of emerging talents.
Here are 55s chosen 8 designers bringing fashion to life and injecting now ideas.
This collection represents vulnerable women in society by emulating the form of a broken doll. Working with social issues and cultural identities is a strong, brave and impressive act. With the use of raw fabrics to provide a more earthy collection, whilst brining a vibrancy with bold colours.
LAURA GADZA CERMAK
Taking inspiration from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll and the idea of 'hell', things are not always as they seem. This strong direction working with urban prints and PUNK ideas, it's a modern street collection with a mix of fabrics, textures and prints all working together.
Créatures des bois, inspired by the mythological spirit of nature; the Nymph. Woodland: canopies of trees, decorated by moss and fungi, with beams of fragile light. Using these elements to recreate/reinvent the seductive temptress, the Nymph. Ruffles grow sporadically out of seams and fall naturally to decorate the figure, it is as if nature is blossoming out of this mythical interpretation in order to adorn the wearer.
G-Cube2 is inspired by Tetris. Tetris a primary computer game, introduced in 1984. The designer has translated its simplicity and minimalism into a collection of cuboid shapes, bright colours and blocks.
It is inspiring to see a young designer pushing the limits of fabric with the cuts and tailoring. The exaggeration on body shape produced successfully is quite a feat to achieve, and we have a great achievement here.
Peace, Love and San Francisco. A collection that represents the utopia that was San Francisco in 1967, during The Summer of Love and 'make-love-not-war' peace movement. In an endeavour to celebrate the vibrancy of the exceptional era, this collection incorporates flowing silhouettes, colourful palettes and transparent textures. Still retaining a simple line, wearable, sexual and sensual. Delicious!
Inspired by the tranquillity that exists after a storm, this collection uses exaggerated, voluminous and feminine pieces. These pieces were gathered to the body with the use of leather strapping. A classic design for beauty with a raw edge of sex and strength from a dominant woman. An oversized shoulder along with tucked waists and flowing soft fabrics produces movement and structure.
Inspired by a narrative that takes place in the 80's at a French ski chalet. The collection illustrates different stages of a rich couple’s life. They spend happy times together but the underlying reality is very different. This is represented by a clash between evening wear and technical ski-wear alongside the addition of climbing accessories. These refer to the final chapter where they decide to throw themselves from the top of the mountain. Always good to have some drama in fashion, thats what it's all about, yeah?
ALISON DE MEIRSMAN
Incorporating random stone washed, bleached and dyed denim. A 1950s print joined by transparent, asymmetric layers of silk, organza and organdie. Some of the strongest print design we have seen this year on the catwalk. Always a firm favourite, taking inspiration from the glamour of the 1950s whilst adding a contemporary edge.