Article: SARA DARLING
Banish the autumn blues with Superdry’s autumn-winter collection. Showcasing sanguine brights with retro tailoring, it is all you need to make a statement this winter. Whatever your flavour, the perfect formula of Japanese graphics combined with athleisure, means you will be able to pick up some armour to see you through the whole season.
Staying true to the brand’s roots, AW is inspired by Superdry's love of skatewear. AW offers a contemporary range T shirts, hoodies and jackets, with a nod to the best bits of Japan and America.
Created for the outdoors, you can snap up sporty inspired separates even if you’re too cool to kick a ball; With the womenswear collection versatile enough to cross generations.
The ‘All American Girl’ collection is a timeless nod to America’s midwest. Dungarees, check shirts and broderie anglaise dresses are layered for the full on prairie look; Or sass up your style with ripped denim or studs. For the girls who are more ‘Urban Street’ there is also a range of tracksuits, oversized logos and a hero puffa jacket in acid yellow.
In contrast, the menswear collection takes influence from America’s urban landscape. Intended for city living, there is a range of jackets with a camouflage print; Matching tracksuits nod to the nineties inspired athleisure, and in your face logos adorn sweaters which show your tribe. Alternatively, guys can dip into the eighties ‘Back in the Day’ range, consisting of baggy tops, cagoules and backpacks- perfect for impromptu body popping.
You can also rely on Superdry for sophisticated occasion wear. Failsafe fashion shapes mean you can pick and choose from the punk rock, ska and reggae inspired pieces from the ‘London Calling’ range. From suits to trenchcoats to vintage workwear, you can pick up something smart, with personality!
Whatever your flavour, Superdry will have something to snazz up your winter wardrobe and get you noticed.
Mens New Season www.superdry.com/mens/new-in
Womens New Season www.superdry.com/womens/new-in
Andrew Majtenyi’s career began in the mid-90s, where he honed his sartorial skills as the men’s tailor for the Shaw Festival in Ontario - and proceeded to spend 15 years designing for theatre production. At the beginning of the 00s, he turned his attention to couture-inspired upscaled women’s sportswear.
Majtenyi doesn’t start with a sketch like most fashion designers. He instead takes his inspiration from the texture and complexity of the fabric. His vision for each piece manifests itself in his mind, influenced by rapidly evolving surroundings and the cultural consumption of his day-to-day life. For him, fashion is an exploration of design, and the process of manufacturing new functions from constant motion.
Majtenyi’s designs are sexy yet sophisticated, elegantly tailored, and featuring bright and bold prints – a womenswear collection with an emphasis on forward-thinking tailoring and textured fabrics. Building upon his work in the theatre, his designs hold an abstractly futuristic influence.
But one cannot talk about Majtenyi’s work without the mention of its movement, which breathes life into his silhouettes. When in motion, Andrew Majtenyi’s work becomes a piece of immersive theatre. In adding copious volume or purposely obscuring the female form, his work looks to layer complexity. Majtenyi’s fashion cannot simply exist on the hanger; only in movement does the true magic of his garments become apparent. Playing with the dynamic of quiet and loud frames, the collection demands to be touched and worn, straddling the line between explicit art and functional design.
Article: Christopher George
Westminster MA Menswear show at LFWM features the first graduating cohort from the world’s only two-year postgraduate menswear course. Under the direction of Liliana Sanguino, these graduates have been taught by some of the most significant tutors in menswear education including Ike Rust, Matthew Miller, Simon Foxton, Charles Jeffrey, Ben Reardon, Liam Hodges, and Alex Mullins.
This years graduation students showcased an exciting range of ideas, with colour being used in dramatic and strong statements, exciting tailoring pushing the boundaries of gender identity and most excitingly, the process of renewable and recycled fabrics being used in production.
The way froward in design and production lies with the new breed of fashion designers emerging. And it's these students we should be looking at for inspiration.
Robyn Lynch's collection celebrates her Irish heritage and culture. The collection is a tribute to the community spirit and friendship that Ireland retain. Silhouettes capture a youthful attitude, drawing on memories of personal schooldays. Mixing technical sportswear fabrics with soft jersey and wool, the pieces are both striking and covetable. All fabrics and knit pieces are hand-dyed into the colours of the Irish flag.
Priya Ahluwalia's collection is inspired by the lifecycle of second-hand garments. First-hand research took Priya to both West Africa and to Panipat, India – the second-hand clothing recycling capital of the world. All fabrics for her collection have been created from patchworked second-hand clothes. Bold colours and varying textures feature throughout her exciting and multi-layered pieces. Knits contain second-hand yarn and feature intricate patterns and beaded panels. Beading was developed in India with the organisation Sewa Delhi who specialises in fair trade and positive employment for rural women.
An incredibly brave collection by a designer seeking to use renewable fabrics and ethical production. Not only are we excited by these prospects, but also on the design element, where the quality and consistence is of the highest standard.
The disintegration of beauty in contemporary society inspired James Bush’s beautifully considered menswear. Beginning with a series of paper sculptures James has developed a design technique which challenges the lines and volumes of traditional men's tailoring. The interplay between opposites; hard and soft, restraint and release, are referenced throughout the pieces. The soft drape of wool and silk contrasts with the sharp, linear silhouettes. Subtle hints of homoeroticism and a play on gender and sexuality are detected suporting a sophisticated while edgy and contemporary collection. Influences include Giorgio Armani’s tailoring and the sensuous draping found in Caravaggio’s dramatic art.
Christine Shangqian Xu
Shangqian Xu’s collection ‘World Wild Web’ is influenced by 90s techno musicians Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin, while the styling references iconic magazine, The Face. Minimalism and contemporary art are strong references for this pared-back and elegant silhouettes for men, bringing a daring and dangerous attitude to mens design.
For more information on designers and courses visit:
Westminster MA Menswear
Article: Christopher George
Winchester School of Art Graduate Runway Show has become an international centre for ideas and innovation, have a long history going back almost 150 years.
Ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide, with the BA show 2018 it is obvious why the universaty has such a high rating in the art and design field.
This season we have the young graduates showcasing exciting designs and pushing the boundaries on the silhouette of men and women's body form, reinventing sports wear with a degree of excitement not witnessed in recent seasons, bringing colour that is simply POPPING off the catwalk, and men's collections both wearable and exclusive.
55 picked 8 of the designers to feature in from the Winchester School of Art graduation show.
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.