London’s final cache of menswear shows saw designers explore the notion of youth and its subversive rebellious nature. There are few designers that voice the concerns of our generation as well as Katie Eary and while on the surface her collection remained bright, bold and chock-full of print, there was a far more obscure undertone in its vision.
Behind the recurring Barracuda print, stars, stripes and sea of buoyant colours, the designer made socio-economic realness her muse. The reflective silhouette and predator prints were said to represent the barrier between politicians and the public as Eary explored a heady mix of finery and deceit.
This also sat well with the her study of Irvine Welsh’s The Blade Artist – the lastest chapter in the lives of the Trainspotting mob, with roots in the golden state of California, death and deceit. Through a unique, inventive and luxurious collection of silky summer staples Eary’s spring summer offering serves as a reminder of our own existence with a whiff of playful revolt.
For Kent boy, Liam Hodges the notion of reality is nothing new – his collections are almost always relatable and this season was no exception. Collaborating with American label Dickies, the designer took his signature hardwearing, traditional men’s workwear and updated it with an experimental finish. Military hues of khaki, beige and white adorned bomber jackets, baggy shorts and oversized voluminous hoodies in a bid to return to a sense of the real but it didn’t stop there.
Shirts were haphazardly sewn together, pockets were patched onto trousers and dental scans of the designer’s teeth sat alongside “I’m OK” slogans continuing the strong graphic language we’ve seen in previous seasons. At its heart, this was a collection bound by clothes that work in a very literal sense; it was expressive, luxurious and completely relatable all at the same time.
This fascination with archetypal workwear staples continued over at Coach too where the precision of uniform and a celebration of rebel youth ruled. For creative director Stuart Vevers, it seemed as though this season incited a love affair with DIY culture and a more personal take on the concept of individuality; Leather jackets were modified with hand decorated florals while bottle-cap badges, studded trainers and white painted cowboy boots led a rebellion against convention. There were strong connotations to biker gang culture, the New York punk scene and James Dean reinforcing an appreciation for all things American and a total disregard for the rules.