Christopher Shannon AW13

Listen to the gaffer-tape-inspired designer's show soundtrack, and read about his cut-and-shut knits, leather shirts and use of girl models for menswear

Fashion Show
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Cameron Alexander

"I've seen you in some stupid fuckin' outfits in my time, but that one takes the prize. Congratulations on being a big fuckin' deal," Leslie Winer barbed on Christopher Shannon's heavy, writhing AW13 soundtrack, which you can listen to exclusively above. That particular line had the flippant 'Me, me, me' side of Fashion Week sussed, sending a poisonous dart to over-trussed Bitsa-styled attendees whose sole desire is to get papped. In the context of Christopher Shannon's show, it was deliciously non-applicable – Shannon sent out his most accomplished collection to date, with gaffer-tape inspired jeans, cut-and-shut knits, leather shirts, his third (best yet) Kickers collaboration and girls, who finally appeared on his runway and looked brilliant. It was the culmination of a real-life practice, as those around him have been ardently getting dressed in his collections for years, and wearing them well: as Isabella Burley also considered, the energy and tension that comes from having men and women on the same runway is something remarkable that fashion has mostly written off in the last decade. Here was an outing that felt modern, convertible and cool, making its creator's ascension to a new level. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a wonky inspiration behind it all – we caught up with the designer backstage who filled us in…

"I was putting the collection together, looking for references and I realised all the things I was looking at already were valid, these DVDs from America of hoarders. There was a special on TV that really set off my interest, so visual and so odd and it is a bit like the way artists work – even through it's a mental health problem. I mean we collect clothes too, references, you get really attached to keeping things and because I was moving studio I had to throw loads of stuff out, and it was really liberating. 

This season we worked with new textures like the knits and the leathers that we've never really done before – I love the leather shirts so much and they are made so well. The silhouette is kind of based on a boy I went to school with, he was a bit of a rocker with long hair but always wore Berghauses to hide the fact he was a rocker. He used sportswear to do this, then he'd go home and be himself. I like that clash of personalities together.

And for the girls' looks… I've been harassed to do womenswear for so long but I didn't want to get precious about it. I didn't want to do it without the right point of view, there were six looks in this show. She was kind of based on my assistant who used to come in these really good looks and also try on our stuff. I thought she was sexy in an understated way, an ease of dressing and girls that won't be dictated to – that's what I respond to and are the girls who are my friends and the girls I work with. They know their own minds and they're not gonna be forced into a body-con dress if they don't wanna wear it." – Christopher Shannon

Soundtrack: 'Riffv54' is a working track in progress by Diamond Version (Carsten Nicolai & Olaf Benders) featuring Leslie Winer. Show edit by Joseph Bond.

Click here to read about Christopher Shannon's obsession with cult Paris-based musician and poet Leslie Winer

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