In the past, Shaun Samson has explored ideas of teenage angst, masochism and loitering on the streets – even branding his models by shaving 'SAMSON' on the back of their heads. However, this season things felt very different. He even toyed with me after his last show, saying this season the Shaun Samson man might grow up. And maybe he did - just a little bit.
Samson's use of fabrics felt more refined than ever. He re-introduced his needle-punch felting technique, something that leaves no seams on the garments and defined his graduate collection from Central St. Martins. This season he used it to blend angora wool with jersey, creating a seamless transition between two tones of red, as featured on trousers and jumpers. Intricate and chunky cable knits also ran through the collection alongside leather striped detailing. Even his box-like silhouettes of past seasons were given new triangular shapes - Samson reaffirming his desire to create street boys who look luxury.
Backstage, Samson cited “monsters, ice hockey, camping and prayers” as references. Revealing themselves in his use of shabby fur details, pyjamas and large blankets that were worn over the models shoulders. Eager to find out more, we asked him to talk us through his thoughts behind the collection...
“There were so many different references. I started by looking at camping. For some reason, I always think that when you go camping you feel like you're in your pyjamas. There are monsters out in the woods and the only way you can protect yourself from the monsters is to say a prayer to God. The serenity prayer [which was printed on garments – ed] was a fun little prayer because it is the same prayer that you say in A.A. meetings. I wasn’t sure if people got that. I swear I have never been to an A.A. meeting but I have seen that blanket so many times.
I have experimented with shape before in the past. This season I wanted to make it more relatable to people. I think the ice hockey jersey shape is something that people will recognise and hopefully see themselves in automatically. Rather than people thinking that I am experimenting with the things I have worked with in the past. Even more of the easier pieces like the angora jumpers that felted into a sweatshirt – where I am mixing street culture with luxury knits, I am dressing it down on street cast boys. I think there are enough designers out there who are designing for the mature man. I feel like with me I want to have the mature boy. I think there is a lot of youth that we are trying to chase – is that sad?“