“We came to wreck everything” – Matthew Miller chooses the infamous, and terrifying, line from 1992 film Romper Stomper, where a shaven-headed Russell Crowe leads a gang of neo-Nazis on a violent path of destruction through suburban Melbourne, Australia. An intriguing insight into the possibilities of Miller’s AW14 collection, for a designer who consistently circles themes of youth culture, politics and style.
Young wrestlers contort in a series of uncomfortable positions, their red lyrca vests stretching over lithe limbs. ‘Neck Training for Wrestling’ is Shaun Samson’s YouTube selection, a nineties clip he describes as a good reference for his AW14 collection…intriguing. Will Samson’s recurring streetwear themes shrink to lycra-clad silhouettes?
“1979 was a kind of year zero for British culture. Everyone wanted change and they wanted it now.” Christopher Shannon selects a documentary clip zoning in on experimental post punk, and the short-lived jazz-infected band Rip Rig and Panic. Headed by Neneh Cherry, the band epitomise the genre, blending the avant garde with jazz, and soul.
Photographer John Bulmer is described as the ‘pioneer’ of colour photography in the 1960s, altering what he saw and the way he saw it to accommodate the new medium. Cozette McCreery, one third of Sibling, tells Dazed that Bulmer’s work is “all over our mood board”, and a shot of a man clutching the reins of a shire horse in the fog is printed large on their AW14 invite.
Italian disco duo La Bionda’s 1980s single "I Wanna Be Your Lover" is selected by James Long. A studio earworm perhaps, or a hint at throwback references to come? The video is an eighties kid’s cartoon dream: brothers Carmelo and Michelangelo La Bionda immortalised in pen and ink, on a space trip and seduced by a blonde-haired blue-eyed female apparition.
A sharp, linen suited David Byrne, with wide dark eyes calmly steps out onto Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre stage, and plays "Psycho Killer". It opens Stop Making Sense, a concert movie of Talking Heads live on stage, chosen by Alan Taylor. Hailed as one of the greatest rock movies ever made, it was shot over three nights of shows in Hollywood during December 1983.
Kit Neale describes his upcoming AW14 collection as having a ‘boy scouts feel’, and shares this late eighties Sugar Puffs advert for a little insight. Creepy, unnerving yet amusing for its innocent retro qualities, ‘You’ll Go Monster-Mad For The Honey’ results in the Hulk-like morphing of three scouts into furry honey monsters.
Martine Rose selects the hypnotic electronic musical tome, E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching. Released in 1984, the single hour long progressive track is divided into stages, and Rose chooses part one – "Quiet Nervousness." Insistent synthesizer and subtle rhythm creates a sparse, transcendent background noise.
For a father and son design team who consistently draw on youth subcultures and modern tribes, their contribution of this Dick Hebdige documentary comes as little surprise. The 1999 German doc, Land of 1000 Dances: A Small History of Club Culture, sees Hebdige discuss the evolution of club dance. Casely-Hayford selects the punk section, where Hebdige peppers his knowledge with personal experience: “punk became every man for himself. And that included the women.”
In piecrust blouse, peach skirt and heavy fringe Karen Carpenter sings “(They Long To Be) Close To You”, the single which brought The Carpenters to international attention in 1970. Craig Green selects the clip, a song that soundtracked a generation of childhoods as the album Close To You took its place in record collections: Rolling Stone ranked it at 175 of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Some work in silence and solitude. It appears Liam Hodges prefers louder, punishing soundtracks. His choice of Puffer’s summer release, “Human Juice” is an assault on those with lingering New Year pains. The video is a neon riot of cells on super-zoom, camera probes through internal passages, and atomic bombs.
Playful Bobby Abley, whose regal SS14 collection told tales of teddy bears, shared this Mickey Mouse short as the YouTube clip of his AW14. Created in 1929 by Walt Disney himself, ‘The Haunted House’ finds squealing Mickey trapped inside a creaking shack haunted by ghouls and skeletons. Magical, yet surprisingly creepy.