LC:M designers' YouTube obsessions – SS15

From soldiers tripping out on LSD to seizure-inducing robots, here are the unexpected inspirations behind the London menswear shows

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We all love a good moodboard, but in anticipation of London Collections: Men, we asked a selection of the capital's most exciting menswear designers to share some more dynamic inspiration. Keep checking Dazed for all the latest from London, Milan and Paris. 

KIT NEALE – 99 FLAKES AND HAIRY CHESTS

Kit Neale’s clip – cut from 1957’s Holiday documentary – delivers a dose of oversaturated nostalgia for a world before Brits fled to the Costa del Sol for their sunburn. In AW14 his collection paid homage to Elephant and Castle, so perhaps a particularly British summertime of 99 Flakes and hairy chests (think Martin Parr) is on the cards for SS15. Last one in the sea is a rotten egg!

What's the worst injury you've sustained making the collection?

Kit Neale: Weight gain!

MATTHEW MILLER – TROOPS ON LSD

Matthew Miller’s clip is a throwback to a time when giving LSD to soldiers and asking them to operate rocket launchers was met with absolutely no health and safety concerns. As an insight into the political designer’s upcoming collection, we should probably be thinking more along the lines of 'dystopian militaristic mind control' rather than 'tripping with your mates in a field' though.

What's the worst thing you've called a meal in the last week? 

Matthew Miller: I had a Happy Meal after my 13 Apostles exhibition. 

NASIR MAZHAR – GRIME (BUT HOLD THE GUCCI)

Nasir Mazhar chooses "#ThatsNotMe", a recent track by London grime legend Skepta, with whom he's working on the soundtrack for his SS15 show (keep an eye on Dazed Digital if you want to hear about the collab in their own words). Featuring JME, the video samples old footage of the pair, presenting the song as a return to their roots. Part of this is a rejection of the luxury labels associated with rap – "Yeah I used to wear Gucci / Put it all in the bin ‘cause that’s not me" spits Skepta, who has instead embraced fellow Londoner Mazhar’s streetwear.

In the run up to the shows, what's been your go-to happy song?

Nasir Mazhar: "Thirsty" by Mariah Carey.

LIAM HODGES – WHAT KIDS DID BEFORE SNAPCHAT

Liam Hodges selects footage of a group that aimed to be a "race of Intellectual Barbarians", combining "the ideals of Scientists and Red Indians". No, it isn’t a politically incorrect cult, it’s 1920s "camping fraternity" The Kibbo Kift, headed up by H.G. Wells – basically like the Scouts, but with more Pagan vibes.

If no one attended your show what would you do?

LIAM HODGES: Make sure they regretted it.

CHRISTOPHER SHANNON – TRACKSUIT LOVE STORY

Recipient of BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund Christopher Shannon tells us that he's been listening to Panes's debut EP "everyday non stop" and sends the video to "Bones Without You", directed by Cieron Magat. It's a very London love story, visuals alternating between a shimmering map of the city and the trials of a tracksuited couple, all brought to life with illustrations by Daniel David Freeman.

What's the worst thing you've called a meal in the last week? 

Christopher Shannon: For lunch the other day I had a warm Capri-Sun, that wasn’t a highlight. 

MARTINE ROSE – SERIAL KILLERS LIKE CULT BANDS TOO

“My reference points always start with music”, Martine Rose told us last season of her rave flyer inspired collection, so it should come as no surprise that her choice is in song form – specifically, "Hip Priest" by prolific cult band The Fall. Best known for its use in Silence of the Lambs (1991), it plays during the scene when protagonist Clarice Starling enters the house of tailor-turned-serial killer Buffalo Bill, discovering his grizzly skin suit.

In the run up to the shows, what's been your go to happy song?

Martine Rose: "Love Light in Flight" by Stevie Wonder.

SIBLING – BACK TO THE FUTURE

Big hair and even bigger spaceships from Sibling’s Cozette McCreery, who chose Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s "Love Missile F1-11" as their current jam. The video’s futuristic warfare is about as 80s as it gets, and this track also features in John Hughes’s classic of the decade, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). We’ll have to wait and see whether towering rainbow wigs, fishnet masks and glittery stiletto boots make it onto the runway for SS15, though.

If no one attended your show what would you do?

SIBLING: First things first, send the boys out for beers and crisps in first looks so that they get Instagramed roaming the streets. Then when they get back, ask our DJ Nathan Gregory Wilkins to play a very loud happy playlist and have a party. With staff, interns and models it would be quite a bash. Years later people would lie and say they were there.

CASELY-HAYFORD – MIDAS TOUCH

In the chaotic lead-up to the show, the dreamy electronic beats of Eyedress are providing some relaxation for Charlie Casely-Hayford, one half of the design team of which his father Joe is the other. "Everything we touch turns into gold" sings Idris Vicuña, and we're sure the same will be true of Casely-Hayford's SS15 collection.

What's the worst thing you've called a meal in the last week?

Charlie Casely-Hayford: I have to eat four square meals a day!

EDWARD CRUTCHLEY – NEON NIGHTMARES

It seems like a strange place for an epiphany, but newcomer Edward Crutchley told us that it was this Tokyo Restaurant (complete with a seizure-inducing light show, giant panda and pole-dancing) that inspired him to start his own collection – "I want to one day create something as eye cancer-causing as The Robot Restaurant", he said.

What's the worst injury you've sustained making the collection?

Edward Crutchley: I got a bit sunburnt researching in Bali. Does that count?

BOBBY ABLEY – TROPICAL TEEN QUEEN

Abley’s video features 1960 hit "Pineapple Princess" by Annette Funicello – queen of the beach party film genre, with inventive titles such as Beach Party (1963), and Muscle Beach Party (1964). Last season Abley brought Disney’s fairy tales to the dark side, so how might he reinterpret retro fun for SS15? Hell comes to Hawaii? Sun, sand and S&M?

In the run up to the shows, what's been your go to happy song?

Bobby Abley: "Timber" by Pitbull and Ke$ha, I love it.

ALAN CROCETTI – I WANT YOU TO HIT ME AS HARD AS YOU CAN

It’s the trailer of Fight Club, a cinematic satire of masculinity, for jewellery designer Alan Crocetti – a film (to quote Edward Norton) about "what goes wrong when a bunch of frat guys start taking themselves too seriously". Menswear provides the perfect stage for playing with gender, as Crocetti did by incorporating pearls into his SS14 collection. We can only hope that Brad Pitt’s rose-tinted JLo sunnies will make an appearance.

If no one attended your show what would you do?

Alan Crocetti: I would feel sorry for them (please come!)

JAMES LONG – ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART

James Long’s choice is a Neil Young cover from 1990 by indie dance band Saint Etienne. Despite being recorded in a couple of hours in a Croydon bedroom, it got them a record deal and a hit single. With a bassline that just sounds like it was made for a rooftop party in the middle of summer, it sets the mood for a SS15 collection that is stylish but laid-back, with a DIY ethos.

What's the worst thing you've called a meal in the last week?

James Long: A spritz of perfume and a mint. Not really, I eat very well otherwise I get quite moody.

NICOMEDE TALAVERA – KING OF DANCEHALL

"Let's Go", a real summer song by king of dancehall Beenie Man is what's getting CSM alumnus and Eastpak collaborator Nicomede Talavera ready for the season. Last year he listed dancehall as one of his SS14 inspirations alongside businesswear and minimalism, so it seems to be a lasting influence.

What's the worst injury you've sustained making the collection?

Nicomede Talavera: I casually sat on a chair which was on top of my toe. Full on pressure, full on pain.

CRAIG GREEN – PAPER PLANES

Last year, experimental designer Craig Green told Dazed about the importance of a “DIY mentality” in his work. He credited this to a youth spent watching Art Attack and Changing Rooms, which “showed you that you could make something out of nothing”. It’s appropriate, then, that Green’s video of choice is a tutorial for that schoolroom staple, the humble paper plane. Green has a talent for transformation – whether planks of wood or swathes of fabric – and his SS15 collection will surely be a testament to this.

See all our latest features, interviews, and show reports from SS15, as it happens

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