Club kids took over the ICA, My Little Pony got x-rated... If you were under a rock this week, this is everything you need to know
Well, LC:M is all wrapped up for another season as the fashion crowd marches on to Milan. There was much to see for SS16, but in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up the top fifteen things you need to know.
MY LITTLE PORNY
My Little Pony usually conjures ideas of pastel colours, high-pitched four-legged animals and far-away lands with rainbow-streaked skies. Basically, the antithesis of pornographic giant penises. But Katie Eary went there with the beloved childhood moniker, creating well endowed pony prints which appeared on tees, shirts and boxer shorts. “The thing is you don’t even see it at first and you’re like, ‘oh cute, My Little Pony, I love My Little…’ and then ‘Oh gosh!’” explained the designer, saying, "It's the same as the guys – this collection is about, 'Oh he’s a cute young man… oh God he’s got hormones and wants to fuck!’”
SOVIET SPACE DOGS
As always, J.W. Anderson drew upon a mishmash of references for his SS16 collection. From toolkit badges to newspaper crosswords and oversized feathers – the designer's pieces were multifarious. The garment that stood out most though, was a jumper adorned with the Soviet space dogs Laika and Strelka (R.I.P), which the designer wore himself the day after the show. The graphic had us wondering whether Anderson had taken a trip to The Barbican to check out Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector, where Martin Parr exhibited a range of Soviet doggy memorabilia.
THE BUM IS BACK
Infamous designer Alexander McQueen shocked the industry with the creation of the bumster skirt – exhibited during his AW96 show Highland Rape. “To me, that part of the body – not so much the buttocks, but the bottom of the spine – that’s the most erotic part of anyone’s body, man or woman,” said the designer, and it seems the trio at Sibling feel the same way. Jocks in sequin football jerseys (who’d borrowed Pom Poms off their cheerleader girlfriends) walked out with their assess on show – a sure fire sign that a new sexual attitude is emerging in men’s fashion.
CAR BOOT SALES
“I’m a bit of an obsessive hoarder and I love a car boot sale,” said Kit Neale. This season, the designer explored the idea of throwaway consumerism and finding that covetable jacket at a flea market for a fiver. Vintage-style scrawled floral prints and block colours adorned oversized flares, blazers and shirts to give that recycled, hand-me-down look. It seems that that’s what Neale is aiming for in the future anyway: “I would love to one day discover a piece of KIT NEALE at a car boot!”
Set to the soothing tones of Judi Dench reciting Shakespearean sonnets, (taken from the soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s The Angelic Conversation, 1985), Sarah Burton presented her men lost at sea. It seemed fitting to have Dench recount The Tempest, as models with straggled, wet locks took to the runway. The shipwrecked sailor theme cropped up in the form of Sailor Jerry Tattoos which patterned t-shirts and two-piece suits, as well as the frilled jumpers which were reminiscent of waves washing over the shore.
Can’t afford to study a degree in fashion design? Just do what Charles Jeffrey did and start your own club night to fund it. The Central Saint Martins grad created the Dalston night LOVERBOY, where attendees can “get a bit dressed up” (check out a selection of INSTAX from the event, which include a nipple-baring Hari Nef). For his collection with Fashion East this season, Jeffrey decided to bring his night to life on a stage at the ICA. Thematically designed around the notions of heaven and hell (complete with a horned devil), Jeffrey had his friends model his designs and turn up at the same time.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
This London Collections: Men was full of fresh talent that had us wake up and take notice. Michael Lockley with his blonde ‘fro sported a pony tee at Katie Eary, Ko Grimmer made washed-up look exceptional at McQueen and Sol Goss tore up three shows with his razor-sharp cheekbones. Newbie Bom Chan Lee also opened for Craig Green, whilst the enigmatic Sweden-born Anton Toftgård closed the show for J.W. Anderson.
It may be dubbed London Collections: Men, but that didn’t stop fashion's favourite girls from crashing the party. Seasoned Coach models Lexi Boling, Julia Bergshoeff and Dazed cover star Binx Walton, showed the boys how to do it surf punk-style at Stuart Vevers’ show. “In our women’s shows we use a lot of men’s references and I like the idea of turning that on it’s table,” the creative director said. There was also an eclectic bunch at Burberry – Malaika Firth and Sora Choi showed up for Christopher Bailey’s Straight Laced show, which saw models sport the typically feminine fabric and a lot of silk.
“Danz like your northern” was emblazoned across one of the shirts at this season’s Topman Design show. The brand directly channelled the Northen Soul movement of the early 70s – a time when non-stop dancing at the Wigan Casino was a must. And that’s how the clothes were designed – purpose built for an all-nighter. Staples of the era such as wide-legged flares, and tight vest tops were in abundance at Topman Design, but it was the sleeveless jackets with the sew-on patches that truly echoed the style of the period.
“I felt so numb. I don’t even know how this collection happened,” Nasir Mazhar said post-show. After the recent passing of his father, the designer sent his models down the runway completely clad in black – an obvious emblem of grief and mourning. This version of Mazhar felt pared back, although the staples were still there – in terms of both design and attitude. A pioneer of using models of colour on the runway, Mazhar stayed true to his belief of showing diversity on the catwalk for SS16: “We live in London, we’re surrounded by so many different people, that’s the reality.”
MAN alumni Bobby Abley has a penchant for popular franchises. In the past, he’s created a collection based on his own nightmarish vision of Disney – for AW14 he had boys in caps with mickey mouse ears wear silver structures to hold their mouths open, as if they were mid-scream. This season, the designer looked to the Star Wars franchise for inspiration. Boba Fett became “Bobby Fett" with a jacket in C-3PO gold, a furry chewy jumper and this time around, Darth Vader-style mouth pieces.
For this season KTZ had one rule: "imagination overrules". The brand drew inspiration from American artist Chris Burden, who effectively created a really elaborate Scaletrix model. Called Metropolis II, the piece is a structure exclusively made for toy cars to race around – 100,000 cars circulate around the system every hour, to be precise. The racing motifs were evident throughout KTZ's collection – from the motocross gloves, to the spanner shaped necklaces and the technical hats. Most impressive were the drag racing parachutes-turned-capes, which billowed behind models as they took off down the runway.
DIASPORA DOUBLE ACT
After graduating from Central Saint Martins with the coveted L'Oréal Professionnel award for design, Grace Wales Bonner has steadily carved a name for herself within the industry. She first showed with Fashion East last season, and shortly after joined the likes of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood by becoming the focus of Fashion In Motion at the V&A. "There are so many aspects of culture that are not properly documented, so I think there is limitless potential to explore,” the young designer said. Having predominantly focused on black identity thus far, for this season she looked at the cross-cultural elements between Africa and West India – specifically inspired by the story of Malik Ambar.
The skate ramps at the Coach show may have seemed radical, but the extreme sports vibe was turned up a notch or two at Jimmy Choo’s presentation. “Welcome to The Jimmy Choo Sporting Club” the brand hinted on Instagram, posting a picture of an intense ramp set-up. BMX riders raced around and completed eccentric tricks for Choo, whilst in a similar vain, Paul Smith had one experienced biker show his skills on some seriously risqué apparatus.
TOM FORD'S SECRET SHOW
With his overt ads and those penis/crucifix hybrid pieces, it’s still a surprise that Tom Ford manages to pull off candidness and put on a secret show. The designer held a private showing at this season's LC:M, where models of the moment like Lucky Blue Smith and Michael Flockley got transformed into 70s studs. Also inspired by the decade, the collection saw lava lamp suede jackets and trippy evening wear in psychedelic prints, finished with a bow tie.