The MAN show had taken over the beautiful upstairs venue at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House for its Spring Summer edition. On display were three extremely talented but hugely different designers. First out was Martine Rose, an already fairly established designer with a Timberland collaboration behind her and an ironic take on 1990s logo fetishism. We also saw, in the spirit of that decade, cargo pants and bomber jackets. Hiking boots and a brocade prints perfectly finished off the desired look. A mixture of fabrics – treated and natural ones – came out in orange and green shades. All in all an exciting show and one that no doubt will soon graduate from the MAN format.
Swedish-born Felipe Rojas Llanos went for a more minimal and tailored approach. Still, there were elements in his collection that ear marked it as ‘one to watch’ material. A shiny silk fabric and exciting silhouette jackets without lapels made the audience look twice. Cropped trousers and balloon shaped coats continued the theme. Based on the uniforms of super heroes, plum colours and a gorgeous midnight blue impressed while the final cape was one that Superman would be proud to fly in.
Last but not least: New Power Studio. Thom Murphy’s design project is just one of those ‘you never know what to expect’ moments. And S/S11 did not disappoint. Based on casual aesthetic with tracksuit bottoms and sweatshirts, NPS firstly showed elegantly composed blue shirts and an array of cropped jackets in earthly tones. This, it transpired, was only the prelude to a range of truly awe-inspiring pieces; a dancing foursome entered the catwalk performing a piece somewhere in between line dancing and Stomp. Dressed in pastel colours they all wore loo roll as scarfs. Next up was a mop-based jacket and the parade was finished off with a jacket made out of rubber gloves. New Power Studio clearly expressed a desire to be seen but also a collection of, at times, perfectly fine street wear.
Dazed Digital: What inspired the S/S11 collection?
Martine Rose: I wanted to get an energy going through mashing loads of different ideas together. And I always look towards military details - they’re amazing. And of course there were loads of brocade prints…
DD: You seemed to be fusing several fabrics in one piece…
Martine Rose: Yes, there were loads of one-piece shirts with extra plastic fabric attached that I had taken from ponchos.
DD: And we saw what looked like a bulletproof vest!
Martine Rose: Straight off the military wardrobe!
DD: Are you into 1990s logo fashion?
Martine Rose: I was definitely looking at branding for this collection. I wanted more for a while but then I realised that less is more.
DD: Do you have a fave piece from the show?
Martine Rose: The full brocade look and the poncho/bomber jacket outfit.
Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for the collection?
Felipe Rojas Llanos: I read a graphic novel called ‘Legion of Super Heroes’. There’s a character in it called ‘Dream Girl’ and we based the colour scheme on her. It was really a continuation of my MA graduation collection, I wanted to move forward and make it more light and fresh. There was a cold feeling with all the blue and ice white fabrics.
DD: We detected a clear formal feeling in the clothes…
Felipe Rojas Llanos: Hmm, there was a boyish touch I would say, almost a boarding school vibe, but our own version of it
DD: So the last look, the cape, was a graduation cape then?
Felipe Rojas Llanos: No, that was a super hero cape!
DD: What sort of fabrics did you use?
Felipe Rojas Llanos: Technical fabrics and silk, we always use silk to keep the couture element. It gives it a liquid feel…
DD: Do you have a favourite piece in the collection?
Felipe Rojas Llanos: The white shimmering silk jacket!
Dazed Digital: What was the red thread running through the show?
New Power Studio: I just got a new flat so it was all about domestic items like mops rubber gloves but done in a basic and stupid way. I also looked at connections. The lining of some jackets, for example, was bigger than the outer layers. Last season was constructed but this one was about broaden things. I guess you could say it was bad on the outside and good on the inside!
DD: There were a few funny pieces but also a lot of wearable stuff – how do yoy find that balance?
New Power Studio: Sheer brilliance, I suppose! No, seriously, I wanted a show that you would enjoy but also clothes that you would wan to wear.
DD: Tell us about those dancing models…
New Power Studio: I used a choreographer and dancers from the Michael Clark Dance Company, plus two polish dudes, both called Damian, who’s here on a dancing holiday…
DD: Is there a piece in the collection that stands out to you?
New Power Studio: I really like the hand painted watercolour silk bomber jacket