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Photography by Quentin De Wispelaere

MAN: Bobby Abley Menswear SS14

Fetish, fantasy and medieval squire-boys at the designer's MAN debut

Last season, London-based menswear designer Bobby Abley installed a giant spaceship as part of his Fashion East installation. So considering S/S14 was his catwalk debut at MAN, it was fairly evident that kitsch and fantasy would collide once again - and that’s exactly what Abley gave us. Models appeared on the runway wearing leather crowns, with their faces covered in temporary tattoos... and then there were the teddy bear references, which made their way onto jumpers and on the back of over-sized clutch bags. We caught up with the designer backstage to find out more about squire boys and royalty…

Dazed Digital: I want to hear about this fantasy teddy bear, medieval world that you have created…
Bobby Abley:
 It’s loosely based on the Sword and the Stone, where he’s a squire boy into royalty, that’s why he’s like the basket weaver and the wicker. Then the prints and the fabrics developed into more regal, and my friend Alan had pearl ears made. They sort of appear as he gets more regal, so that was the story.

DD: And then the markings on the face?
Bobby Abley:
 The birds and stuff, it was transfer tattoos that we had made and the birds were the middle transformation. Then he comes out in his bow and air tracksuit saying king.

DD: And then also the leather crowns…
Bobby Abley:
 I’m really into mixing candy colours with a bit of bondage.

DD: It was also quite fetish as well…
Bobby Abley:
 Yeah because I kept the buckle on it. It’s sort of my interpretation of a party crown I guess, a different kind of party crown.