Ahead of the AW18 shows, we spotlight the names you need to hit follow on
At a time when we’re often confronted with the reality of just how fragile masculinity is (my nuclear button is bigger than yours, anyone?), menswear is at an important juncture; it’s often up to the youngest designers to offer new perspectives on how men today might, could and should be presenting themselves. With another season of shows rolling around, we’ve put together a list of designers worth following this men’s fashion month – from Polish streetwear to Spanish gender-blurring glamour, the varied perspectives coming from this set are sure to offer something to fit any type of masculinity.
A protégé of the great Galliano, designer Stefan Cooke has created prints for Walter Van Beirendonck and was awarded the H&M Design Award 2018, making his first show under Fashion East’s MAN umbrella this season a must-see. The Central Saint Martins graduate (he scored the L’Oréal Professional Creative Award for his MA collection) is obsessed with subverting the ways we might think of – and hence wear – textiles and fabrics. Melting, weaving and stitching his nostalgic garments together, his back catalogue includes thigh-high flame cowboy boots and evocative nude tops, as well as bonded cricket sweaters and woven trench-coats.
Finally, a brand born out of Berlin’s legendary nightlife. While many brands have tried to emulate the feeling of a night lost in Berghain’s Panorama Bar, the city’s dance floors were where GmbH founders Serhat Isik and Benjamin Alexander Huseby, as well as their wonderful roster of collaborators, found each other. Although the brand has already made waves with their presentations (not to mention the tight vests and high waisted PVC trousers), this season will see their first full show, which will take place in Paris. There, you can expect to see the GmbH family come together to present nightwear inspired by the incredible scene from which they hail, and the need for practicality and utter cool within it.
It’s likely you’re already familiar, but if not then it’s time you caught up with Palomo Spain’s delectable interpretation of queer masculinity. Edwardian-inspired, low-cut two-piece suits with Cuban heels, and a whole collection inspired by the wares the brand might offer were they to run a hotel – towels, robes, slippers masquerading as dresses, shirts and heels made up the SS18 Hotel Palomo collection. Debuting in New York back in for AW17, Alejandro Gómez Palomo’s brand has moved from the USA back to the designer’s native Spain, and this season sees their first Paris show. With fans such as Hari Nef, Beyoncé and Rossy De Palma (who walked in the SS18 show), it looks as though the Spanish are about to storm France.
MISBHV is the Polish label that started life as a parody t-shirt brand, and has since shown multiple times in New York. Founders (and teenage sweethearts) Natalia Maczek and Thomas Wirski continue to blaze the trail for Polish design, showing their first men’s presentation in Paris later this month – the city where they first opened their bootleg showroom three years ago. Now the brand is adored for its alternative take on streetwear, mixing glamour and comfort, shape and slouch, graphics and simplicity. Already adored by many – especially locally, with swathes of followers in Warsaw – it’s time to pick up a copy of the MISBHV manifesto.
Life has quickly become pretty mad for A-COLD-WALL*’s Samuel Ross. The designer is finally opening up conversation about being working class in the fashion arena, but beyond the identity politics which inspire much of his design, he’s been recognised with a Fashion Award nomination, collaborated with Nike, counts major stores as his stockists across the world and has a flush business going through his own website. It’s likely he’s already on your radar, but if not now’s the time to add him and his unique collision of streetwear and high fashion to your watch-list.
Danxia Liu, the designer behind menswear label Danshan, has an interesting perspective on designing clothes for men. Raised as a boy for the first twelve years of her life under China’s now-defunct one-child policy, the Central Saint Martins graduate – along with co-founder Shanpeng Wong – looks to deconstruct classic codes of menswear within her collections. Marrying Chinese and British influences, and decoding the gender from garments such as sarong-style skirts, silk robes, and spaghetti strap tops, Liu looks for new ways to dress men. As the gender conversation in fashion continues, and menswear continues to pick over the parameters of masculinity, Danshan is a brand to pay attention to this London Fashion Week Men’s.
Remember way back in 2015 when people went nuts over those gigantic multi-coloured papier-mâché hands that went down the runway? The brand behind that was Sankuanz – the Chinese streetwear label headed up by Shangguan Zhe. Hailing from Xiamen Island, Sankuanz is all about taking, deconstructing, and reimagining Chinese subcultural codes and reinterpreting them in his designs. Whether it’s the Shanghai dubstep scene or the meeting of science and religion in China, Sankuanz will be presenting its incisive, and oftentimes humorous, take on Chinese culture and subculture for a second time on the Paris schedule.