An Army of Me, an army of individuals, this is for whom the father-son duo Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford designed this season. 'A uniform for people who want to agitate and move things forward' explains Charlie Casely-Hayford, who rather than creating collective uniformity, searches to forge new attire for the modern individual. Backstage, a sign demanded models to 'WALK: LIKE YOU RUN TINGS', and that is exactly what they did. Exuding what can only be described as irrefutable coolness, they strutted down the illuminated catwalk, their reflection following them on the mirrored ceiling like an inverted double.
The designers travelled to Hong Kong and Singapore last year, where they relished the culture of looking forward and concentrating on what is happening next, and decided to bring this state of mind back to London. Here, heritage and the influence of past sub-cultures are strongly felt, leaving us to wonder what this generations’ flag will be.
In an era where geographical boundaries are dwindling at the same speed as our smartphones’ 4G connections, the influences and sense of belonging of today’s youth are intrinsically diverse. Adopting a new take on the Punks of the 70s, Casely-Hayford conceived the birth of a style reasserting itself in its roots while simultaneously steering clear of nostalgia. 'Graphic Minimalism' is how the designing duo described this season’s language through which the 'Army of Me' concept was communicated, giving a chance for individuals to find novelty in their origins.
The silhouettes of the collection were an inspired enhancement of classic cuts and tailored suits. With an array of fabrics stretching from Hawaiian prints to wood-imitation textiles, the designs set the tone for the nouveau-chic, edgy and avant-garde man. They could be worn from day to night, from casual to formal settings, accompanying the modern man in a life of perpetual movement and adaptability. After all, isn’t this the sign of the coming generation: an ease in flexibility and unprecedented openness?
Photography: Courtesy of Purple PR