Spring/Summer 2016 marks MAN’s ten year anniversary, a joint initiative realised by Fashion East and Topman launched in 2005 during London Collections: Men. MAN’s list of alumni continues to stand for its influential mentorship and support for its designers, having successfully launched the careers of Kim Jones (currently Style Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton), J.W. Anderson (currently Creative Director of Loewe and eponymous label J.W. Anderson), Astrid Andersen and Craig Green. This season, MAN showcased the work of two as opposed to three designers, with Nicomede Talavera taking a pause this season.
For his second MAN outing, Rory Parnell-Mooney’s boys were the first to step out into the Old Sorting Office. Ecclesiastical, sober cuts opened the show, and long knit sweaters evoked a softer version of mail. These digressed into increasingly liberated silhouettes, with thighs flaunting through floating panels of pleated cotton, and layers of unpicked, chequered linen. Like embarrassed teenagers attempting to embrace their blossoming manhood, the models, one after another, unveiled their skin provocatively - evoking the sensual man. Mooney stuck to a monochrome palette, which was interrupted by Malevich-esque geometric yellow dashes. With appreciated attention to detail, the collection’s oversized accessories were placed unconventionally, dangling from one ear or shooting out from elbows. Their sharp angles mapped out what could be interpreted as the shape of a gun - another hint of teenage melancholia. In an interesting collision of the abstract and clerical world, the designer brought about both familiarity and reinvention to contemporary styles.
Following in the steps of Mooney’s introduction, Liam Hodges’ third and final MAN outing, elaborated upon the theme of misunderstood, yet fantastic youths. The first model to step into the runway’s beam of light carried a pitchfork - these riotous kids seem to sway with their freedom, carrying with them the accessories of their daily hobbies: football gloves, graffiti fabrics and climbing harnesses. With sharp blacks, whites and teals, the line-up was interrupted by glaring light electric blues, which made its way from blouson jackets and baggy trousers to being painted on the boys - reminiscing the male Avatar on Pandora.
In this tenth anniversary show of MAN’s exclusive collaborations, it was inspiring to see the fresh and unprocessed talent of London’s graduates take foot on the international stage. As Hodge has reached MAN’s magic number, three - the number of seasons that MAN supports its designers and design teams, it will be up to Hodge to continue to develop his expressive and masculine voice in commercially successful products to further broaden his list of stockists.
Review: Claire Lexa
Autumn/Winter 2015 Looks:
Menswear Autumn/Winter 2015 Looks:
Review: Claire Lexa
Runway Photography: Courtesy of Starworks Group