My Dad, who is also an allotmenteer, said to me the other week: “The thing is about plants, they want to live.” I had been staring downcast at my asparagus beds, in their first season, where nothing was growing. It was the end of May, a time when asparagus – even in the first season [...]
JW Anderson’s pre-collections always bear further examination. That’s because he puts so much into them, these interim collections that have often been confined to pure commerce but which have recently expanded into fully-fledged designer statements. he puts a lot in, and reaps the rewards.
Fashioning freedom and ignoring the hyperbole: Craig Green, Sibling, Burberry Prorsum and Nasir Mazhar menswear, in London
A lot of patriotic conjecture gets thrown around about British fashion. That’s probably because middle England, as a whole, doesn’t really like it, and hence fashion folk seem desperately keen to emphasise just how incredibly important it all is. It is important, of course. Fashion is the second largest employer in the United Kingdom. It’s an industry similar in size to the food and beverages or telecommunications industries, and is bigger than automotives and advertising. Burberry is one of the UK’s most valuable brands, according to the FTSE 100. It rubs shoulders with Barclays and BP.
Schools need to teach austerity cooking and turn out a generation who can make good choices in the supermarket, create affordable, decent meals and keep themselves and their own families in good health. God knows, we can’t afford the medical bill otherwise.
The good, the bad, the ugly – fashion shows are sometimes all three, and frequently that’s their strength. That’s because fashion isn’t about just looking pretty, particularly when it’s elevated by a catwalk showcase. Those shows are also not purely about product. They’re aspirational aesthetic proposals, about shifting the goalposts and introducing something fresh and new. A fashion show should question, and provoke, as well as try to hawk us something new off the back of it.
The media’s current favourite portmanteau is “Spornosexual.” Its current favourite garment is the c-string manikini, a cutaway one-sided posing pouch that barely adheres to the pelvis. Modern masculinity, it seems, is in a period of flux and upheaval, where societal norms are shifting and suddenly what men are willing to put on their backs (or, perhaps, around their crotches) seems more malleable than ever before. Ideologically, if not physically.
Pre-collections are collections too: last resorts from Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Balenciaga and JW Anderson
Fashion is demanding. Especially now we’re working on a four-season system instead of two. That’s my take-away thus far from the pre-collections. Actually, let’s stop that ridiculous terminology straight away. If Nicolas Ghesquiere’s excellent show last month in Monaco proved anything, it was that pre-collections are collections too.
Last night, Christopher Shannon won the inaugural BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund – an injection of £150,000 cash with £50,000 in mentoring, the biggest prize in menswear. It’s the bloke’s counterpart to the Vogue Fashion Fund, a stamp of establishment prestige.
In layman’s terms, Christopher Shannon’s receipt of this award is the equivalent of Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision victory, or England winning the World Cup. Namely, the people’s choice. Lest that sound overtly populist, he’s also the critic’s choice. He’s liked and his collections are lauded.
Indy blogger Sarah Outen is on a mission to loop the world using a rowing boat, a bike and a kayak. Starting under Tower Bridge, London in 2011 she is now over half way through her journey as she kayaks along the remote Aleutian Islands in Alaska with paddling partner Justine Curgenven. Here she updates us one month in to the paddle.
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