Sibling A/W 2012 by Gabriel Ayala
The Fashion East and NEWGEN installations were a riot of colour, innovation and design again this season. I always have the best intentions on menswear day to see everything – the schedule is quite thin in a morning and leads you into a false sense of security that you can casually amble around taking in every designer in your stride. Serenity soon turns to chaos about 1pm though – the installations open, they’re rammed, and all of a sudden there are back-to-back catwalk shows dotted around town.
So in typical Matt stylee I raced around the installations in between shows, juggling my camera, a glass of plonk and a bunch of handouts in unison. Here’s my whistle-stop tour of both the Fashion East and Newgen designers:
Christopher O’Brien’s name wasn’t one I’d heard of before, but I was captivated by his devilishly good looks and, more importantly, his A/W 2012 collection. His innovative crinkled cotton in white, navy and aqua across jackets and shirts really stood out.
Kit Neale A/W 2012 by Krister Selin
In a separate room, Kit Neale’s presentation was one of the highlights. A mixture of models stood and sat across wooden platforms, wearing Kit’s weird and wonderful digital-print fabrics. Matching jackets and trousers came in garish patterns, styled with scarves and backpacks. Across the room, a video of models performing karaoke to Elvis hits in front of a sparkly curtain played – one of my favourite digital presentations of this season.
Dr Noki’s NHS
In typical Noki fashion, his two models were adorned in all sorts of recycled materials: back-to-front New Era caps (a Noki staple), faces covered with t-shirts and comic book illustrations, which had my pal Gareth A Hopkins – Amelia’s Magazine contributor and comic perv – proclaiming that he was on trend long before Noki was; a fact I wholeheartedly agree with.
Lovely, lovely shoes.
Sibling A/W 2012 by Gabriel Ayala
On menswear day I find myself desperate to see what Sibling will present each season. Last year’s fairground-inspired collection bowled me over. This ‘Marked Man‘ collection drew inspiration from ‘the relationship between a protective matriarch and her beloved – but wayward – son’. Queue glittery knits, tattoo imagery, a bleeding heart motif – this design trio certainly know how to interpret a theme. My favourite pieces were those that carried the leopard print knits – just incredible. To accompany their presentation, Sibling produced a stunning video installation that featured three models behind bars. Three screens acted as contemporary prison windows, where guests could sit opposite, listen to white noise down phone lines, and generally absorb the atmosphere. It was pretty affecting stuff. The three screens worked as a whole, with models moving between windows and animations occurring at the same time. Even visiting children enjoyed it.
I’m a big fan of T.Lipop’s contemporary sartorial splendour and this season was no exception. A fashion expedition – models wore contemporary tailoring and were styled with ice-cold beards and eyebrows. There’s a full review of the T.Lipop catwalk show to come soon…
William Richard Green
Last but not least, William Richard Green gave the modern man more ways to mix up his wardrobe. Jackets displayed expert craftsmanship, adorned with large white buttons, reworking classic staple items into statements for A/W 2012. An inimitable mix of wearable pieces and conceptual items (overcoats teamed with polkadot trousers and New Balance trainers), garments in this collection are sure to become future classics and I’d gladly wear any of it.
It was pretty exhausting – not least because one had to manoeuvre around Champagne gluggers like an assassin just to take a photograph – but it’s always worth it.
A/W 2012, AW12, Christopher O'Brien, Dr Noki, Fashion East, Gaarte, Gabriel Ayala, Gareth A Hopkins, Kit Neale, Krister Selin, London Fashion Week, Marked Man, Matt Bramford, menswear, Newgen, NHS, Sebastian Tarek, Sibling, Somerset House, t.lipop, William Richard Green
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