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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

LFW 09 – Christopher Shannon – Scallies

MAN, September 23rd 2009, Somerset House

Written by Jonno Ovans

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Most regular joes can barely get their heads round a manbag – well, cost they better get ready to accessorise to within an inch of their lives because that’s what the designers in the MAN show have got planned for them next summer, shop with a strong emphasis on cuffs, viagra sale bags, shoes and, er, ribcages.

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First out was Katie Eary with the collection ‘Naked Lunch’, taking its title from the seminal William Burroughs work, a text featuring a veritable rainbow of topics ranging from child murder to heroin (last season was built around Orwell’s Animal Farm). Eary’s collection was like an autopsy, with the inside of the body externalised and represented in fabric and metalwork.

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 The opulent gold bone and pearl ribcages (reminiscent of Shaun Leane) seemed a curious proposal to accessorise with our own insides, with drug use and the crumbling of the body inferred by the cartilage-like red rope shoulderpieces, human hair, frayed denim and heart and organ prints. It was a theme that Eary extended to maximum capacity in a real attention to the most frightening of details.

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The models’ faces were often imprisoned in metal masks, chainmail and helmets making them resemble dystopic, nightmarish soldiers, with laser-cut brass sandals and gold skeletal hands completing an extraordinarily unsettling, inventive and ultimately transfixing vision. Yet it was a theatrical edge that was mitigated by a selection of completely wearable pieces, featuring tailored shorts, a studded leather jacket and graphic print t-shirts.

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All photographs by Matt Bramford

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Lastly were some more home-grown designs from Christopher Shannon, viagra who in keeping with previous collections sent out more “refined scallyism” (as he describes it) sportswear in a fresh, monochromatic colour palette of white and mint green. Again there were some ruddy brilliant bags on show, made in collaboration with Eastpak (we’d clocked them in the exhibition downstairs earlier, and nearly made off with one of them) in PVC and leather – both rucksacks and weekend bags.

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The slicked up geezers swaggered down the runway clad in simple tees, shorts and tracksuits, and were made up in lashings of St Tropez with deliberately terrible tan lines. Who knew builders were such trend-setters? Simpler than Shannon’s previous offerings, it was guided by stripes and panels and featured three sheer, lightweight knits by Morgan Allen-Oliver – a great addition to a resolutely urban collection. A whirl around the world, then, from the MAN designers but as Shannon’s show closed with ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, we were obviously finishing up a bit closer to home. Maybe they planned it that way!

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In the evening we went to the MAN party in the vaults of Somerset House -the cocktails were strong and we hadn’t eaten any dinner. Needless to say, we had a good time.

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All Photographs by Matt Bramford

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