Imagine what Evelyn Waugh’s Sebastian Flyte might wear if he was a) a man about London town circa now, and b) a real person and not a tragic fictional character. Well, I telleth thee, it might just be Carolyn Massey’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection , or bits of it at any rate.
Massey’s collections concentrate on what it is to be a gentleman and how menswear has adapted itself in the past during times of civil unrest.
Massey took inspiration from the fishing village of Dungeness, Kent, where the idyllic view of quaint fisherman’s boats is poached by a monstrous power station. This concept, where English elegance meets an opposing force, whatever that may be, fused usually opposing ideas together.
Lightweight, looses trenches and tops made use of industrial fabrics, such as parachute silk. With drawstring waists and contrasting zippers, these garments are a developing trend for next summer. These were juxtaposed with leather harnesses, with a little help from Hannah Martin, to hint at militant ideals.
Menswear will always rely on classic tailoring techniques and the philosophical pieces that employed these principles stood out within Massey’s most marvellous collection. Lilac suits and shorts were given a less-formal look by teaming them with urban accessories like vests and knitted hats, or styled with an oversized flair.
Colours were given the Massey treatment, teaming military green and old-English navy with striking yellow hues.
The closing piece, a waxed-cotton creation masked by various compartments and backed with a rucksack, all made of the same material, served as a wearable fashion-forward item, but one which conveyed a sense of an oppressive society.
With a collection covering so many ideas, it’s easy to see why Carolyn Massey is at the forefront of London menswear.
Photographs by Matt Bramford
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