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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Cooperative Designs (by Amelia)

Cooperative Designs create amazing knitwear for real women. Their new It's Alright collection for A/W 2011 was a rave inspired stunner, shown in the vaults of the RSA.

Written by Amelia Gregory


Illustration by Oliver John Quinn

After hanging out with contributor Nick for lunch during Menswear Day, information pills I hot-footed it up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to check out D.GNAK‘s latest offerings. It was the only menswear show I’d see at the Freemasons’ Hall and it was fairly quiet. I’d enjoyed his outing last season and was looking forward to seeing how his quirky Japanese aesthetic would translate for A/W.

I bumped into contributor Georgiahttp://www.ameliasmagazine.com/?s=Georgia%20Takacs there and we headed into the venue, here sitting on opposite sides so not to get the same pictures. As we sat down, sales she started FREAKING OUT. ‘Is that Paul Weller? IS THAT PAUL WELLER?!’ she began yelling. It turns out it was, and he was nestled on the front row with his missus and two children. Georgia immediately went over to chat to him and I took a few pictures of them together, grinned nervously at him and thought to myself that his haircut has a lot to answer for.

On with the show. In a bold move from last season’s classic tailoring with contemporary twists, Kang D (the designer behind D.GNAK) had injected strong colours, interesting knits and enormous rucksacks.

The show opened with utilitarian tailoring that you might expect George Orwell’s Winston Smith to wear dark grey baggy trousers with an apron-like upper half was teamed with a luxurious floor-length cable knit cardigan. Next, a rich pea-coat with over-sized lapels and plaid-detail shoulders.

D.GNAK as a label is quickly establishing itself as an expert in materials and textures. Wools, corduroy, tweed and cotton were all on display, spiced up using colours like mustard and burgundy.

There’s also an eye for the unfinished – that’ll be the Japanese ma influence then – with fraid hems that look a bit like a Saville Row tailor has had the day off – but teamed with polished blazers and expensive-looking coats, this works really well.

Every man is pretty much catered for here. There’s sartorial tailoring in the form of suits and Sherlock Holmes-esque coats for the sharpest dresser; wool blazers with contrasting buttons and vibrant trousers work well for casuals; corduroy onesies will have the more fashion-forward males racing to the shops.

Ace accessories were on offer – oversized patent leather rucksacks with suede details were worn on both shoulders, buckle straps revealed helpful features like an umbrella carrier. I like.

This was a much fresher collection than last time – the same level of craftsmanship was on offer, but it’s interesting to see D-GNAK explore different pieces, experiment with colours and toy with the traditions of sartorial menswear.

See more of Joana Faria’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Illustration by Oliver John Quinn

After hanging out with contributor Nick for lunch during Menswear Day, illness I hot-footed it up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to check out D.GNAK‘s latest offerings. It was the only menswear show I’d see at the Freemasons’ Hall and it was fairly quiet. I’d enjoyed his outing last season and was looking forward to seeing how his quirky Japanese aesthetic would translate for A/W.


Contributor Georgia with Paul Weller

I bumped into contributor Georgiahttp://www.ameliasmagazine.com/?s=Georgia%20Takacs there and we headed into the venue, recipe sitting on opposite sides so not to get the same pictures. As we sat down, she started FREAKING OUT. ‘Is that Paul Weller? IS THAT PAUL WELLER?!’ she began yelling. It turns out it was, and he was nestled on the front row with his missus and two children. Georgia immediately went over to chat to him and I took a few pictures of them together, grinned nervously at him and thought to myself that his haircut has a lot to answer for.


Illustration by Joana Faria

On with the show. In a bold move from last season’s classic tailoring with contemporary twists, Kang D (the designer behind D.GNAK) had injected strong colours, interesting knits and enormous rucksacks.

The show opened with utilitarian tailoring that you might expect George Orwell’s Winston Smith to wear dark grey baggy trousers with an apron-like upper half was teamed with a luxurious floor-length cable knit cardigan. Next, a rich pea-coat with over-sized lapels and plaid-detail shoulders.

D.GNAK as a label is quickly establishing itself as an expert in materials and textures. Wools, corduroy, tweed and cotton were all on display, spiced up using colours like mustard and burgundy.


Illustration by Rob Wallace

There’s also an eye for the unfinished – that’ll be the Japanese ma influence then – with fraid hems that look a bit like a Saville Row tailor has had the day off – but teamed with polished blazers and expensive-looking coats, this works really well.

Every man is pretty much catered for here. There’s sartorial tailoring in the form of suits and Sherlock Holmes-esque coats for the sharpest dresser; wool blazers with contrasting buttons and vibrant trousers work well for casuals; corduroy onesies will have the more fashion-forward males racing to the shops.

Ace accessories were on offer – oversized patent leather rucksacks with suede details were worn on both shoulders, buckle straps revealed helpful features like an umbrella carrier. I like.

This was a much fresher collection than last time – the same level of craftsmanship was on offer, but it’s interesting to see D-GNAK explore different pieces, experiment with colours and toy with the traditions of sartorial menswear.

See more of Joana Faria’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Illustration by Oliver John Quinn

After hanging out with contributor Nick for lunch during Menswear Day, visit this I hot-footed it up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to check out D.GNAK‘s latest offerings. It was the only menswear show I’d see at the Freemasons’ Hall and it was fairly quiet. I’d enjoyed his outing last season and was looking forward to seeing how his quirky Japanese aesthetic would translate for A/W.


Contributor Georgia with Paul Weller

I bumped into contributor Georgiahttp://www.ameliasmagazine.com/?s=Georgia%20Takacs there and we headed into the venue, pharm sitting on opposite sides so not to get the same pictures. As we sat down, she started FREAKING OUT. ‘Is that Paul Weller? IS THAT PAUL WELLER?!’ she began yelling. It turns out it was, and he was nestled on the front row with his missus and two children. Georgia immediately went over to chat to him and I took a few pictures of them together, grinned nervously at him and thought to myself that his haircut has a lot to answer for.


Illustration by Joana Faria

On with the show. In a bold move from last season’s classic tailoring with contemporary twists, Kang D (the designer behind D.GNAK) had injected strong colours, interesting knits and enormous rucksacks.


All photography by Matt Bramford

The show opened with utilitarian tailoring that you might expect George Orwell’s Winston Smith to wear dark grey baggy trousers with an apron-like upper half was teamed with a luxurious floor-length cable knit cardigan. Next, a rich pea-coat with over-sized lapels and plaid-detail shoulders.

D.GNAK as a label is quickly establishing itself as an expert in materials and textures. Wools, corduroy, tweed and cotton were all on display, spiced up using colours like mustard and burgundy.


Illustration by Rob Wallace

There’s also an eye for the unfinished – that’ll be the Japanese ma influence then – with fraid hems that look a bit like a Saville Row tailor has had the day off – but teamed with polished blazers and expensive-looking coats, this works really well.

Every man is pretty much catered for here. There’s sartorial tailoring in the form of suits and Sherlock Holmes-esque coats for the sharpest dresser; wool blazers with contrasting buttons and vibrant trousers work well for casuals; corduroy onesies will have the more fashion-forward males racing to the shops.

Ace accessories were on offer – oversized patent leather rucksacks with suede details were worn on both shoulders, buckle straps revealed helpful features like an umbrella carrier. I like.

This was a much fresher collection than last time – the same level of craftsmanship was on offer, but it’s interesting to see D-GNAK explore different pieces, experiment with colours and toy with the traditions of sartorial menswear.

See more of Joana Faria’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Illustration by Oliver John Quinn

After hanging out with contributor Nick for lunch during Menswear Day, abortion I hot-footed it up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to check out D.GNAK‘s latest offerings. It was the only menswear show I’d see at the Freemasons’ Hall and it was fairly quiet. I’d enjoyed his outing last season and was looking forward to seeing how his quirky Japanese aesthetic would translate for A/W.


Contributor Georgia with Paul Weller

I bumped into contributor Georgiahttp://www.ameliasmagazine.com/?s=Georgia%20Takacs there and we headed into the venue, medications sitting on opposite sides so not to get the same pictures. As we sat down, she started FREAKING OUT. ‘Is that Paul Weller? IS THAT PAUL WELLER?!’ she began yelling. It turns out it was, and he was nestled on the front row with his missus and two children. Georgia immediately went over to chat to him and I took a few pictures of them together, grinned nervously at him and thought to myself that his haircut has a lot to answer for.


Illustration by Joana Faria

On with the show. In a bold move from last season’s classic tailoring with contemporary twists, Kang D (the designer behind D.GNAK) had injected strong colours, interesting knits and enormous rucksacks.


All photography by Matt Bramford

The show opened with utilitarian tailoring that you might expect George Orwell’s Winston Smith to wear dark grey baggy trousers with an apron-like upper half was teamed with a luxurious floor-length cable knit cardigan. Next, a rich pea-coat with over-sized lapels and plaid-detail shoulders.

D.GNAK as a label is quickly establishing itself as an expert in materials and textures. Wools, corduroy, tweed and cotton were all on display, spiced up using colours like mustard and burgundy.


Illustration by Rob Wallace

There’s also an eye for the unfinished – that’ll be the Japanese ma influence then – with fraid hems that look a bit like a Saville Row tailor has had the day off – but teamed with polished blazers and expensive-looking coats, this works really well.

Every man is pretty much catered for here. There’s sartorial tailoring in the form of suits and Sherlock Holmes-esque coats for the sharpest dresser; wool blazers with contrasting buttons and vibrant trousers work well for casuals; corduroy onesies will have the more fashion-forward males racing to the shops.

Ace accessories were on offer – oversized patent leather rucksacks with suede details were worn on both shoulders, buckle straps revealed helpful features like an umbrella carrier. I like.

This was a much fresher collection than last time – the same level of craftsmanship was on offer, but it’s interesting to see D-GNAK explore different pieces, experiment with colours and toy with the traditions of sartorial menswear.

See more of Joana Faria’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Illustration by Oliver John Quinn

After hanging out with contributor Nick for lunch during Menswear Day, doctor I hot-footed it up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to check out D.GNAK‘s latest offerings. It was the only menswear show I’d see at the Freemasons’ Hall and it was fairly quiet. I’d enjoyed his outing last season and was looking forward to seeing how his quirky Japanese aesthetic would translate for A/W.


Contributor Georgia with Paul Weller

I bumped into contributor Georgiahttp://www.ameliasmagazine.com/?s=Georgia%20Takacs there and we headed into the venue, sitting on opposite sides so not to get the same pictures. As we sat down, she started FREAKING OUT. ‘Is that Paul Weller? IS THAT PAUL WELLER?!’ she began yelling. It turns out it was, and he was nestled on the front row with his missus and two children. Georgia immediately went over to chat to him and I took a few pictures of them together, grinned nervously at him and thought to myself that his haircut has a lot to answer for.


Illustration by Joana Faria

On with the show. In a bold move from last season’s classic tailoring with contemporary twists, Kang D (the designer behind D.GNAK) had injected strong colours, interesting knits and enormous rucksacks.


All photography by Matt Bramford

The show opened with utilitarian tailoring that you might expect George Orwell’s Winston Smith to wear dark grey baggy trousers with an apron-like upper half was teamed with a luxurious floor-length cable knit cardigan. Next, a rich pea-coat with over-sized lapels and plaid-detail shoulders.

D.GNAK as a label is quickly establishing itself as an expert in materials and textures. Wools, corduroy, tweed and cotton were all on display, spiced up using colours like mustard and burgundy.


Illustration by Rob Wallace

There’s also an eye for the unfinished – that’ll be the Japanese ma influence then – with fraid hems that look a bit like a Savile Row tailor has had the day off – but teamed with polished blazers and expensive-looking coats, this works really well.

Every man is pretty much catered for here. There’s sartorial tailoring in the form of suits and Sherlock Holmes-esque coats for the sharpest dresser; wool blazers with contrasting buttons and vibrant trousers work well for casuals; corduroy onesies will have the more fashion-forward males racing to the shops.

Ace accessories were on offer – oversized patent leather rucksacks with suede details were worn on both shoulders, buckle straps revealed helpful features like an umbrella carrier. I like.

This was a much fresher collection than last time – the same level of craftsmanship was on offer, but it’s interesting to see D-GNAK explore different pieces, experiment with colours and toy with the traditions of sartorial menswear.

See more of Joana Faria’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!
Cooperative Designs A/W 2011 by Natsuki Otani
Cooperative Designs A/W 2011 by Natsuki Otani.

Last season I was incredibly gutted to miss the Cooperative Designs presentation – such were the glowing reports on our website. But in my enthusiasm I actually turned up too early this time, treatment got turned away, medications ate a Pret sandwich… and then missed most of what turned out to actually be a catwalk show on repeat.


Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey.

Descending some stairs we were asked to sit in a darkened vault but my photographer’s sixth sense directed me instead to stand in a separate photographers box, healing where the models paused for a few seconds in somewhat brighter conditions.

Cooperative Designs A/W 2011 by Jane Young
Cooperative Designs A/W 2011 by Jane Young.

This was a collection inspired by 90s rave culture, Drum n Bass and the contemplative industrial photography of Thomas Struth, which meant that the oversized silhouette of Cooperative Designs came in industrial tones of grey and beige stripes combined with fluoro highlights in tie detailing, visors and threaded hair accessories.

Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey.
Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey.

Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryCooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

There was lots of asymmetrical patterning, floppy hooded jumpers, boxy baggy tops and knit dresses tiered with baggy pouches. Lacy see through knitwear recalled the combat trouser shapes so beloved of 90s dancers. Hats by Noel Stewart were tall and floppy like a gnome’s or featured ear flaps and visors – questionable styles that were somehow rendered infinitely desirable. A wide knitted skirt was particularly cute, as were the little boots by Flip Flop, customised by Cooperative Designs with extravagant orange soles.

Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryCooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryCooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Cooperative Designs A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Of any designers that I love I can actually imagine myself wearing Cooperative Designs. Their clever knitwear is by it’s very nature supremely flattering to the shape of a real women. Thankfully, they make a point of picking their models to reflect their customer.

Cooperative Designs 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Plywood jewellery by Corrie Williamson for Cooperative Designs 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

On my way out I was given a brilliant press release: informative, well written and protected in a cardboard envelope that even I would struggle to lose. Best of all, it came with my very own piece of painted plywood jewellery by Corrie Williamson, as featured in the collection. More designers could learn from such professionalism on the press release frontier.

You can read Naomi Law’s excellent review here and you can see more of Natsuki Otani’s work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

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