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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: James Long

James Long presented a sophisticated Woodstock at London Fashion Week's Menswear day on September 22nd 2010. Illustrations by Gareth A Hopkins.

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

For Spring Summer 2011 James Long, more about Royal College of Art graduate (fellow Alumni are Carolyn Massey and Erdem) changed track. The military references were replaced by a particular idea of American Outsiders perpetuated by Indie filmmaking. Famed for beautiful leatherwork, cost the designer considerate handling and subtle juxtaposition of materials is evident no matter what the season.

Whereas Spring Summer 2010 provided overtones of unique survival wear in a land desecrated by an as-of-yet unknown environmental atrocity. Spring Summer 2011 replaced action man with louche Woodstock hippy, troche a look also represented this season by JW Anderson.

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

After a prolonged absence, wool has firmly re-established itself across the catwalks. For Long’s paint splattered leather came interspersed with block coloured loose knits or dipped dyed swatches. Whilst the collections are often beautiful interpretations of the possibilities within menswear. There was -of course- the ubiquitous nod to the important role Denim has played in the construction of male identity. Long’s use of extra light denim emulated his interest in the film, My Own Private Idaho.

Autumn Winter 2010 saw Long successfully collaborate with experimental film maker, Bruce La Bruce whose blood splattered prints adorned Long’s designs. For Spring Summer 2011, the exquisitely printed leather was outcome from a chance meeting between the designer and artist Ethan Cook (At Woodstock!) and their discovery of a shared interest in materiality.

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

The clothes of James Long appear to reside in thoughts of elsewhere, perhaps the occasionally dreary London Landscape lends itself well to the inspirational daydream.

Much has been made of the muted atmosphere year that surrounded the Menswear S/S 2011 collections, an atmosphere that seems out of kilter with the strength of collections being produced by young designers for whom menswear is very much an open concept. More noise next year please and for more reviews on menswear check out Amelia’s Magazine Fashion Archive.


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