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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Presentation Review: U.Mi-1

New menswear label U.M-1 showed their S/S 2012 collection on the upper floors of the Freemasons Hall on Wednesday 21 September, with sharp suits and Prince of Wales checks…

Written by Matt Buttell


U.Mi-1 S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Walking through the hallowed halls of the Freemasons’ building, I couldn’t help but think I was actually appearing in an episode of BBC One’s Spooks. Heals clip-clopped on marble flooring, echoing around the grandiose interior, darkened wood, glass cabinets filled with associated paraphernalia. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was actually there to meet with the Home Secretary; that Harry Pearce was lingering somewhere in the shadows. He wasn’t, of course, he’s fictional; and I was dressed *way* too good to be doing such silly business as saving the world from terrorists.

Instead, for this presentation by menswear label U.Mi-1, the room we were in was filled not with MI5 Suits, but with boys wearing oversized-blazers, and girls who all seemed to have more-hair-than-clothes; all clutching man-bags or purses, cameras, notepads and complimentary herb-infused juice drinks. I’ve no idea why they were ‘herb-infused’. One assumes it was to give the idea that they were laced with vodka. It worked.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Upstairs, on the first floor, in the room we had converged in, was a presentation that felt more like a piece of theatre than it did a fashion show. Divided into two rooms, the first was lit only by the light from a projector on the wall; while the over-zealous pouring of the aforementioned juice drinks gave a heavy, over-burdened incense-like smell to the proceedings.


U-Mi.1 S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

The projector reel showed images two models at one time against a white wall. Standing side by side, the two boys would interact, not so much with each other but with their clothes: laughing as they pulled at button holes, braces, hemlines and creases, before changing to two new boys in two new outfits.

In the second, brighter room, the same models were present, only this time in the flesh and frozen: scattered across the back of the room to create a tableau of gorgeous fellas. This only heightened the theatricality of the event, thanks in part to the fact that the growing crowd (us included) were standing around the models as if there were a barrier between us and them: them on a stage, us an audience.

It wasn’t until, as we pulled out our camera, easily the biggest one there (size matters), that some man with a clipboard informed us we could get closer and the rigidness of the event shifted into something more real: journalists writing notes, models moving from one statuesque pose to another. And we lead the way, pioneers that we are. We twice contemplating striking a frozen pose in the centre of the room, hoping that revellers of the collection might confuse us for an eighth model.

The collection on offer was mostly made up of muted colours and pastel shades, simple lines and classic cuts. At one point I saw a girl jot down The Great Gatsby as a footnote, but she’d obviously never read F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic: these boys weren’t Jay Gatsby, they were the boys in Brideshead, dipped in sepia tones and burnt sienna, like something from a Sofia Coppola movie. Seams had been piped in contrasting colours, discreet checks were teamed with pale pastels and styled with thick-rimmed glasses and brown leather loafers.

Outside, still caught up in the spring-like warmth of the collection, my PA duties to Matt Bramford had drawn to a close. I could’ve lingered all day, only he then actually started calling me Alex Forrest (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction) and I had to bid adieu to Fashion Week for another year; all Brideshead illusions truly shattered.

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