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Agi & Sam: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Masai meets The West in this deeply personal collection from Agi & Sam, shown at Victoria House on Wednesday 8 January

Written by Matt Bramford

Agi & Sam A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

As we made our way through Victoria House for Agi & Sam‘s A/W 2014 presentation, models stood on plinths holding placards bearing the slogan ‘Watu Nguvu‘ (people power in Swahili) and oil company logos. They created a sombre atmosphere; part protest, part decoration. They were setting the scene for what would become an incredibly personal collection.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Banished were the vibrant fabrics of London transport of last season; gone were the matchy-matchy suits or block fluorescent colours that the duo have become famous for. In fact, gone was colouring altogether; only two pieces in this collection veered from the monochrome theme. It was a bigger surprise as any from the duo renowned for their worldly and energetic use of colour.

By this stage my camera had pretty much given up altogether. I have probably taken about 300,000 photographs with it, and it’s probably decided that it’s had enough of men and women walking backwards and forwards, so if anybody has a spare £2K to buy me another one that would be great, thanks. Despite this, I really like the shots I got here. There’s something about the soft focus (read: blurred) quality of them that suits this presentation.

The collection combines Western workwear with African tribal features, exploring the exploitation of African society and the stereotypes of the notion we call ‘The West’. Long silhouettes dominated this outing, as did box-shaped shoulders and ankle-length pants. Black cropped blazers and jackets with hidden fastenings toyed with the workwear theme with reflective band details. Traditional patterns like Masai check and African weaves were interpreted across coats and cropped jackets.

Agi & Sam A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

I particularly enjoyed the injection of oversized tees that featured Western oil conglomerate logos, providing a welcome burst of colour, and a long nylon coat that gave a utilitarian aesthetic without diverging from the key themes.

It’s easy to see why Agi & Sam were awarded the Emerging Talent accolade at last year’s British Fashion Awards: in just one season they’ve moved from playful prints to a slick collection with a political message that had been handled in a intelligent, provocative way.


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