One of the most exciting things in the fashion industry is the discovery of raw new talent. The MAN scheme, created by Topman and Fashion East, does just that, making it one of the most important slots on the menswear show schedule each season. For SS15, MAN favourite Bobby Abley has been joined by Nicomede Talavera and Liam Hodges, each making their catwalk debut.
Talavera showed a modern and experimental collection, with a strong focus on silhouette and shape. There was a powerful dialogue of layering, sometimes challenging the traditional notion of masculinity by using kilts and skirts over trousers, or longer tunic styles. Talavera also used patchworked fabrics to create a plissé effect ,which worked to contour to the body. Gingham, pinstripe and geometric shapes all worked together to create a multi-faceted finish, which tested the boundaries of modern menswear. With such a strong and directional aesthetic, it is no wonder that Nicomede Talavera has already been picked up by the likes of LN-CC.
Next up was Liam Hodges, who showed a more playful edge with a collection seemingly inspired by Boy Scouts and the Canadian Mounties. This narrative was explored through the use of badges, which were emblazoned on shirts, tailored shorts and even outerwear. There was a real ‘spirit of the outdoors’ vibe, from the hiking boots and backpacks, through to vests adorned with keys and tools, and utilitarian elements. Towards the end of the show the palette became darker, perhaps signifying a more rebellious side to the Liam Hodges man. Regardless, the tone overall was tongue-in-cheek and Hodges clearly doesn’t take himself too seriously.
For SS15 Bobby Abley once again took us on a magical ride with more Disney references, this time focusing on the tale of the Little Mermaid. Large placement prints have become something of a signature for Abley and this time Ursula, Sebastian and Ariel took centre stage, featuring on sweatshirts and boxy tees. In terms of the styling, Abley’s re-imagining took a skater-boy turn with board shorts, shirts tied around waists and the ubiquitous two-piece forming the key elements of the collection. Stand out look? That tinsel tee and shorts combo, obviously. Ripped denim, neoprene and deep iridescents helped to convey the underwater theme, but Abley’s collection is one that focuses on the darker elements of the classic tale.
Words: Jordan Poretous.
Photography: Rebecca Thomas.