Hand drawn graffiti, crayon drawings white linens and whiter denims – for Alex Mullins SS16 it’s all about youth nostalgia.
Whether the thermostat was purposefully turned to max, or London’s fickle mugginess was the culprit, today’s perspiration-inducing heat really fit with Alex Mullins’ theme. Imagine gymnasium-esque floor tiles, big foam matts packaged messily with cable ties, and a bunch of sweaty browed boys and you’re practically in the room. The just-turned-teen cast of models stared down audience members, dressed head to toe in garments that were subtly oversized and swiftly slung on. White linens and whiter denims made up almost the entirety of Mullins’ show, and on so many of the garments were odd pieces of hand drawn graffiti – a Bugs Bunny type character reclining on arms and torsos, and the hems of the jeans and jackets redrawn in wobbly, childlike blue crayon. The whole offering felt like it was harnessing that deeply uncool, sexually frustrated adolescence that we’ve all so gladly left behind at the dark ends of our Facebook pages… but for some reason Mullins made it appealing again.
This sweaty teen-ness, and the crash matt style set, framed the central garments perfectly. Crisp linen jackets, with huge chore pockets at the hip, and waist ties cinching the silhouette were combined with super relaxed jeans, detailed with plate-sized circular pads on the thighs and the knees. The silhouette, the fabrics, and the hints of colour made many pieces feel like they were an urban redesign of the classic Judo uniform. No black belts though. A-line denim skirts, with asymmetric diagonal hems came just below the knee, but were cleverly constructed to look like a giant duster jacket had been tied at the hips and allowed to flop. One of the looks maintained this silhouette but was covered in child-like crayon drawings in oranges and yellows.
Down and Dirty
An acid green Bomber and jean combo was covered in black ombré spray paint flecks, while a mucky brown Western jacket and matching trousers were scrawled with earth toned phalluses. This seemed incohesive with the whole offering, while the looks really worked standalone. The feeling that the wearer has crept into his Dad’s shed in the middle of the night in order to just “mess some shit up” plays across the whole collection. Because, crayoning outside the lines and splatting yourself with spray-paint are all clear signifiers of a type of youth which we have all been through, but is very rarely explored in the fashion forum. Yet again, Mullins has taken fairly basic outfit structures, and edited them incredibly skillfully both in silhouette and meaning.
Words: Tom Rasmussen
Photography: Jeff Boudreau