James Long takes us to rave in Brighton wearing ruffles and clashing psychedelic prints.
Louche 70s vibe
The soundtrack by Death in Vegas and Tori Amos set the scene of rock star dressing room for James Long’s SS16 collection as the first tousle-haired model emerged. Cotton chinoiserie paisley prints on ruffle shirts, waitcoats and clashing prints in psychedelic shades were worn easy over wide leg pants. “Unashamed” was a key word in this show – “I was looking at people who are so natural in their clothing, they think they’re blending in, but they’re totally not,” said Long of the collection. “There’s a real freedom to it”.
In a new spin on off duty footballer chic, long matched lightweight dinner jackets with track pants and extra short shorts. A vivid neon scribble deigned by James Davidson added a citrus zing, emblazoned onto sweaters and jogging bottoms. Yet there was a distinctly feminine flair to the pieces – gathering on the back, ribbon drawstrings and decorative knitwear meant this gym kit was no macho uniform.
Inspired by a trip to Brighton where clubbers emerged from all night raves, there was an undone structure, with cardigans worn open at the neck, a slashneck sweater unzipped to the elbow. Long length cardigans in vivid prints looked comfy, slung over clashing ensembles. A patchwork coat with frayed edging an unfettered statement. Rock star, footballer, raver – whatever life this new age aristocrat leads, we want in on that self-imposed modern uniform that millions wear every day – namely, workwear – and made us all wish we worked in an office. Slender models with the blank stare of the desktop drone moved monotonously to Savages’ words: “don’t let the fuckers get you down, don’t let them wonder why you frown”. Wide and double-breasted jackets were worn with cropped pants. Short-sleeved tunics were shown over white shirts and ties, a staple which underpinned many of the looks.
Words: Rena Niamh Smith
Photographer: Thurstan Redding
Hair: Fudge Professional