Fresh from the success of the Royal College of Art graduate show the night before, Per Gotesson started off the MAN show on a high. A towering pile of mattresses with scantily clad male models slung over it was centre stage, while the crowds piled into the pitch black, sweaty heat of the Ambika P3 gallery. Gotesson worked mainly with denim in his eight piece collection, owning the simple approach to doing one thing and doing it well. Raw edges and mixed scales of skin tight and super voluminous added to the ‘hobo’ look that the mattresses hinted at. Key-chains and beer ring pulls weighed down draping fabric and jangled when models cat-walked away from their mattress fort. Classic jeans were suspended with string instead of waistbands, or high waisted with paper-bag cinches and uber flared. Gotesson deconstructed and reconstructed denim staples to new effect, and threw in some coffee stained jersey pieces to break it all up. His spin on simple mastered clean and dirty all at the same time.
Fen Cheng Wang
LVMH prize finalist and another RCA graduate, Fen Cheng Wang stays true to her functional roots with a fastening filled show. She explored the idea of connection and connectivity in the digital age with elastic cords and locks to create pathways in the clothes. A sheeny tent-like nylon graduated in colour, beginning with an icy white, moving to a warm blue and finishing with a fiery orange. Cheng Wang reworked classic bombers and shorts into avant-garde but wearable pieces with extra volume using drawstring toggles to pull fabric in new places: above the heart, at the hips, on the sleeves and also for this season’s menswear favourite – the untethered shoulder. Braver pieces included the lattice tops and deconstructed trousers that flashed slithers of thigh, pulling in at the knee and kicking out to flare. The collection was a streetwear hit, using the simple functionality of zips and drawstring toggles to play with volume in a totally new way.
Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY pulled out his usual theatrics and didn’t disappoint. Eerie extra-terrestrial type music was piped out while fragrant flowers were scattered over the catwalk. Soon after finger-curled, bleach blonde male models strutted down the floral catwalk in New Look full-skirted and flounced coats. The show was an eclectic mix of references to menswear throughout the centuries. One thing was for certain though: the ‘dandy’ was a running theme. Victorian double breasted jackets with nipped in waists and mutton-leg sleeves played with proportions in a feminine way, but nothing said ‘fuck you’ to gender constructions like a male model in a navy scalloped corset and tracksuit bottoms (Jeffrey threw in some female models too). Swarovski crystal boxer shorts and headpieces, chainmail by Jack Appleyard and tribal body-paint just added to the well-loved spectacle that runs within the DNA of Charles Jeffrey.