Graduating from the Royal College of Art’s MA course just a year ago, Per Götesson’s opening slot at Saturday’s MAN show marked the designer’s third stint with the Topman backed Fashion East initiative. His has been a quieter trajectory than that perhaps of those he’s shared the stage with, owing in many parts to the subtlety of his vision: he is not a designer to explore theatrics, dealing instead with a solid aesthetic foundation.
This season working with set designer Tony Hornecker, a curtain of pink streamers and a single pink light announced each look; 14 in total, some with variations of knitted string vests, others further advocating the Barbie shade, many with inside out details. “It’s about this relaxed tailoring,” explained the designer in the accompanying show notes, “and finding new ways with denim, a fabric that I love.”
Like Ed Marler and Charles Jeffrey before them, Art School’s Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt thrive on performance. Just two seasons in – and here making their first catwalk turn (declaring it a safe space for theatre, friendship and fantasy) – the pair’s catalogue of queer couture was an exuberant affair filled with enough spirit to wipe out any post-election hangover. The “Macarena” played overhead for the finale, enough said no?
Translating said spirit to cloth, Loweth and Barratt’s “unfolding narrative of a nonbinary paradise” meant frocks were plentiful, strutting past in shades of red and peach in silk and velvet. Elsewhere a mint coloured two-piece channeling Clueless sported fluffy white panels, while an all pink get-up riffed on biker, and a red sweatshirt dress came fully branded with diamante.
Similarly thrashing the rule book of what a fashion show should look like, James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks’ first catwalk appointment was opened by Harry Freegard – recently shot for the cover of Man About Town by Wolfgang Tillmans – pink rubber saw in hand.
“Rottingdean Bazaar made moulds of a series of objects and cast them in lightweight polyurethane foam directly onto cotton jersey,” the show notes (accompanied by two foam 2p’s) told us plainly. Comprised of black tracksuits brandishing said foam pieces, the collection elsewhere saw pasta pieces clinging to the body in top form, while The Generation Game’s popular cuddly toy featuring conveyer belt theme concluded proceedings.