We are less than a week away from the British Fashion Awards, where the most influential British designers, models, creatives and style icons will be coming together in a celebration of British fashion talent. Awards include “Brand of the Year”- Burberry, surely? “Menswear designer of the year” – my money is on Tom Ford. And “Womenswear designer of the Year”- Sarah Burton, no?
However, I’m most excited about the “Emerging Talent – Menswear” award. Previous winners include JW Anderson and Christopher Raeburn, versatile designers who are champions of British menswear both at home and on an international level. Looking to award an innovative and directional designer who is emerging as an influential force in British menswear, this years nominees include Agi & Sam, Christopher Shannon and Craig Green.
Agi & Sam
Agi and Sam have been the darlings of British fashion since they burst onto the scene in 2010. Relative new comers to the game, they were nominated for this category last year and my money is on them to take the award home next week.
Since the much-talked about duo started up, they’ve designed an exclusive range for TOPMAN, a three piece capsule collection for MR PORTER, a t-shirt range for Liberty and been mentored by the likes of LuLu Kennedy, Paul Smith and Charlie Porter – not bad for a couple of boys in their twenties, hey?
Their collections are modelled by men of all ages, which is reflective of their clientele – it seems we all want a piece of Agi & Sam. Tongue and cheek prints, bold colours and endearing parables are at the heart of their collections. It’s sometimes hard to follow their train of thought (SS14 centres around a bus, an old man, lost youth, TFL?) but it doesn’t seem to matter what the story is when they’re producing pieces that are so pleasing on the eyes.
Their collections are wearable but never boring, bold but never aggressive, and brave but never over baring.
Their’s will be one of the hottest tickets at LCM AW14.
Christopher Shannon hails from Liverpool, and he draws on his hometown and upbringing throughout his work. This gives his collections a distinct personal feel – his is not the work of London’s moneyed Savile Row, but the gritty nightlife of Scouse teenage boys. As a consequence his collections are invigorating, youthful and have a unique pulse to them. Of particular note was his SS14 show, which was celebrated by critics and has accelerated his promising reputation in menswear circles.
He marries classic sportswear with a contemporary urban aesthetic. Not afraid to explore outlandish fabric Christopher Shannon uses leather, jersey, PVC, rubber and vinyl to create tailored silhouettes. His zebra prints and bold colours on sweatshirts are off-duty pieces that will attract the young fashion set. Sportwear is in, and Christopher Shannon is leading the way in this particularly hip pack.
His younger and more affordable range, entitled KIDDA, is available at the likes of ASOS, and features jerseys, vests and t-shirts baring his signature paisley and chain prints.
It was not so long ago that David Gandy openly took the mickey out of Craig Green’s plywood headpieces – well, who’s laughing now, hey? Although his work boarders fashion and artistic installations, carpentry and controversy aside, his collections are worth celebrating.
This is a designer that isn’t afraid of a few bad reviews, in fact he relishes in being provocative, because the fact of the matter is, his pieces are exceptionally well made. He layers fabric beautifully, experiments with bold colours, uses graphic tie-dye and created finely textured pieces.
The designer has produced custom head pieces for fellow nominee Christopher Shannon, created a covetable footwear collection for BALLY and created the David Beckham shoe with adidas for the Olympics.
Craig Green is still relatively new to the game, and although its unlikely that he will take the award home this year, if he continues as is, he can start preparing his acceptance speech for next.
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