Fashion East epitomizes why London is one of the most exciting capitals for nurturing new design talent. Every season the intimate menswear installation invites guests to interact with the designers and their collections, offering a sneak peak to the headlines of Collections to come.
You’re not really supposed to pick favourites, but I’m afraid Edward Crutchley stole the show for me in his East meets West fusion of multi-coloured textiles. Crutchley may be new to design, but he is more than experienced in the world of fabrics, holding the position of Textile Consultant at Louis Vuitton Homme, Richard Nicoll and Jevoni. Layer upon layer of batik kimonos, silk, double faced polyester and digitally printed jerseys swathed models for a streetwear mood with an Asian undercurrent.
The design duo have made a name for themselves with their reinterpretations of frayed denim in the women’s department and have now debuted into menswear. They explained to Dazed Digital that “it’s not about being a full-blown menswear collection, it’s about being an extension of the women’s; an extension of the same vibe. The vibe is very important for us. We didn’t want it to be about the clothes only, we wanted it to be about that whole atmosphere – brought into menswear.”.
For SS15 they were inspired by road tripping and the All American teen spirit. Slouchy hoodies, pleated denim, cornflower yellow were all sported by a cast of bored looking teenagers. With Marques’Ameida its about getting up close and personal with their designs, at first they can appear to be rather non remarkable, but the devil is in the detail, and the detail is in their beautiful reworking of denim.
I was never a boy scout. Well, I suppose I couldn’t have been, but I was never the girl equivalent either. Shaun Samson however must have been, and a rather stylish one at that. Felting and mink lanyards, silk neckerchiefs with intricate printed details were punctuated by illustrations by Josh Gurrie. Caps, booting and tailored shirting gave the summer camp setting a cool kid vibe.
I’m not going to lie, at first I just didn’t get it. Lonely model on a pedestal in oversized tracksuit bottoms and leather jacket somberly sandwiched between two Greek statues – eh? But then like most things I warmed to it. The Greek statues had homo-erotic flyers scattered at their base. The awkwardness was of course intentional, the angular leather toughened up the bloated sportswear for a 90’s aesthetic, which we had seen by the likes of Christopher Shannon and Topman Design. Rose managed to create something rather uncomfortable that from a wearability perspective appeared extremely comfortable indeed.
Alan Crocetti opened the installation space with his aggressive looking models straddling black scaffolding. Dressed in what appeared to be black hospital gowns and knee socks, with silver knuckle dusters and metallic plasters bandaging their broken noses, the all over aesthetic was the bad boys of Fashion East who had been ruffled in a fight. Beautifully bruised, the inspiration was Fight Club and American skateboarding culture. For Crocetti wounds on the mend are an excuse for silver adornment. An incredibly simple presentation in comparison to his peer group, Crocetti managed to create something exquisite in a seemingly effortless fashion.