For AW17, maharishi returned with another military focused collection, with this season being inspired by the occupation of Africa. Entitled Tour D’Afrique, the catwalk show took place in the BFC Show Space, at 180 Strand. With the stimulus of the collection routed in the politics of African colonisation, pieces were an unique mix of traditional African influence and contemporary Western design. The collection also took inspiration from the interplay between Chinese and US occupation of different parts of the Sub-Saharan, making for a collection with Eastern and Western influences.
Showcasing both mens and womenswear, the collection had a natural palette of earth tones, corals and the key colour coltan. Being inspired by the military, the collection was full of khakis and camouflage colours. Brightness in the form of coral reds and sandy yellows added warmth to the winter collection. A few of the khaki pieces were sandblasted to give the desert ready look.
Hints of the French design mixed with Asian, brought heritage Kenzo collections to mind. With tigerstripe and oversized utility pockets on jackets, the garments shown were practical and wearable. Military jackets were hand painted and screen printed as part of maharishi’s upcycling project. Tigerstripes were reproduced in shades of white and red, with models faces also covered in dark stripes.
Maharishi included a mixture of silhouettes that are in trend now and others inspired by traditional wear. With souvenir jackets that were delicately embroidered with references to the American Tour of Vietnam. Larger, hooded jackets were seen, which reinvented the silhouette of the Djellaba (a traditional loose fitting North African robe). Kimono’s were also seen in the womenswear. The collection was a beautiful embodiment of the core themes of the brand, with the juxtaposition of soft textures and military influences.
Words: Andre Bogues | Fashion Week Press | @andredevb