Established in 2005 by TOPMAN and Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East, MAN has found and helped support notable designers over the years. This season sees the return of Charles Jeffrey’s LOVERBOY collective alongside Feng Cheng Wang and Per Götesson. Held in the Old Selfridges Hotel, the showcase was the platform for three extremely different collections and styles of expression.
Per Götesson played with a mixture of silhouettes and fluidity in his second collection under the MAN umbrella. With over-sized checks and draping outerwear, the collection played with combining tight and wide fit materials.
Many pieces were inspired by the comfort of pyjamas. Unlined coats and raw edge denim were juxtaposed against the use of softer fabrics such as Lycra, which was cut loosely to flow freely whilst models walked. The shapes of garments were pulled and ruched to exaggerate the volume of trousers, which were constructed over the top of wide denim pants.
LVMH Prize finalists Feng Cheng Wang’s collection was a transition through the senses, going from nude tones to metallics and yellows. Focusing on emphasising the shape of the clothing, similar to Per Götesson, garments that were tight to the body were extremely tight and those that were loose were large and bellowing.
Cocooning coats in canary yellow and head to toe metallic looks were the highlight of the collection. White and gunmetal technical fabrics were also seen in trailing coats and high shine sweatshirts.
Charles Jeffrey, the Scottish born Central Saint Martins alumni and his LOVERBOY shows have been included in many “one’s to watch list” since his debut presentation in 2015. With models casted from LOVERBOY club nights he used to host at Vogue Fabrics, his collections were often androgynous and light hearted. For AW17, Jeffrey looks deeper into gender and the threat of an uncertain future with an over-the-top theatrical runway show.
Beginning with eerie silence and dancers in nude suits standing around the pillars that interrupted the runway. The collection began with darker hues then Jeffrey has utilised previously, said to represent celestial bodies and take an influence from science fiction. Structured outerwear was paired with shorts and drastic hairstyles.
The collection later flowed into brighter metallics and models with face paint inspired by Celtic warriors. Elements of punk styling and Americana could be seen in particular outfits, after Jeffrey’s return from New York, taking inspiration from the club scene (as documented by iD Magazine).
Each chapter of the show was closed with a large, figureless shape, reminiscent of agendered sculptures by Faye Toogood or Louise Bourgeois. Four of these towering figures stormed down the runway, with the dancers reacting to their presence. The climax of the show was a haunting black figure that the dancers screamed and crawled after.
Words: Andre Bogues | Fashion Week Press | @andredevb