Men's fashion is often criticised for going one of two ways: too safe or too far. This is the fundamental reason behind Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton's decision to form their own brand, Agi + Sam.
The pair met whilst working for Alexander McQueen and realised they share a belief - fashion should not be taken too seriously. Their humorous approach to fashion combined with their incredible eye for design results in an aesthetic that is innovative, relaxed and wearable.
For Spring/Summer 17, the duo presented at 180 The Strand showcasing a new innovation in Merino wool in collaboration with The Woolmark Company and Dormeuill.
Looks were layered in beige, navy and white with the occasional injection of colour in red, orange and turquoise. Texture was built up through ponyskin jackets and fringed stripes. The bed-head hair added to the aesthetic with long messy waves, curls and afros. This laid back styling gave the clean lines of tailoring more of a modern edge.
Pinstripes and grid print ran throughout the show tying the looks together. A few pieces in vintage floral lent a slight eccentricity along with the neck ties and large blooms adorning the model's faces. References to manly military jackets were softened with the addition of leather marigold gloves, turning traditional gender roles on their head.
In line with the brand's sense of humour, a white tee featuring an image from Only Fools and Horses' lead character Del Boy certainly turned heads and acted as a gentle reminder to the amused audience that fashion is not to be taken too seriously.
Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
It may have been held in the sick, twisted early hours of the morning (yes, 9am definitely fits into that category), but Agi and Sam refused to let us sail through their A/W14 fashion show with bleary eyes and foggy morning-after brains. We were roused up into an excitable frenzy by a group of live drummers - setting us up for the perfect synergy of Western and African culture - and the sea of desperately expectant iPhones and iPads flew into the air as the first beat hit. The collection was interweaved with subtle political commentary: a monochrome, tailored background formed the general body of the collection, with accents such as traditional skirts, corporation logos and chalk lines allowing the fabric to speak words. Our job was to hear them over our hangover headaches.
Whilst, upon unravelling the message behind the Watu Nguvu show, a great amount of understanding and appreciation could be derived - some aspects of the collection were just a little too literal for me: namely pointing fingers at that which can only be described as a buoyancy jacket. Those clasps should never, ever be seen on a catwalk, surely? Maybe I just hadn't had enough coffee, maybe I'm not open-minded enough, but some things will just never be fashionable. Boating gear aside, the bulk of the line was beautifully made, all class with its hints of mixed culture - though perhaps a little less blatant next season, Agi and Sam?
Words: Ebony Lauren Nash | Fashion Week Press | @Ebzo