Topman, more than most other brands, has always understood its clothes in the context of how and where they are worn - and their SS18 presentation and accompanying exhibition was, of course, no exception. "Transition" is an exploration and a celebration of the way modern men interact with each other and their clothes. From the first wistful indolent images by photographer and model Nick Offord through to the brand's own collection shown in the final presentation space, we inhabited a Bildungsroman. Traversing the various rooms, a number of upcoming artists shared their sensory experiences of modern masculinity woven together less as an exhibition and more as a coming of age story. We saw men and boys taking on new clothes, new names, new experiences and learning how to live and love with other men.
The collection itself had a very youthful zeal. The boyish models with shimmering eye make up and brightly coloured glitter-slicked hair, had their their slender frames accentuated by belted waists and padded shoulders.
The loose tonal grey and white cottons interspersed with dashes of red and orange nylon harked back to the 80's. However it was the shoulders and shell suits and that located this collection within a distinctly New Romantic tradition.
Despite the quite tonal palette, The wide cut of the trousers with multiple asymmetric pleats and the way the fabrics hung lightly and loosely created a very modern feel. This was not a bunch of boys from the 80's looking to the future, these were boys from tomorrow's world looking back.
The jarring patterns, stripes and colours seemed exuberantly thrown together as the models themselves by turns lounged, fidgeted and chatted amongst themselves. You got a sense you were looking at a the beginnings of a futurist party where a bunch of trendy kids had really run with an 80's throwback theme.
As the music and spoken word duo The Rhythm Method came on, their front man (in this instance, embodying the character of "Salad Cream") paced the stage with a camp confidence and melodramatic delivery reminiscent of Suggs or Squeeze and asked if anyone had ever felt drunk and horny at a house party. This writer couldn't help but fondly remember the boldness of youth and how He had picked up stupid nicknames and drunkenly slurred "I love you man" every Friday and Saturday night for a year or two.
Words and images: Mitchell Cooper | Fashion Week Press | @catsandjackets
WATCH THE TRANSITION SS18 FILM