“Looking for a vocation in the decline of civilization,”
is poet Hector Aponysus’s beautiful yet dark way of summing up the powerful title Dystopia Lives. Liam Hodges work manages to fuse the present with poetic creation. Hodges calls it,“the benefits of looking at where things are at but through different lenses.”
Shy is not in Hodge’s vocabulary. No No NO. The collection is loaded with loud, big and garish knits- in fact he should be named the King of Knits, because it’s rather notable how it all just works. This oversized theme is carried throughout his signature pieces such as his giant T-shirt and coat styled with militant influences and, if you pay close attention, elements of Kubrick’s brilliantly twisted tale, A Clockwork Orange as well as the iconic triple breasted sex worker from Total Recall sneak in and share the limelight.
What I really like about this collection is that there is a unified mood created and it is echoed throughout each item of clothing. And of course finished off well with ones go-to comfy favourite: a trusty pair of All Stars. It all makes for a rather refreshing take on masculinity in contemporary society as Hodges takes mens’ everyday wardrobe and adds that extra, ‘Mmm…that’s rather nice’ factor. The man himself, even says, “ultimately, I’m taking something quite normal and making it beautiful.” The verdict is: Hodges designs clothes not for clones, but for men who want to be individuals.
All the way from Beijing, Xander Zhou brings to London his label that is significantly spreading worldwide. And fast. Simply said: This is a collection that speaks of understanding. Zhou provides a reflective space that encourages the viewer to take a stroll down nostalgia lane-
“We are young, but we are no longer children. We have grown up. We have come to understand ourselves.”
Fabric plays a vital role for Zhou. He finds himself getting lost in the tangible attributes in relation to the male body. How it sits, how it moves when a man walks. He revamps classical forms within new contexts, occasionally blurring the lines between gender stereotypes. One notices the recurring characteristic of the shirt being just that little bit too short. This allows the viewer to to see how the garment moves as well as allowing for a sneak peak of the devious bit of skin beneath. Zhou has an original way of combining poise and sophistication with street wear and this is forever evolving in his collection.
“I came back to China at exactly the right moment,”he says. It is clear that he is passionate about his roots, and he expands on this thought by mentioning that Asia is, “the new generation.” I am looking forward to seeing how he continues to communicate this notion in his future collections.
Lastly, don’t forget to appreciate those edgy geometric specs.
“A walk in a park – reggae is playing – still we think of home”
Picture this: a a battle field of shapes smashing, tumbling and exploding onto a dress. Well, welcome to the Sibling’s collection. It has the power to excite the eye and slashes the runway with this seasons particularly loud navy and red combo. Antoni Gaudi sure is smiling in his grave. He would be proud to see the life Park Güell (in Barcelona) inspired and injected into this collection. The talented duo, Sid Bryan and Colette McCreery, have created a brand iconically known for sequins, spots, stripes and leopard tails wagging their way across jumpers. Are you brave enough to wear, as the pair have dubbed it, ‘Mental Mosaic?’ Come on I dare you.
In addition to this throbbing festival of colour, elements of Englishness make a noticeable appearance in the flat caps, knitted Lady Di ruffled collars and football sock bows. And you needn’t forget the beautiful shoes these show stoppers are paired with. The kind of shoes everyone needs to put on to beat those Monday blues at the office.
Clean-cut tailoring with sharp details is designer Wan Hung Cheung’s forte. Founded in 2014, his creative hand continues to flourish as he employs a melting pot of cultural influences fusing well together. This is seen in his traditional Chinese Tang suit robes which he blends with Western tailoring. The colour palette of red, silver and gold keeps the essence of his native country, China alive. He particularly pays homage through his prints as they are inspired by the Chinese character for ‘Good Luck’.
He marries the West with the East through his innovative combination of Chinese knotting techniques with glitter fabrics and yarns from Italy and Portuguese denim. At the heart of his work, classical silhouettes are revamped through textile and print development.