MAN A/W 2018
Scene setting: Nothing encapsulates the cross section of burgeoning and ebullient creativity on the London fashion scene more than MAN’s seasonal catwalk show. The initiative, which was founded in 2005 to champion emerging menswear talent and runs alongside its women’s Fashion East counterpart, showcases the collections of three emerging brands each season. On the roster for AW/ 2018? Art School and Rottingdean Bazaar – who both presented their second shows with MAN – and Stefan Cooke, who made his runway debut after graduating from Central Saint Martins in March 2017.
Mood board: It was a joyful, humorous and eccentric offering. Take Art School – the brainchild of Eden Loweth and Tom Barrett – whose models ranged from men in drag and caked in sparkling facial glitter to Princess Julia, wearing ‘soft tailoring’ like tailored trousers encrusted with Swarovski crystals and sequins, military coats with dazzling diamanté belts, pinstripe skirt suits and leotards with Art School branding. Looks we’re topped off with sexy knee high boots, oversized rhinestone earrings and real razzmatazz.
Over at Rottingdean Bazaar, brand founders James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks put together a wildly imaginative and humorous show, which saw Julie Verhoeven dressed as a human dartboard, models appearing half-clothed in fancy dress costumes fashioned from a bubbly iridescent fabric, a larger than life male model in a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ‘We Do Big Sizes’, and an avid bird watcher whistling down the catwalk. It was a captivating mix of the mundane and the marvellous.
Stefan Cooke, who founded his label with partner Jake Burt has a fascination with manipulating ordinary garments. For his debut MAN offering, models strode about in skintight denim effect trousers, tailoring which had been cut and spliced, and cut-out cricket jumpers chopped into sweater vests. Their accessory of choice? Vintage-style clasp bags encased within a layer of Perspex and a rodeo-worthy pointed boot.
Best in show: At Rottingdean Bazaar, a green-and-red striped rugby shirt and a pair of bright blue trousers were fashioned from sale stickers tacked all over the body. The brand also excelled at sending a supermodel down the catwalk... in the form of a beaming Naomi Campbell cutout carried down the runway.