A-COLD-WALL* A/W 2019 London Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: It was little surprise that outside A-Cold-Wall*’s Brick Lane show space on Monday lunchtime, a swathe of streetwear-clad teenagers hung around outside the venue, angling for a spot inside. Designer Samuel Ross has fast become London’s hottest tipped designer, winning the Fashion Award for Emerging Menswear Talent at the end of 2018. The designer is renowned for bringing a new intellectualism to the sports and streetwear silhouettes that have dominated recent runways, for A/W 2019 using cocooning, padded and cut-out silhouettes in memory nylon, clear acetate and even welded steel and jesmonite to convey his socio-political perspectives, which span ‘spiritual apathy,’ mobile phone addiction, the global migrant crisis and even something as abstract as ‘carnal human fear.’
Scene setting: Performance is essential to Ross’ runway output. Last season the designer devised a catwalk installation, which commented on man’s apparently contentious relationship with brutalism, complete with falling rubble and dust. For A/W 2019 A-Cold-Wall*’s performance was slicker and entirely more striking: a catwalk lined with murky black water with spectral figures in black crawling through the depths, like bodies in the River Styx. The eerie barking of a single Doberman. Models slowly pacing the runway with fearful glances behind them. In a menswear fashion city more renowned for its, at times, comic eccentricity, it was eerie, uncanny and confrontational.
Best in show: The cut-outs, splices and pockets on A-Cold-Wall*’s jackets, protective vests and cagoules had an innovative modernity, and will no doubt be wardrobe bolsters for the teenagers that crowded outside the brand’s show space. The gauzy trenchcoats and acid tone suiting will strike a chord with customers less taken with the sportswear and more tapped into tailoring. §