Martine Rose A/W 2020 London Fashion Week Men’s

Martine Rose A/W 2020 London Fashion Week Men’s

Mood board: For A/W 2020, Martine Rose looked back on her career, her home and the label she set up in 2007. The clothes riffed on pieces from her archives and reminded us of her signature subversion of menswear archetypes: the bomber, the jean, the suit, the shirt. When Rose graduated from Middlesex University in 2002, setting up as a shirt label in 2005, the landscape of fashion was almost unrecognisable. Consider the rampant pace of consumption today, the rickety political and social backdrop, the revision of moral attitudes; clothes have to work within these times and help to shape them too. Rose is keen to remix her reminiscences. The exaggerated lines, twisted classics and tongue-in-cheek nu-wave logos were here redone for a new decade.

Best in show: Standout were the graphics and prints. For A/W 2020 they riffed on classic logos and bootleg merchandise appearing as a shiny jacquard emblazoned with place names close to Rose’s heart – Tottenham, Croydon, Clapham Junction and Tooting. New too was a rug-inspired print featuring much of the archive imagery she has created over the years, originally taken for look books or backstage posterity. The power of photography has radically shifted in an age bombarded by Instagram – revolutions have started with hi-resolution portraits, world events fractured into flat JPEGs. Rose’s lurex printed shirting had the sheen of the digital, the dazzle of prospect.

Scene setting: The show was staged inside a community primary school in Kentish Town, where the parquet floor was scuffed by decades of tiny feet. Rows of small plastic school chairs in emerald green or beer bottle brown lined the walls. Ceilings were decorated with paper animals and trees; a giant head made from ticker tape hovered above. Pinned to noticeboards were banners about slavery and notes about pupils’ goals for the future: ‘gender equality’ and ‘climate action’. The setting was a poignant reminder of how much now rests on young shoulders. §

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