MAN S/S 2019 London Fashion Week Men’s
Scene setting: With its vintage markets, eclectic food stalls and multicultural heritage, Brick Lane in East London is a vibrant example of the city’s multifarious character. The Old Truman Brewery was the perfect location for MAN – a platform for pioneering menswear talent founded in 2005 – to stage its seasonal show. On the line up for S/S 2019: Stefan Cooke, who presented its second season on the MAN catwalk, Rottingdean Bazaar and Art School, who were both showing for the third time.
Mood board: Stefan Cooke and his partner Jake Burt relish in the mundane, subverting everyday items with their humour and embellishment. For S/S 2019 we saw trousers and jeans with marabou trim waistbands, cricket jumpers woven from buttons, tartan jackets and trousers cinched with Perspex discs and boasting Lord Fauntleroy frills. The accessories were smart and witty: white shoppers printed with images of vintage bags. Why have one when you can have two?
Last season, Rottingdean Bazaar’s Luke Brooks and James Theseus Buck delighted guests with their absurd take on the catwalk show; creating entire looks from coloured price tags stuck to the body, or dressing artist Julie Verhoeven in a dart board outfit. For S/S 2019, they hired fancy dress costumes from a range of suppliers like www.masqueradecostume.co.uk and www.madworldfancydress.com, sending out models dressed as a carrot, a cracker, a caterpillar and Van Gogh, each holding a placard describing the costume and its source. Quite how the clothing will have commercial value, or be available for photo shoots is unknown, but the collection raised questions about fashion week’s relationship to dressing up.
Art School’s Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt use their label to explore gender identity and the individuality of queer style. For S/S 2019, their merry and eclectic band of models (which included DJ Princess Julia) strutted, crawled and even collapsed down the catwalk in sequin and chainmail dresses, foil trench coats and tailoring. Not forgetting silver streamer wigs, feather trim stilettos and glitter, in an individual attitude rarely seen outside London’s catwalks.
Best in show: Amidst the performance and theatricality, there was some fantastic clothing here. Stefan Cooke’s button-weave Argyle knits were considered and high in skill, while those Art School gowns had all the pizzazz and shimmer of stellar eveningwear. §