Thanks to a super-cool fashion editor I know, last month at London Fashion Week I found myself sitting in the third row at the Topman MAN show (she was front row, just a few seats along from Tim Blanks, Jefferson Hack, Sir Philip Green and, um, Peaches Geldof and Jethro Cave). I would have been really happy to be literally just standing at the back, so the whole experience was totally surreal and rather amazing. What was also really cool was that it was like four shows in one, because as well the Topman Design collection, three young menswear designers, Christopher Shannon, J.W. Anderson and Katie Eary were given the opportunity to showcase their collections.
All the collections were really cool, and explored fresh ideas in menswear which is always interesting to see, but the one which really struck me was Katie Eary’s, a 25 year old recent graduate from the Royal College of Art. Eary showed an extraordinary collection, perhaps best described as ‘body bling’: shredded jeans sat over skin-tone leggings, printed bones and muscles and veins; t-shirts also had startling gruesome anatomical prints, and there was gold embellishment aplenty (absolutely loved the gold ribcage piece and the gold ‘bone’ sandals). There were even gold crocodile shorts and a multi-coloured fur cape.
From the description I’ve given, it probably doesn’t seem like a very edifying concept, but somehow it really worked. It was partly a young designer having fun (and thank goodness for young designers livening things up, even if they must eventually settle down and become more restrained), and it was so London with its energy and creativity, but at the same time Eary showed a strong grasp of different techniques, and was the almost literal ‘body deconstruction’ a sly dig at fashion’s recent obsession with ‘deconstructivism’?
See more on her website.