I love MAN. You never quite know what’s going to happen. There’s been wheelchairs on the catwalk, joss sticks on models heads, dripping ceilings, gimp masks and lashings of sexy sportswear. There’s been the discovery of the likes of James Long, JW Anderson and Christopher Shannon – a trio of brilliant menswear upstarts.
If you’ve no idea what I’m raving about, then here’s the back story; Fashion East is initiative for the showcasing of new designers, they got together with Topman to create MAN. It started as a show of 3 new talents plus Topman’s catwalk collection and was shown during womenswear. It’s now evolved to London devoting a whole day to men’s fashion. Hurrah etc.
Further reason for rant. They’ve just announced the three designers showing their spring/summer 2012 collections in September. Drum roll… they are Martine Rose, Matthew Miller and Shaun Samson. I asked Lulu Kennedy, Fashion East’s Director to give me a one-liner on what she likes about each designer.
Martine Rose is in the seventh season of her own label, this will be her third time at MAN. Last season she was all about mashing up textures, playing with layers and lengths. (I loved the gold). Lulu says: “Martine is a born and bred Londoner and it shows in her style and radical references. Her lyricism melts me. I wear a whole load of her gear.”
Matthew Miller is a newbie to MAN. He trained at the Royal College of Art, loves maths, science and technology and mixes sportswear with textile décor. He’s a brilliant colourist and all about the details. Lulu says: “I love his jolliness, and all the geeked out details. He’s a proper ‘boy’s boy’ kind of designer and gaining a real following.”
Shaun Samson is also joining MAN for the first time. He’s a California-born, Central St Martins graduate, has worked with Jeremy Scott and just won the ITS Fashion Collection of the Year (previous winners include Mark Fast). His autumn/winter collection was all about long tunic-jumpers with trousers. Lulu says: “He stood out a mile at the Central St Martins show. He’s got it all going on – great style, technique, energy. How rad is his Mexican inspired stuff?”
- Simon Chilvers