The MAN show was held at the Topman Venue, the old sorting office on the corner Museum Street that you would think as a derelict yet was anything but. The space was overwhelming with bright white strip lights which stretched the entire length of runway and the music was blasted out so loud it made your heart thump; all in all, providing an electric atmosphere.
The MAN show was made up of three individual designers, Shaun Sampson, Agi&Sam and Astrid Andersen who were selected by a panel of judges, which included Mr Porter’s Sam Lobban, Freelance stylist Andrew Davis and GQ Style’s Ben Reardon.
MAN is collaboration between Topman and Fashion East, which provides a showing platform for some of the best and brightest new menswear talent.
First up was Astrid Andersen with her contemporary streetwear/sports wear inspired collection, which combined her unique urban aesthetic with spirituality and religion. Rather than being sat front row of a fashion show, I felt sat courtside of basketball match as I watch oversized sports jerseys stride down the catwalk on the backs of some of the most perfectly formed male models I have ever seen.
The sleeveless shirts were made from a combination transparent silk organza and fine mesh giving an extremely contemporary and hi tech finish. The lime yellow silk was sure-fire hit; the colour of the moment was used for both tops and bottoms. Lace and mesh t-shirts in turquoise were paired with simple to knee sport shorts in shades of black and bare feet. A stand out piece was a matching burgundy shell suit, but this one had a twist. The jacket was a crop showing off some might fine abs. The inspiration for colour scheme was drawn from stain glass windows raging from yellow, verdigis green, deep Bordeaux and black.
There was a great exploration and examination of contemporary street wear and technical sports within the collection, which was designed for her muse, the athletic male. An excellent choice of muse if I say so myself.
Paying homage to the grandads of the world, Agi&Sam designed a collection inspired by ‘rubbish’ 80s detective shows which were watched in the front rooms of their grandparent’s homes – such as the classic combination of socks and sandals. Luckily for us they brought it back with a twist of fashion forward thinking. Delicately printed socks were worn with white leather sandals, worn with every outfit.
The collection provided bold patterns in soft floral colours to begin with and then strong bold colour combinations to end, which were showcased on strong masculine shapes. Slick fitted ankle basher trousers and strong-shouldered blazers made for clean lines. The rolled up sleeves of the jackets and shirts made sure the 80s was recognised as inspiration and, if that wasn’t enough, the models sported some rather fabulous stick on Magnum P.I inspired moustaches. Trench style coats were striking in tangerine and royal blue as they were paired with neutral to the knee shorts. The clash between the 80s mega masculine shapes of Miami Vice and soft floral patterns provided a really exciting and innovative take in menswear and worked beautifully throughout the collection.
Sampson’s S/S 13 collection is said to be an exploration of the make self during adolescence. It’s a ‘peak into teenage angst’, shown through beanie hats, T-shirts with a giant Persian cat’s head imprinted onto the front and layered over the top of long sleeve metallic shirts or hidden beneath oversized grey tone tartan. The consistent layering, grey tones, metallic’s and shirts tied around waists gave a strong nudge to 90s grunge.
Blazers were worn without shirts and were adorned with reflective glass, paired with high shine sequin harem pants. Vibrant orange was the only bright to sneak its way into the collection which gave the connection to s/s 13 seen in so many other collections. The footwear of choice was again sandal’s worn granddad style with white almost knee nigh socks.
Words by Victoria Ritcher-Hart
Images via catwalking.com