MAN / Fashion East
One of the best ventures to come out of a dedicated menswear fashion week is the emergence of MAN, a collaboration between Topman and Fashion East, pioneering up-and-coming designers coming out of the London fashion scene.
With such alumni as JW Anderson and James Long among their roster, the MAN line up is very much a wonderful stepping stone towards building a platform in the world of men’s fashion and so the three lucky recipients this season: Craig Green, Bobby Abley and Alan Taylor had quite a billing to live up to. Thankfully they didn’t disappoint.
First to send his models sauntering down the catwalk was the fun-loving cartoon design of Bobby Abley. Having worked with fashion icons Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott it was clear to see where Abley took his inspiration from. The bold logos, colours, teddy bears and crowns adorned by the models made for a playful collection which gave a nod towards urban streetwear teamed with contemporary fashion. The emphasis on the cut of the clothes was definitely towards a more relaxed fit and it was refreshing to see a collection that was not just playful but wasn’t afraid to trade on past fashion glories.
Dublin born Alan Taylor sent his models down the catwalk in clean, clear lines, sharp tailoring which left the trouser hems obviously short and t-shirts sleeves oversized, and a gentle array of soft, pastel pinks, simple black and white and tonal greys which merged together in a serene yet bold statement of intent. Taking his inspiration from his Celtic roots – Taylor collaborated with traditional Irish mills for this S/S ’14 collection – the cut of the cloth and the use of colour appealed to my own fashion tastes and for me was the highlight of the MAN show.
The last, and without doubt most daring collection was saved for last. Recent Central St Martin’s graduate Craig Green certainly wasn’t afraid to push the limits of fashion and colour in his collection and while many will baulk at a number of the models carrying what can only be described as fabric sculptures (reminiscent of a Damien Hirst print) in front of their faces, the use of tye-dye and pure black showed Green isn’t afraid to blend a heady mix of ideas into one collection.
Bobby Abley Catwalk
Check out the next page for the collection of Alan Taylor