Written By Sabrina Saranna
Edited by Sean Azeez-Bright
We always look to London for budding designs; whether it is an emerging designer showcasing at Fashion East and MAN just bursting out on the fashion scene or an established designer creating a collection that is state-of-the-art or particularly memorable for their eccentric designs.
The Xander Zhou A/W 2017 collection embodies their tagline “I’m carrying a secret weapon” with the heavy influence of new-era trench coats in terracotta, black, metallic grey and navy.
Primarily reigning in the colour black, the collection is enhanced with pops of colour in the cropped and oversized shirts. Paired with tailored sports trousers and smart shoes, this collection plays on the laid-back look and gives a casual vibe throughout. Accessorized with black ties, long oversized gloves and aviator glasses and sunglasses, the vibe given by Zhou shows the transition from casual creativity to a new-age sophistication keeping the playfulness of the laid-back luxe. The playfulness is certainly captured in the colourful boiler suits with patches of colour standing out, as well as the double layering of cropped sweatshirts and jackets over earthy-toned shirts.
The slightly oversized cropped half-sleeve shirts compliment the relaxed, but fitted, trousers to create an overall ‘casually tailored’ look. Using future trends to embody the full feel of the Autumn Winter collection, the colours define the future trend of trench coats using autumnal browns in suede, leather, metallic and waxy textures. The collection overall gives an aesthetically pleasing and uncluttered look to the shapes created on the models with the garments being not overbearing and oversized, but rather giving the right proportions where needed. Where there is a slouched effect on top, it is cropped to elongate the body and create the illusion of looking taller with the more fitted bottoms on full show. Overall the Xander Zhou A/W 2017 collection gives a slight futuristic feel with the mix of relaxed tailoring and warm bursts of colour amongst boiler suits and jackets.
The Topman Design AW17 show opened with casual tailoring and closed with colourful knits. The show had an array of fluorescent colours amongst monotone tailoring. Grey slouchy fitted joggers were paired with block coloured highlighter-style tops, jackets, knitted sweatshirts and cardigans. The slightly toned side of the collection has the simplistic monotone colour palette on relaxed garments. The show starts off with definitive men’s tailoring which subtly shows in these pieces of the collection with classic pinstripes from 80s and 90s suits and buttoned down waist coats and longline blazers in grey tartan prints paired with the slouched effect jogger-style trousers.
The collection then transitions to denim pieces inspired by the 90s and patchwork denim is shown in shades of blue and black on loose fit jeans and cropped jackets and waist coats. There are also hints of sportswear within the collection as the ‘Topman’ logo is paraded on hoodies and sweatshirts paired with loose shorts and jogging bottoms.
After loose-fitted sophisticated tailoring wraps up, the collection moves onto more bold sports lined casual pieces intercepted by prints and text on baggy knitwear. The upcoming trend of ‘balloon sleeves’ and trench coats are showcased in a creatively complex statement of clashing colours.
Overall the collection is a diverse expression of what the brand encapsulates. The youthfulness of the garments is expressed through the colour palettes and unattached feel of the baggy fit. It is a polarized collection where one side is more tamed and the other is free and has a lot more action.
The Bobby Abley A/W 2017 collection has a range of menswear and womenswear in fun, youthful, sports lined garments. Inspired by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which premiered in 1993, the collection is a playful nod to the children’s show with a mix of iconic imagery and nostalgia. It is a very fun-loving and free-spirited collection which embraces contemporary design, bold colours, and a strong mixture of materials, from faux fur to pleather. The strong mix of colour plays along with the monogrammed ‘BA’ used in the knitwear portion of the collection and compliments the sports lined joggers and jackets.
Although there is a large clash of colour throughout, there are parts where the viewer is able to breathe where there are more monotone colours involved or there are browns and beiges used to distract from all the blues, reds, pinks, yellows and other hyper tones used in order to give a perfect balance of space and colour. The structure of the garments follows the sporty trend with baggy tracksuits ruling the runway and drawstring details with baggy shorts and low top sneakers. The womenswear portion of the collection is showcased in a highly feminine way with the shape of a dress or skirt highlighting the figure. The most playful accessories of the collection are the Power Ranger themed helmets, monogrammed scarves and the teddy bear harness which are all fun statement pieces which define the Autumn Winter collection. Overall this is the perfect collection for nostalgic 90s-born creatives with a colourful playground feel.
The Christopher Shannon A/W 2017 collection has denim coming back in trend and on point. The garments have the perfect balance of colour with mainly dark denims and pops of bright hues. The collection follows the trend of sportswear, however in its own way with a more fitted feel rather than giving the slouched effect. Shannon also nods toward other designers and uses their logos in a fun way to rebrand the logos on the garments. Using ‘Tumbleweed’ instead of ‘Timberland’, ‘Loss’ to replace ‘Boss’, and ‘CS – Constant Stress’ replacing ‘CK – Calvin Klein’, Shannon plays on words as if it is a play on social media and the current situation with Brexit and Donald Trump being elected as the President of USA, channeling reactions of anger and despair to the collection.
For his love of denim, Shannon has re-imagined it and mixed the styles by creating pieces with patchwork, fraying, ripped, slit open with buttons, amongst other styles. The majority of the collection has a monotone, simple and serious colour scheme with coloured details covering head to toe with threads fraying on the headpieces, patchwork denim working across the middle, and chunky sneakers on the bottom. The collection screams out against the Brexit movement as the models paraded down the runway with shredded European flags on their heads and down their faces. Overall, it is a neat and uncluttered collection compiled of creatively inclined pieces with sportswear influences and 90s denim.