Saturday, January 10, 2015

BEAUTY: Clothing--Christopher Shannon

At London Collections: Men, Christopher Shannon riffed on cheap athletic and streetwear with puffy jackets and side-snap pants for his '15-'16 Fall-Winter show. The ubiquitous plastic shopping bag played a role in the collection as well, showing up on models heads as masks, hats, and collaboratively fashioned into jewelry by the amazingly imaginative Judy Blame who has made jewelry for Galliano when he was at Dior and for Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons.

On the surface, it all feels a bit retro 80s "New Wave" with colored bars attached randomly to garments, and geometric shapes cobbled together in a jumpsuit. But then there is the sly reference to the very contemporary penchant young men have for ridiculously wearing bunched-up boxer shorts high above a waistline in the form of an actual (and rather comical) peplum attached to shirts. And that plastic bag... what does its presence signal? A comment on the Dollar (or Pound) Stores that seem to be proliferating as more and more people can't afford to purchase the daily necessities? The financial pinching that the world continues to feel despite a more optimistic and growing economy (look at the pinched, corseted bomber and puffy jackets)? And do the zip-away sleeves and pant legs represent the splintering off and widening gap between the haves and have-nots (one sweater features a plastic shopping bag with the logo "Thanks 4 Nothing")? Or are they just interesting details and silhouettes? Except that Shannon graduated from Central Saint Martins in London (a school that has produced no less than Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Stella McCartney, Riccardo Tisci, and John Galliano) with a MA in Menswear and has worked for Helmut Lang. You can bet that he creates nothing by accident.

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