London Fashion Week Men: my discoveries! (part 1)
This year, for the first time, I have had a full-on fashion week experience during LFWM.
Most of the time I find the majority of men’s fashion trying to imitate Off-White or Yeezy, creating boring and unwearable copy-cats good for the catwalk or very extravagant youths.
I would say my views on fashion most definitely come from my being Italian.
Fashion needs to be WEARABLE!
You can put up the most spectacular catwalk, but if I cannot dress my clients in your creation then you are not the designer for me.
Said that this LFWM has been a surprising exception, where wearability went hand-in-hand with the memorable catwalk.
PRONOUNCE is a designer brand established in 2016 by Yushan Li and Jun Zhou who are now based in Shanghai and Milan. Yushan graduated from MA Fashion of Central Saint Martins (MA Fashion 2015). Jun graduated from London College of Fashion (MA Menswear 2015) and Istituto Marangoni.
Their collection, TO THE MOUNTAIN, is inspired by the classic Chinese novel “ Water Margin”.
“Life seems to be constantly climbing and going through obstacles”, they say, referring to the complexity of human nature.
FIRE & WATER, representative of passion and fragility and the ever-changing ways humans relate to the environment around them.
Their whole collection is an intertwining of EAST meets WEST: contemporary MAO suits make an appearance with the buttoned collars, the use of denim, the material used by the western working class for its durability, and the use of leather with their hand-made shoes developed exclusively for PRONOUNCE by Shanghai handmade craftsmen.
The colour palette used is primarily neutral, with beige and greys made more alive with pops of colour like red and purple symbolizing luck and immortality in the Chinese culture.
AW 20 is defined by transitional states: restriction and freedom, real and artificial but without compromising functionality.
Functional and decorative are at the core of the collection with the use of bold patterns and decorations, statement jewellery, oversize outerwear and baggie trousers to be worn every day, dusk till dawn.
Last but not least, during their LFWM catwalk, the Italian-Chinese brand showcased some of the pieces from their exclusive collaboration with the Italian premium denim brand DIESEL, which will be fully unveiled during the Shanghai Fashion Week in March.
Pacifism presentation has a core theme very close to my heart, “Higher Power”, as well as encompassing some of the key trends for the next AW season.
May it be God, the Universe, greater energy or the feelings we experience simply gazing at the nature around us.
Through the AW20 collection the designer Talal Hizami, tells us his personal story and connection which he feels is to a “Higher Power”.
The basis of a greater power lies in the two purest forms of energy: peace and love.
Both forms of energy are represented by the use of Symbols, like the elongated peace sign which represents peaceful energy as well as the balance between the human connections with the divine and the earth.
The earthy Colour Palette of this collection, ranging from brown through orange, into purple and blue, represents the idea of being grounded and be a whole with the earth and the nature around us.
Inspired by a wave of nostalgia for his childhood, Mr Hizami presents his own take on the cable knit sweaters turning it into a full tracksuit, and the use of checks often the go-to print for school uniforms.
Using powerful imagery and symbology, from the Five Pillars of Islam (linked to Hizami upbringing and heritage) to spiritual Goddesses and Angels of peace (printed on the black suit), inspiration has been drawn from a variety of places but all converging into that moment when any of us seeks inner strength.
“That feeling that pushes, motivate and encourage us to push through the adverse times we can so often come across on our journeys.”
Fashion as any form of art has a deeper meaning beyond the surface of aesthetics.
Fashion is more than just clothes and when designers like Pronounced and Pacifism manage to show those profound meaning through their collections … well, those are winners in my books.
Thank you to Agency Eleven Pr and to HTOWN Showrooms for the invites.
If you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of London Fashion Week Men: my discoveries! don’t forget to comment and share it.