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MAN Spring/Summer 2016
June 12, 2015
MAN – founded in 2005 by Fashion East and Topman – turns 10 this year, and the Old Sorting Office showspace party was in full swing as we arrived to balloons, cakes, candles and Champagne. Opening the show was a video montage of the last 10 years’ highlights, with a few words from those who have been involved in the initiative. Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy and Topman’s design director, Gordon Richardson, as well as some of MAN’s alumni of design stars including Astrid Andersen and Craig Green. Then it was time for the future, as Rory Parnell Mooney and Liam Hodges took to the runway.
RORY PARNELL MOONEY
The Irish designer’s move on from his LCM debut last season saw him remove the layers of his autumn/winter 2015 collection – literally – which focused on his religious inspiration. The capes and cessocks of his last collection were removed, and for spring he found his roots in the Supremist movement. Another dark offering of blacks and grey marls, layers of long sleeveless knitwear, black loose flaring trousers, and split side man-skirts (they’re a thing now) were matched with black school-like shoes. Pleats were either inserted as panels into tabards or trousers, or made up full garments with high necks and draping backs, and the religious uniforms of last season now felt more like a goth’s who somehow ended up at The Harrow School.
Yellow and white provided a relief from the dark palette and cut outs playfully revealed torsos, making this lighter and less sinister than his last offering. Cream linen, degraded by hand, made up skirts and tops, while horse hair canvas was used to construct unfinished kimono coats and shirts.
This season, Kent boy Hodges themed his collection ‘pirate radio’ and the first look was accessorised by an aerial ripped straight from a roof, the white noise soundtrack supporting the theme further. Thinking of a group of young men “grabbing a few aerials, jimmying into an abandoned building and beaming out some community radio,” the patchwork and graffiti weaves, bumbags, back packs with climbing harness straps and seat belt buckles all embodied this up-to-no-good kid that he aimed to create. Black graphic prints and straps hanging from wide trousers contrasted textures and created movement and interest.
The audience of these radio broadcasters were next up – “kids playing football in the park” – and colour was added, mint and blue to add to the black and white utilitarian wardrobe. Goalie gloves and antennaes on football socks – peering above the SS16 Dark Legion range from heritage footwear brand Palladium which was worn throughout the show – football badges on graphic printed tops, with more straps and graffiti bringing the two themes together. Painted bodies matched the blue jacquard of the football kits, creating a camouflage for these teenage rebels.
I feel immensely proud, it’s a momentous occasion,” Topman’s Gordon Richardson told us after the show, commenting on MAN’s 10 years. “I felt very nostalgic watching the video, and it’s just amazing that we have been able to nurture this fertile ground of imagination.”
Mikael Jack – Fashion Features Editor