Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty’s artistic success is on the rise. “Over the past few seasons we’ve just matured,” Dainty said. “For us it’s really important that we show maturity as we mature, so it’s a lot more grown up.” For Fall 2018, the duo explored a spelunking cavernous theme inspired by a recent trip to the Krizna Jama caves in Slovenia. To set the right mood the designers staged their show at London’s Natural History Museum.
Utilizing a plethora of extreme textures to create a bridge between the natural world and the synthetic the designers blurred the lines between the real and the artificial. The result was a glimpse into their unique underground world of increasingly luxurious sportswear. “We wanted a softer touch and a more formal approach to sportswear,” said Cottrell, in order to create “texture, layering and a lot more luxury to the fabrics.” There were ever-trendy track suits, joggers, and puffers in slim styles. Harnesses and printed nylon shirts featured abstract whorls of stone, while other printed patterns mimicked the inside of geodes and the texture of snakeskin. Wax dripped down from harnesses resembling stalactites and stalagmites on the clothes and shoes. Mulberry provided the sling bags, and many of the looks accessorized with carabiners and harnesses. Call it technical, call it sports, their new obsession superseded the old as the lingua franca of menswear.
Xander Zhou celebrated the thousand-year-old tradition of China in a collection that gave prominence to fantastic animals and symbols such as the fire dragon. This chimerical ambassador of strength and power was seen alongside Ying Yang symbols and Confucius quotes, that the designer mixed with urban workwear silhouettes
John Lawrence Sullivan
There are two sides to every story, which is the premise of John Lawrence Sullivan’s Autumn Winter 2018 Menswear collection in London. Taking inspiration from classic films like “Natural Born Killers,” “Taxi Driver,” and the psychopaths and serial killers who populate them, the show explores the dark side within us all.
Though Arashi Yanagawa’s inspiration was clear, his cleverly constructed trousers which feature one denim leg and one leather served to illustrate the inconsistencies of the human mind. Aside from his allusion to classic horror films and psychological madness, you can’t help but wonder about the guy next door – blue collar by day, rock star by night. In the mix, Yanagawa factored in western elements as yet another personality. He infiltrated some of the looks with leather vests, floral embroidery, and pointed-toe snakeskin boots. The western trend has dominated the men’s catwalk shows in London, Milan and Paris set to become one of the biggest trends for 2018.
Danish label Wood Wood referenced the 80’s through their Fall collection; an era that we may not have been able to experience, yet – thanks to iconic films such as “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire”, which inspired the designers – are still nostalgic for. The collection speaks to the transition between childhood and becoming an adult, what takes place between the “Before and After”.
It’s everything great about growing up with classic Americana; your favorite high school varsity jacket, go-to denim dress, staple flannels and turtlenecks. Cropped hemlines on jeans and flared corduroy trousers playfully toy with the concept of a child quickly outgrowing the clothes that fit a week ago. Prints and patterns were adopted from vintage quilts, and the vastly muted color palette is refreshed with vibrant red and sky blue accessories. Each look is paired with the line’s new unisex sneaker collection, available in four different colors and inspired by trainers popular in the 1980’s.