One of the most pivotal moments of a catwalk is the pre-show wait. Once you’ve squashed yourself on a row, given the press release the quick once over and instagram-ed the back of Tinie Tempah’s head, there isn’t a great deal to do. It’s at this point that you start to skim the crowd, seeing who’s sitting next to who, checking out who’s wearing what and thanking Jesus you’re not sat behind the gal in the Junya Watanabe head piece etc etc. It was also at this point that I started to feel a tad nervous for James Long, who is now in his 6th solo season at LC:M. With Sarah Mower heading up the first corner, Long’s blue-headed boys were to then swing a right and be faced with the East End fashion elite, (Louise Gray, Princess Julia and Thelma Speirs amongst them), only to then finish up at the far end where David Gandy on Telegraph reporting duty awaited. F-Rows aside, looking further back faces were shadowed, but the clothing stood out, and this also spoke volumes on the interest James Long attracts. Astrid, Nasir, Matteson, Squires Agi and Sam were all present in cloth form; adorning the fashion forward patrons of London’s new menswear generation.
As the lights faded, a snippet of Lou Reeds ‘Satellite of Love’ set the scene and bridged the gap nicely between all the 'people watching' and the first of Fudge’s celestial blue barnets bobbing down the catwalk. The soundtrack was perfect and provided a narrative to the way in which the collection evolved- the bittersweet naivity of a young Lou Reed introducing the graphic paneling and primary colours, progressing on to the cosmic techno pop of Is Tropical’s Simon Milner backing the space-age silver quilting. Ultimately amounting to the the suggestive sounds of ‘Sexy Boy’ by Air, it read like a classic coming of age, and the finale signified a strong, confident and accomplished complete collection.
Described as being built on ‘futurism and abstraction’, the influence of artists and designers such as Balla and Sant Elia could be seen throughout. However, Long’s innovative use of fabric would suggest more of a postmodern mentality where construction is concerned. By taking a selection of fabrics one would expect to find in an AW collection and applying a variation of techniques, Long’s use of bricolage opens up a whole new array of textures and effects; layering mesh with jersey and weaving ribbon through leather to create multi dimensional textiles. These fabrics were then applied to two staple sportswear shapes that are still showing no sign of getting off the trend bus at Hasbeen Avenue- the bomber and the jogger. The result is something that’s exciting, fun and alluring, but most importantly, completely applicable to todays fresh crop of male fashion aficionados.
Image and Text by Amy Lee.