Sunday 5th January

| BY Helena Fletcher

Nicholas Daley: Menswear AW20

Joyful is probably the best word to describe Nicholas Daley‘s AW20 show. The guests sat staggered up the wooden steps of the cavernous old theatrical auditorium of Earth (fka Efes pool hall) in Dalston, facing the stage. Rago Foot and the south London duo Kwake Bass and Wu-Lu soundtracked the show with an experimental live-scored performance, perfectly accompanying the abstract and experimental nature of the collection.

Each look was made up of considered, cohesive layerings of the elevated everyday. Daley incorporated a host of favourites from tracksuits, festival-ready ponchos and raincoats, lumberjack-esque check over shirts in mohair, varsity jumpers all the way to classic white polo necks, silky shirts and button-down cardigans. Each look garnished with lashings of jewellery and sprinklings of silver and gold coin like sovereigns, sparkled in the light like treasure, scattered on the baker boy hats, Adidas trainers, bags and scarves. Thrown seamlessly into the mix was his sophomore collection for Fred Perry, following on from the success of its debut.

The inspiration, as always, came from music, this season once looking to Afro-Futurism, experimental jazz and rock, namely Jimi Hendrix and Art Ensemble of Chicago. Titled The Abstract Truth, the collection takes its name and pays homage to American jazz luminary Oliver Nelson’s “The Blues and the Abstract Truth”, one of the designer’s favourite records. A psychedelic undercurrent flowed in through, piquing in the form of the almost iridescent polished leather Tricker’s derby shoes and the colourful textiles. The latter were the product of a collaboration with artist Tilly Mint and created by working with a team of specialists to explore the Japanese marvelling technique “Suminagashi” known as “‘floating ink.”. The overall effect was a nod to the dripping paintings of Frank Bowling, an artist working the Black Abstraction movement in the 1970s. Daley took his triumphant bow running, thanking all his models and dancing to the music with an infectious momentum that would swiftly carry into his after-party in the club within the space.