WATCH: Nicholas Daley Explores the Legacy of Black British Karate Athletes with his ‘Stepping Razor’ Film
A forever-favourite each season, menswear maven Nicholas Daley yet again takes London Fashion Week by storm with the release of a short film dubbed Stepping Razor. Daley’s SS21 collection veered away from his usual aesthetic, opting instead for cross-cultural, combative influences. The collection paid homage to Rastafarian musician and martial arts enthusiast Peter Tosh by creating a nuanced wardrobe of karate-esque silhouettes.
By collaborating with the former World and European champion who is set to be Britain’s first karateka at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Jordan Thomas, the designer offered a uniquely stylish take on traditional martial arts practices. As a thrilling celebration of connections across the Black diaspora, Daley wasn’t finished with his spring/summer collection just yet. Directed by Joe Ridout, the Stepping Razor footage is accompanied by a funky record called ‘Bye Bye Disco’, from British-born reggae producer Dennis Bovell. Multi-screen layouts captured on 16mm film make the visual texture reminiscent of 1970s cinema – think Enter the Dragon meets Fist of Fury.
In traditional warrior spirit, we hear sharp battle cries throughout. Meanwhile, Thomas displays a dynamic range of impressive karate techniques and overlaying poetic dialogue demands our attention. “When I fight I am as fierce as fire,” says the karateka. Stepping Razor is the kind of Karate Kid Kumite you never want to end.
Directed by Joe Rideout.