Art School: Menswear SS20
A bleary-eyed bunch took their seats for the first show of the second season in the BFC’s east London show space, sandwiched snugly between Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane in The Old Truman Brewery. After being caught in a peppering of drizzle on a chilly and overcast morning in June, wrapped in raincoats and multiple layers it was hard to imagine thinking about next summer’s fashion let alone being able to wear clothes for this one. Stripped from the fluro magenta and gold lamé accents of the previous season, Art School presented an entirely monochromatic collection which acted as a poetic pathetic fallacy of the world outside the brightly lit white-walled show space. Even the leopard print pieces came in a stormy midnight grayscale, propelling a focus on the textures and textiles to the fore. Dresses constructed of innumerable sequins and sprinkled with plumes of ostrich feathers shimmered, suiting was ripped and a white shirt was tacked with jewel-like embellishments. Presented performatively on their unwaveringly diverse cast featuring many members of their community (including the duo’s own Tom Barratt), models stumbled down the catwalk in a daze with post-party hair and contacts in their eyes as if awoken in an uncertain but not so distant future. The show notes printed on crimson paper read as an excerpt from Derek Jarman’s 1991 ‘Modern Nature’, left the clothes up for interpretation as Anna Calvi performed live surrounded by a circle of salt.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans