13 December 2016

Every Man Dies

"Every Man Dies"
Autumn/Winter 2016
Photography: Ollie Adegboye
Styling: Rav Matharu
Art direction: Felipe Guimaraes

I grew up surrounded by sportswear and streetwear, and no matter how far I may stray from it, I always find myself coming back. In a weird way I suppose it is home for me. It was what I saw growing up and what I aspired to before I knew what fashion was. To this day it is something that I follow with interest. The sneakerhead in me can still name every trainer I see on the road, follows all the newest drops, and could easily rock a peach Anti Social Social Club hoodie with some Reebok Instapumps if I suddenly woke up all hypebeast (thankfully unlikely for now, besides, peach does my complexion no favours). I still feel more comfortable in a suit and tie than in a hoodie, but I am a child of both worlds, and could happily wear either with confidence. There is that paradox in my personal dress history, in that I grew up on school uniform and going to a very prim and proper school, but then returned home each and every day to see people on the street in tracksuits and Air Max 95s that I wanted to wear. I loved that contrast though, and I suppose it is for this reason that I really enjoyed this editorial showing the latest collection by Clothsurgeon.

Tailoring meets sportswear, but not that "athleisure" mishmash that is popular these days and always strikes me as rather insincere. I find that the thoughtful construction and coherent aesthetic of this collection feels far more alluring. Whereas the athleisure direction feels like costume to me, with a piece of sportswear thrown in for contrast and a knowing wink, I find that streetwear brands that have that formal side are able to more confidently elevate sportswear to a place where its function is less in opposition to where the clothing will actually be worn. I have never felt particularly comfortable with streetwear from British designers such as Nasir Mazhar, because it often feels like a caricature (and fetishization) of the aesthetic. I suppose it is because it hits so close to home for me, but I always see it as a way of selling a look you could wear "authentically" for less money. But here I see pieces of that same source material treated with respect and combined with traditional tailoring techniques to create something I find far more interesting. I may not trade my black Yohji blazer for a pink wool coat tomorrow, but who knows, perhaps one day I might own both.  


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