Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Doted on and rightfully pampered by papa Topman and Fashion East both, the pride and joy of the LC:M family, MAN has turned 10. A ready-made party with rainbow cupcakes, helium balloons and champagne greeted the guests that gathered at The Old Sorting Office to celebrate the first double-digit birthday of the project that on its own has dusted the naphthalene off the public idea of London's menswear, swapped the waistcoat for a balaclava and Brits' traditional stiff upper lip for a devil-may-care, disobedient attitude. From 2005 onwards, MAN introduced to a broader audience the likes of Aitor Throup and Cassette Playa, J.W. Anderson and Kim Jones. And as it makes it way towards its teenage years, MAN's bespoke defiance only promises to further sharpen: to begin with Rory Parnell Mooney and Liam Hodges, who presented at the venue on this memorable date their own collections for spring 2016. In Rory's case, the exposed and tentative, multiple selves of adolescence are echoed in heat-pressed vinyl and raw-edge cottons, with the often successful reference of a dialogue between control and chaos, freedom and restraint – for more on this, see also Matthew Miller’s show. A bit provocative and a bit bashful, notions of sexual awakening inspire nylon popsocks, long skirts and dresses, the underwear and jumper combo and bonded windows that open on knits to reveal a bellybutton or nipple. Detached pleats add the final touch, a decorative supermatist afterthought. Liam Hodges instead, here for the very last time under the MAN’s initiative wing, toys with the theme of dressing up a pirate radio’s broadcasting crew. Sensible sportswear as per his signature, the season comes speckled with geeky hooks and harnesses, poppers, ribbons and buckles, giving off the impression of being functional, but for an undisclosed purpose. A lighthearted sense of secrecy is further pursued with military details, ID tag jewellery and a binary coded weave, while the dominant black and white palette tunes up with accents of electric blue – a shade that brings to mind Windows Media Player’s Bars and Waves’ Ocean Mist effect, and bleeds over from the jacquard to the skin in what the show notes call, a rave camouflage makeup.