Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Some blame the World Wide Web, a one-time-too-many commercial appropriations, Millennials’ proverbial reluctance to commit: for youth subcultures are on the wane, and we’ve come to welcome despite ourselves, the perks and pitfalls of the individualist age. But as we pout and miss the halcyon days of yore, it’s not that far east of downtown, that young men and women with sensibilities akin to Nasir Mazhar’s own walk the street as his models do the catwalk: easing into a dress code, their chests puffed out with counterculture pride. Set apart from nostalgia, exoticism or fantasy, Nasir’s finely subversive garments suit a most contemporary, familiar and only slightly romanticized anthropological group. Aggressively cohesive from the first outfit to the last, SS16 is perceptibly darker than seasons past, a seriously sensual wardrobe of bikini tops and branded socks, naked tights there and protective cushions elsewhere. A cross between the tremendously topical urban legend of the gothlete and a ring-ready, underground boxing star, each model is empowered by the collection as a whole, a unified gestalt in sombre all-black palette. Valiantly gendered, with echoes of guerrilla combat softened by feminine ruches, there’s no power play at stake in Nasir Mazhar’s first ever “mens and womens” show – rather a sense of novel, momentous complicity.