Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Today’s a good day for Britain – if not quite yet the best it could be, much better still than we had dared hope for. In the propitious light of dawn, one can’t help but take in the capital’s menswear forecast for the spring to come with an ounce more of optimism than we would have yesterday. Of course, the collections would have been ready long before last night, and various show notes we were handed today still spelled out in capitals familiar tones of disillusionment and dissent. But I for one will allow myself, if for one day only, to read a labourite’s promise into the unwavering traction of the workwear trend and sartorial sloganeering, for today we know that all hope is not lost. A lot might happen over the course of a year, and yet uncertainty is welcomed in place of stagnation: youngsters come of age in the polling booths. Liam Hodges designs for this generation, and his new collection, Unveiled Tomorrows, unwittingly anticipated the day’s climate, one that with any luck will only gain momentum from now till the day when these clothes hit the stores. The season is an oddly harmonious exercise in free association, a promiscuous subcultural mashup drawing references from the likes of pirate radio, zine culture, two step and grime among plenty more to spice up signature work- and sportswear silhouettes. For those abroad, it is perhaps worth noting how significant the #grime4corbyn campaign was over the past few weeks to drive young people to the ballot box. Hodges’ sewn-on captions range from ‘NOISE’ and ‘FASTER’ to ‘CANNOT BE DESCRIBED…’ and a pointed ‘THIS WORLD NEEDS YOU’. There’s a screaming bear mascot holding all this together and even a collaboration with FILA, the down-to-earth Italian sports label I wouldn’t have been seen dead in as a teen. It’s risen from its ashes like a phoenix. Thanks to fashion, to be sure – but also, perhaps, teens may finally be just wise enough to appreciate the values such things stand for.