This season the MAN show celebrates its 13th season at London Fashion Week and showing on the runway for spring summer 2012 are Martine Rose, Matthew Miller and Shaun Samson.
On her seventh season Martine Rose presented a laid back 70’s inspired collection. Informed by the Californian skate and surf scene, sheer fabrics and washed denim contrasted with cartoon prints on untailored silhouettes. Rose’s unfussy collection, apart from the sheer culottes, was admirably low-key and perhaps more about style than fashion – but that is not necessarily a bad thing. And with sponsorship by Caterpillar boots, Rose has a commercial sense that is essential in wayward economical times.
Matthew Miller has migrated from showing as part of Fashion East’s menswear installations to show on MAN’s catwalk and his spring summer collection was a confident reminder of why the press has been tracking him for the last few seasons. Analysing form and function, Miller’s mathematical approach offered industrial clothes for men on the move.
Functional garments spanning both sportswear and tailoring demonstrated a confidence in construction and sensitivity towards synthetic fabrics. Ponchos, parkers, double breasted suits and tailored shorts were concise and wearable. Translating science and technology into fashion can sometimes leave you cold, but Millers garment have some soul in them - although how will the footless neoprene socks rove into the real world?
Finally Shaun Samson’s debut collection showed bags of promise. Hot out of Central Saint Martin’s MA fashion ourse, and winner of ITS Fashion Collection of the Year Award, Samson is a new name to guard in London menswear. California-born Samson’s design language is informed by growing up in San Diego and his street inspired kit is refreshingly unforced or pretentious.
With Mexican blankets as a central motif, Samson shaped their stripy structures onto raw indigo denims and khaki cotton twills. Seemingly simple shapes did not strive too hard to impress, and the convincing collection was fluent and a sublime first outing for the designer – a very strong start.