Last year Christopher Shannon was feeling decidedly rural. His Spring/Summer collection was a vision of folksy fun and optimistic country cheer. He's done a u-turn for Autumn/Winter 2013 by offering up a showcase that was aggressively urban and even, at points, dystopian. There were splashes of sci-fi in this collection. The shiny nylons and slick leathers suggested some strange Hunger Games-esque world where men and women dress in matching layered uniforms in fuss-free palettes of black, navy, grey and white.
Shannon's given inspirations centred on stories of outsiders, including hoarding-themed TV programmes and Chris Smith's brilliant cult documentary American Movie. Aptly, there was something of the social reject in the showcase, from the moody delinquent youths who stalked the catwalk in their nylon track suits like it was a backstreet, to the strange, sinister loner who layered eccentric jumpers over old turtlenecks. The idea of hoarding, or holding and keeping things close, gave rise to some particularly interesting pieces, including armour like jackets that could be built up or taken apart via removable zip pieces. This was clothing as shelter and sanctuary.
The collection's central idea focused on enveloping and protecting the body by putting various items together in one look. But if you stripped off those striking layers, which caused such an impact on the catwalk, you were left with a collection of beautiful individual pieces that will work for shoppers of all styles and persuasions. Smart.