Boys and their toys! Not only had Liam Hodges been larking about with some blue hair-dye this season (his cobalt locks gave us all a shock when he appeared to take his bow) he's also been dreaming of fixing up cars and racing around in newly converted old bangers. For A/W 16 he’d looked to ‘petrolheads’ for inspiration. Cars, spanners, number plates - this was every teen boy’s dream. This wasn’t so much about slick racing drivers, but instead those lads everyone knows - the one who houses a dying vehicle in his back garden and pours hours of love into fixing it up and kitting it out. Their grotty uniform was referenced in the oil-like marks that covered trousers and jackets. Surface detail was as central as ever. Hodges favours the raw and undone - prints and markings that could be accidents.
This was a celebration of the obsessive and the amateur. You can say that that’s a tad ironic, given that Hodges has now graduated from Fashion East MAN to showing on his own, but really a focus on the amateur is appropriate for him - he does experimental fashion, not luxury. He’s a boy making clothes for boys. His shopper is largely interested in image, rather than quality or cut. That’s not to say that Hodges clothes are poorly made - indeed for A/W 16 those bias cuts shone - more that his shout out to the dreamers and the wannabes suits the kind of shopper who will shell out for the work of a green London designer, keen for some statement-making graphics or a bold tracksuit. Chasing speed? No. Hodges makes clothes for those chasing cool.