Amongst the loaded elbows, heavy-sighs and brimming carriages that accompany a London tube strike, one can often forget the characters that work to keep London in motion. This Sunday, amidst a most unfortunately timed strike, menswear designer Martine Rose’s A/W 17 offering aptly reminded us of the bus drivers and workers who help us through the chum of traffic and tantrums.
Staged far away from the usual central show venues, amongst the local vendors of Seven Sisters’ indoor market - nail salons, barbers and Latin American food stalls included - Rose’s show (her first in four years) saw a rousing amalgam of city boy banker and bus operators. Boxy windbreakers with flock vinyl graphics - not too far-flung from the TFL winter wardrobe - left the upper arms exposed, whilst padded body warmers complete with Martine Rose nametag alluded to the estate agents and office workers mentioned as influences.
Brown woven leather belts, branded gold tiepins, ankle-skimming duster coats and stiff shouldered blazers nodded to the corporate yuppies of the eighties. So too did the twang of synth pop on the soundtrack. Those Wall Street shoulders and Rose’s overall move toward tailoring - likely influenced by her consulting work at Balenciaga with Demna Gvasalia - saw the uniform of the corporate cog given a spontaneous twist. You saw that especially in the doubled up belts, the long, lapping fringes and the updated chino take on Rose’s signature wide leg trouser.
There was plenty on offer here. Buyers can dip into the executive life-style with ties, pins, belt pouches and blazers, while fans of Rose’s casual-wear can indulge in the familiar oversized logo hoodies and trouser.
Rose's collection subverts the office machismo; city boy sees Seven Sisters stallholder, tailored silhouette unites with tie-neck hoodie, bus driver body warmer marries with rose-embroidered tie and the American Psycho - one of Rose’s visual stimuli - takes on a new approachable veneer as models stride for the finale with hands in pockets.