Often, men’s fashion shows seem to fall into one of two categories: the banal and the bonkers. Not always, of course — last week’s Saint Laurent show in New Jersey was kind of cool, and Kim Jones’ collections at Louis Vuitton were never anything less than stellar — but you know what I mean. And while the boring stuff might be what sells, it’s the freaky stuff that makes these shows worth looking at. And nowhere is the freaky stuff freakier than in London where this season’s dearth of big-name designers meant the city’s freak-flag-flying young talents had all eyes on them. Here are some of the whacked-out highlights.
1. The pregnant dudes at Xander Zhou.
In a dystopian future where aliens from another planet run the world and grow their hybrid babies in male wombs, these are the clothes everyone will be wearing.
2. Face paint and feathers at Stefan Cooke.
Remember when Prada made those little gossamer tutus for men? From the looks of things, so does Cooke. Or maybe he’s telling the Kafka-esque story of a man slowly turning into a bird before our very eyes. Or maybe he’s referencing that time he got caught trying to shoplift a feather boa by hiding it in his pants. Or maybe he just likes feathers. Or maybe he hates feathers, but they were on sale at the trimmings store and he loves a bargain. Whatever the reason, I think we can all agree that feathers were used.
That face paint tho. These guys look like they shouted obscenities at a tattoo artist before passing out in his chair. That, or they fell asleep during a party at a fraternity with a thing for clip art. Either way! The point is consciousness was not involved.
3. Rental costumes at Rottingdean Bazaar.
The entire “collection” is pieces you can rent on the cheap from costume shops around the UK. The “designers,” Luke Brooks and James Theseus Buck, didn’t make anything themselves. Sarah Mower wrote a whole long thing about it for Vogue that you are welcome to read if you want to, although it won’t answer any of your real questions, like Who created these monstrosities in the first place? and What kind of cracked-out Halloween hoarder thought they were worth preserving and trying to rent out for profit?
4. Royal commemorative plate suspenders at Per Gotesson.
Honestly, after Rottingdean Bazaar, not even this looks particularly weird. I mean, how do you top a Van Gogh costume with a giant plastic ear glued to the nipple?
5. That one sunburned model at Liam Hodges.
A lot of the models had sunburned faces, but only this particular model got the lower-leg treatment. Sunburns are the new knee socks; didn’t you know? Also, mullets are back.
6. Reverse rattails at Kiko Kostadinvo.
Remember when rattails were a thing? So upsetting.
7. The gentleman’s crop tops at John Lawrence Sullivan.
Soooooo punk rock.
8. Sheer parachute pants at Edward Crutchley.
Proof that see-through pants can transcend gender. Also available as shorts!
9. This big plastic whatever at Cottweiler.
In the event of an emergency, this outfit can be used as a flotation device. Or you could just let yourself drown.
10. This “trashy” codpiece from Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY.
11. All the ruffles, organza, and pearls at Blindness.
I mean… apparently the craftsmanship was actually quite good and the whole show had a very dramatic, couture-like flare. So there’s that.
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