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MAN spring/summer 15

With two new faces joining the triptych of talent at the spring/summer 15 MAN show, it was definitely the hot ticket of LC:M. Central St Martins graduate Nicomede Talavera and RCA graduate Liam Hodges joined Disney babe Bobby Abley for his third showing with the Fashion East x TOPMAN initiative.

First out was Nicomede. Bringing together the work of French artist Louise Bourgeois and the cubist figures of Sol LeWitt, baggy trousers and pinstripe jackets were worn second to the stroke of genius that was the pleated dress. It's optical mix of big and small gingham patterns shimmered around the boys legs as they stalked The Old Sorting Office. Nicomede Talavera is fast shaping up to be one of our favourite breakout stars... Liam Hodges was up next and as always, with a whole mash-up of cultural references and dopamine-fuelled ideas, his wild boy scout theme didn't disappoint. Eclectically cast with all shapes and sizes from young and fresh-faced to punks and bearded men, Liam's models were not afraid to get their hands dirty and wore khaki, badges, patches and feathers with dreadlocked hair to complete the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift. For his final outing with MAN, Bobby Abley went all out under the sea with The Little Mermaid inspired collection. Ripped denim and beachy locks decked out the skater boy that 16 year old Ariel falls head over tail for before more obvious references appeared in the form of Sebastian (the lobster) and Ursula (the sea witch) printed neoprene jumpers. These are the menswear stars of tomorrow, watch this space! 

How did Louise Bourgeois and Sol Lewitt inspire you?
Basically in the fabric works. I kind of wanted to move away from minimal artists and go into a different territory but I was also looking at my MA collection which I graduated with last year. That was Muslim influenced, that's why there were a lot of long dresses and also I continued my obsession with lines, that's where the pleats come from. And any element of geometric - I just wanted that in the collection. 

Even though it is really geometric, you can see how the pleats flow as the boys are walking.
Yeah! It was really weird seeing the boys move round in it - I really wanted that to happen.  

How do you feel after your first show?
It feels surreal, absolutely surreal. I felt like I was ready to and I'm really happy I was able to show as a part of Fashion East, Topman and MAN.

How was it preparing for it?
I was actually finished on Friday which was really good but I was really stuck with casting until late last night, but we finished in the end which was really good!

What's your favourite piece?
It would have to be the pleated dresses for sure.


Where do you get all your ideas from?
The scouts and the Kibbo Kifts were the real thing that started it. It was a kind of 1920s anti-war scout movement and it was all about passing on knowledge to young generations and teaching them to appreciate stuff. Then the patches - it was all kind of DIY kind of stuff. We made 3D printed feathers - my friend has a 3D printer in his bedroom, one of the domestic ones - and we were trying to hack it, just drawing stuff and printing it until we got what we wanted.

So there was 3D printing in the collection?
Yeah, but my way of doing 3D printing - it all kind of came out flat! But then we got a heat gun and made it 3D ourselves.

Tell us a bit about the casting...
It was with my friend Mischa Notcutt and stylist Harry Lambert. I had this image in my head and I don't really use models that often, I'm not that into it - I don't want everyone to look the same - and I remember being in the cubs when I was little, or when my sister was at Brownies, everyone's different you know? Short people, tall people, some are older, some are younger. It was mostly my friends anyway! It was just people who get on and have something to do together. I think that's really important, it projects the idea of the collection so much more than a lineup of boys who look the same.

What's your favourite piece?
I've got a couple, I mean the jacquard stuff, I'm really happy with, the feather headress at the end was amazing, the hats blew my mind. I dunno yet, I'm not sure, I've got to try it all on!  


Why The Little Mermaid?
It's like my ultimate favourite Disney movie. I've kind of been holding off doing something with it for a while because I didn't want to do my favourite thing too soon, I wanted to sort of establish things first. But surprisingly, with it being my ultimate favourite movie I thought I'd go crazy, putting Ariel and Flounder and every character everywhere and cramming it all in but none of that happened because it kind of looked like stuff from the Disney store! So I think it was kind of tame compared to what I could have done...

Do you think you'll go crazy with her for another collection?
Maybe I'll revisit her one day but I'm really happy with how it turned out and I think it's perfect for spring/summer - quite beachy/skater with the dreadlocks and shiny skin.

Why combine Ariel with skaters?
I just think it goes nice with summer, these kind of hot surfer/skater boys. It kind of links to the beach. I saw someone yesterday carrying a massive surfboard but that might be a bit too much for me! 

Do you skate?
I actually don't! If I got on one of those [points to "BOBBY" cut out skateboard] I wouldn't get very far. I'll leave it to someone that can use it.

What's your favourite piece?
I love the Ursula jumper, and probably the finale with the glitter, it's actually knit.