For any normal kid, the walls of the teenage wasteland that is their adolescent bedroom are what shape the rest of their lives. The posters you collect, the posters you rip up, the evolution of posters over your seven teen years as well as the paraphernalia that probably cover every available surface (sticker books, joss sticks, beanie babies, bongs...) are all the remnants of finding one's way in life. Christopher Shannon, winner of the first BFC/GQ Menswear Fund, dedicated his latest collection to the late Louise Wilson and in ode to her, stepped out of the digital age and embraced the rip and Blu Tack sentimentality of his own teen years. Inspired by emo culture, Adrienne Salinger's 1995 book In My Room: Teenagers in Their Bedrooms and Sophie Lee Beresford's YouTube videos of her dancing in her room, his models walked out in oversized T-shirts and baggy shorts screenprinted with scrapbook style collages and cut-out shapes with Bjork (or Miley?) style top knots. A teenage dream's so hard to beat!
So, teenage bedrooms...
It didn't really start as teenage bedrooms, just that lots of the references ended up at that point, and then when I found the Adrienne Salinger book, it was more about the way people decorated their bedrooms rather than the bed - what they collaged on the walls, just like, trying to make your space your own and find your own identity. It's almost like a gallery space growing up. It's about that enclosure that I don't think we have anymore because we live in a very digital way. I don't think people live in there bedrooms the same way as they used to, like pottering about and buying into things.
What did your teenage bedroom look like?
Mine was really poster-y. I went through phases, it was really transient. All those shops still exist as well, those shops that sell joss sticks and all that shit, they never seem to go away so obviously everyone seems to hit that point as a teenager and you know, starts smoking spliffs. It's like your first touch of spirituality that isn't school I think. So it wasn't meant literally but it kind of went that way.
Did you go through an emo phase?
I wasn't really emo when I did it but I think everyone did go through it, I mean you're a mess aren't ya! you're trying to find your way through and I just remember it being really intense and hardcore, you know, just being in my own space and being around music and my sketchbooks. When I see the people tha tI emply now that are 21 or whatever, they don't seem to have that sensibility. They live in a very screen-driven world.
Do you think that's a bad thing?
Well, not everyone does it but it's a lot. I like the rough things. Also it was a bit of a tribute to Louise [Wilson] as well and that was the way she worked.
Where did the hair idea come from?
The hair was just a guess! It just came from bedroom references - when you're just sitting around and trying something but you haven't really got anything to try with, so you just use elastic bands. I suppose there's like a Bjork reference and Mondino... It just felt right because it was like male grooming that didn't look Beckham-y or traditional.
How did you find Sophie Lee Beresford's YouTube videos?
I've been friends with Sophie for a while and the first video I saw of hers was called Pizza Shop Dance, which was like the first piece of work she did, she's incredible, she's one of my favourite people. She's a really incredible dancer and they were kind of just studies of her at home doing it but I liked all her paraphernalia - that was the sort of thing I was thinking about. Like dolphins, the horrendousness of dolphins. Everyone goes through a dolphin phase. I think! So we started with all those things that were a bit hardcore then pushed them out so bit by bit so they were hopefully a bit chicer.