liam hodges’ campaign is a nostalgic celebration of trippy 90s saturday night tv
Explore the colourful, hyper, weird and smile-making DIY universe of London’s most fun-filled menswear talent.
Photography Ryan O’Toole Collett
To follow-up one of autumn/winter 18’s funnest catwalk experiences, Liam Hodges has created a DIY cut-and-paste collage of his favourite 90s Saturday night family entertainment shows and turned Dover Street Market London’s basement exhibition space into his own warped take on Noel’s House Party. Alongside campaign imagery shot by London-based documentary and fashion photographer Ryan O’Toole Collett -- after his Youth In Balaclava photo project caught the designer’s eye -- Liam has worked with long-time collaborator and house party partner, Dale Slater, to create a fantastical set complete with a Mr Blobby sofa suite, graphic wallpaper and a bespoke portrait of the ultimate House Party host, Noel Edmonds, by Roxanne Farahmand.
“I was just trying to have fun again,” Liam explained backstage after his autumn/winter 18 show, Everybody’s Free to Feel Good. Surrounded by smiling models drenched in gunge and dripping in DIY spirit, we were all reminded that fashion has the power to leave us smiling. It offered a welcome escape from the dark news cycle and reminded us of a time before the design-by-spreadsheet business of fashion, and the expectation that our wardrobes needs to grow up as we age. “It was about getting my hands dirty and experimenting with new processes," he added. Both the campaign and the DSM basement takeover are extensions of this "fuck it, let's just make it ourselves" spirit. “We painted the sofa, reworked the photographs with air brushes and painting, while the prints are flypostered haphazardly,” he said, after spending the night transforming the DSM space with his creative team.
“This is the first campaign where we have created a whole world around it,” Liam adds. “We purposefully took the shots from slightly further back to reveal the photoshoot elements, which references ideas explored in our Hector Aponysus-shot spring/summer 18 campaign in which we set fire to the set.” From artistic arson to model gunging, the Liam Hodges studio is never dull. Now, as the collection lands in-store, Dover Street Market customers can experience it for themselves.
“It’s a world where everything is hyper and skewed,” Liam explains, “for DSM we just wanted to literally bring that into the store so customers can experience the collection in a setting like that.” It was about bringing the show's environment -- experienced by a fortunate few -- to as many people as possible. “It was important that the clothing was presented in Liam’s world rather than ours, to create this “fantastical and alternate universe” complete with characters, styles and spaces which we felt reflected the collection,” Ryan adds.
“I hope people experience the energy and fun that Liam creates through his clothing and leave with flavour of the Liam Hodges world,” Ryan finishes. “Wot he said,” Liam adds. “We just want to make people smile.”