tune into liam hodges’s house party for autumn/winter 18

From grunge to gunge, Ian Dury to Mr Blobby, new wave to gabba rave, Liam Hodges was all about the fun and freedom of youth.

by Steve Salter; photos by Jess Gough
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08 January 2018, 3:30pm

“I was just trying to have fun again,” Liam Hodges explained backstage after his Everybody’s Free show. Surrounded by smiling models drenched in gunge and dripping in his studio’s diy spirit, we were all reminded that fashion has the power to leave us daydreaming, laughing and happy. Desperate to escape our dark news feeds while rebelling against the design-by-spreadsheet business of fashion and the requirement that our wardrobes need to grow up as we age, the Kent-born, London-based designer immersed himself in memories of 90s tv shows and peered inside a kaleidoscope of more than four decades worth of youth sights, sounds and subcultures. “It’s either a youth I experienced myself or have been told about… Ian Dury was one of the main figures on my wall.”

“For me, it was about getting my hands dirty and experimenting with new processes.” Alongside bleached denim, colouring book graphics and badge-covered tailoring, airbrushing by hand was just one of many experiments that injected fun and personality into garments. “I’d never even used an airbrush before. It was about creative exploration. A fuck it, let’s try it mentality.” Removing themselves of any rigid studio structure, Hodges and his team cut, pasted and manipulated their garments right up to showtime. “Ordinarily, items return from our factories and they’re ready for the catwalk. This season, it was just the beginning really.” As soon as the garments returned from the factory, it was about playing with processes of customisation. “Pieces were only finished when we said they were finished. It was less organised than normal but all the better for it.”

As so much of fashion becomes increasingly commercialised, London’s brightest talents are fighting back. Alongside Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Rottingdean Bazaar, Art School and more, Liam Hodges is helping to make a London menswear fun again. “Ultimately, I want people to feel happy and excited by this collection, that’s what it should be, right?”