Apparently there was no official name for the collection; no hashtag for instance. The closest we have seen has been the mention of the years “1964-1995” in the short clip advertising the show.
However the theme was very clearly based on a range of urban tribes and styles that were popular amongst British youths in the 60’s and 70’s.
If we have seen a ‘ski-ska-punk’ theme before (ski being a pun with skin) with AW2008-2009, this one could be ‘skin-ska-mod-glam‘, as the four elements, which are historically intertwined, were the basis for the outfits displayed last Friday.
This is why some ensembles had an air of deja vu, with a huge caveat though: all models wore platform boots! Dan, who was running the casting, stated that the first thing they did was have the models wear the boots. If they could walk in them, they more or less got the gig!
Note that as a friend of mine pointed out, this looked nearly like a winter collection. We are used to Summer shows with several models wearing next to nothing (swimming briefs and flip-flops for instance), but here we had some solid clothes which if you think about it, might actually fit a British summer, as opposed to one in Mykonos the twins have gotten us used to.
For those who are unfamiliar with urban sub-cultures of 40-50 years ago, the previous post contains a family tree of the youth tribes involved and some of their ramifications. There might be a few arrows and sub-groups missing but the general lines are there.
Even the glam connection which might at first sight appear out of place, in reality has some historical accuracy. The band Slade being the best example: sporting (for commercial reasons in fact) the full skinhead look in 1969, they will evolve into the most extreme form of glam style.
‘Mods‘: in the pork-pie hats, the green parkas and the multitude of Mod inspired patches, like Union Jacks, scooter club colours, or “The What?”, a reference to cult band The Who.
‘Glam‘: in the glittered platform boots, the cut of the trousers, the glitter and svarowsky on Jumpers and jackets, the silver pants, and in the hairstyle of some of the models.
‘Punk‘: a minimal presence here, the genre being already covered in the Winter collection, but still, some components are unmistakably part of this seminal sub-culture, like the leather bracelets, the use of chains for braces, the padlock and chain necklaces, and may be even the striped woolen jumper, which was worn by the early punters at “Sex”, the shop on King’s road where Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood created the look that was to become punk.
‘Skinhead‘: here, two branches of the style were represented.
Firstly, the traditional 1969 skin, in the checked shirts, braces and cropped hair, and chunky knit cardigans.
Secondly the more extreme revival skinhead look of the late 70’s and early 80’s: very high cropped beached jeans, bleached denim jackets, camouflage cargo pants and jackets, white laces on black boots (which in some countries was associated to racist politics), bombers, facial tattoos, and prints on t-shirts that have the same aestethics as skin tees of the mid 80’s era. Of course, the look is softened and toned down with for instance, flower motifs on a bomber jacket, and let’s not forget the crazy boots.
Note that skins are back in a big way, just look at the below photo of the Givenchy collection!
‘Two tone‘: in the pork pies, the black and white outfits and the typical black and white check on the parkas (‘two-tone’, being beyond pure aesthetics, a strong political statement in the Britain of the late 70’s, where the sentiment against West Indies immigrants was growing strong amongst working class youths).
And to finish the show, the Caten brothers wore a rainbow ribbon scarf to honour the lost lives in Orlando. They also wore knee-high plaform boots, as they had to be able to reach the models to fix details before the guys went onto the runway, and as the twins are short to start with, it would have been impossible as all models were elevated by several inches in their fancy footwear.