At Ports 1961, designer Milan Vukmirovic channelled the energy of the era he grew up in – namely, the 90s. Drawing from the energy of the second summer of “love”, the designer had the word translated in Japanese, Russian, French, and Arabic text and cast across nu-rave inspired sportswear, adding a feeling of universality and inclusiveness to collection full of party-full nostalgia.
Vukmirovic created his own take on the utilitarian wave currently sweeping the men’s shows, via intense colour blocking, stripes and graphic imagery of the heart. D-rings with straps fell to the floor from the waist of the baggy pants, while Japanese text gave the collection a Tokyo street-style vibe. Paired with giant puffer-coats with reflective panels, it all came together as a modern take on a 90s uprising. More formal pieces like peacoats and slit sleeved cape coats retained that urban edge through details like contrasting colours on seams.
At Ports 1961, Vukmirovic – who has previously designed for Jil Sander and Trussardi – has steadily rebooted the idea of workwear in the context of the modern man’s wardrobe. This season, he added heart to that vision. In light of the forthcoming film Trainspotting 2, it was a timely reminder of the decade many designers like Vukmirovic grew up in – one that has been a regular source of inspiration since.
Photography by Jessica De Maio
Blood Brother has come a long way since starting out as a t-shirt brand in 2011. In the short years since they have expanded into full collections, and branched out with a retail space in East London. This season, they continued their journey, welcoming attendees to a river-themed space for a collection titled ‘Thames’.
Founders James Waller and Nick Biel decked their riverside venue with rusted barrels, chains, ropes and other river detritus, while velvets and silks replicated the mossy texture of submerged objects. Models fitted right in, wearing tones of orange, blacks and petrol purple. Their utilitarian looks were succeeded by details like pockets strapping and contrasting fabrics like jumbo cord paired with waxed cotton. Pairing silks with sportswear finishes, and tailoring with Blood Brother’s signature oversized coats, the boys could have passed for urban sailors, ready to head downstream, to the office, or out.
The River Thames is an iconic landmark in London’s heritage, the original route for international trade into the city. Considering that textiles imports have made up such a major part of its legacy, Blood Brother’s collection tribute was a fitting. In light of ongoing questions over Brexit, it also presents a timely message about the past, and future, of EU trade in the UK.
Mihara Yasuhiro has come a long way since starting out as a footwear designer with his 1996-launched store, Archi Doom. Known for his playful take on garments, the Nagasaki-born creative now shows his menswear at LFWM, having carved his niche through an unflinching dedication to contemporarily simplified design.
Titled ‘This is only a start’, his FW17 show honed in on the idea that there’s a lot more to minimalism than meets the eye. The Barbican Conservatory formed a backdrop of tropical cacti and plants and a Coy pond – a natural and organic environment fitting – playing host to manipulated silhouettes that challenged the conventional pursuit of stripped back design. “Is not the pursuit of “Simplicity” in fact complex and advanced?” Yasuhiro asked.
Cast in an earthy palette of browns, greens, blacks and purples, his pieces showed us that simplified design can, in fact, be more than meets the eye. Yasuhiro went on to employ deformed detailing, panelling, panelling and drawstring embellishment, adding richness to otherwise minimal pieces. Square-mesh coats with textured embellishments brought a contemporary feel. Classic can easily become cool again, but in this instance, it’s what lies beneath the surface that’s ultimately alluring.
Photography by Tomas Turpie