Topman Design opened this London Fashion Week Men’s FW17 with a nod to the “archetypal, nomadic British traveller”, via a journey to the 90s rave scene.
From the get-go the collection mixed tailoring with trainers and knitwear, denim with oversized denim, and sportswear with PVC, patched and mismatched together as separates designed to traverse work, the pub, the club. Chaotic colours were bent into trippy prints on t-shirts and sweaters, grounded by tweed coats and PVC parkas. Hot-pink, bubble textured tracksuits packed an “everybody’s free (to feel good)” punch. Liam Gallagher’s son Lennon walked the show, really topping off the 90s credit.
Paired with all this nostalgia, jewellery designer Husam El Odeh dipped household items such as nails, keys and crucifixes in rubber to become neon earrings. Punk safety pin brooches and nose rings gave a nod to transitional period between the 80s and 90s where the shifting zeitgeist saw trends overlap in a fantastic mess. Paired with greasy curtain fringes and bowl cuts flattened by neon bucket hats, the boys looked as though they never came home this weekend.
Copenhagen trio Off Bloom are far from home, in New York chilling (and catching Ciara in concert) before flying to LA for a string of writing dates. It’s go-go-go following the release of their debut EP, Love To Hate It, recently released via Sport Records.
Off Bloom are at the vanguard of Denmark’s exciting music scene, where rising acts are constantly feeding inspiration from and to one another – such as Liss, Kill J and Vera, who have all collaborated with the trio in recent months. By way of the group’s recent singles Thorns, Orchid, and Marie, the band are firming up their musical identity, crafting a sound that scales catchy synth melodies, R&B melodies and heavy dance beats, all with an irresistibly raw edge.
Alex Baker: How are you guys? Mette Mortensen: We’re good!
AB: What are you guys doing in New York at the moment? MM: Well, Yesterday we were at a Ciara concert, where we had a little too much to drink. [laughs] We were just saying to each other that we didn’t get too much out of the concert but it was still… a lot of fun.
AB: Are you recording there at the moment? Alexander Flockhart: Not so much in New York, we just stopped here for a few days before we go to LA. We have some friends and some people we work with here as well. Our friend Magnus who does all our visual stuff lives here so we thought we would hang out for a few days.
AB: So talk me through who does what for the band in terms of input. AF: Mette’s the singer, and then we all just write together and produce together, it’s all kind of one unit, then when we play live Mads plays MPC’s, I DJ and Mette sings.
AB: So, you have just released your debut video, Love To Hate It, how do you feel it’s been received so far? Mads Christensen: I think it’s been received amazingly. But yeah, I fucking love it myself. Nadia Otzen, the director, has just done such an amazing job! It’s as real and as true and honest as it was meant to do so, it did exactly what we wanted to. Like, scraping all the normal layers of slow motion imaging and stuff like that and just being real about how we are and what our energy is like.
AB: I heard you guys drove hours outside Copenhagen and stayed in a house for a few days to make it? MM: Yeah, the whole concept of the thing was that we also wanted to bring all of our friends that we make music with, the people in Copenhagen and the people in our community who make amazingly cool and inspiring music as well that we work with all the time, and are old friends of ours… And, we wanted them to be a part of it, we really wanted to focus on the bigger picture because it’s not just about us, it’s all about all of these people making beautiful music.
AB: Like being able to give them the opportunity for you to carry them up with you? MM: That’s what it’s all about. AF: We are all doing this together right from the beginning, that’s the amazing thing. It was so great to just hang out with them, go to a summer house and just make a cool video.
AB: Who’s house was it? MC: Just a random house. Basically, Mette and I met at theatre school on this little island in Denmark. It was that island that we shot the video. Coincidentally, Nadia knew some people down there, so we hung out for a bit and talked for a bit about where we could do the video and she was like, “maybe we can do it there.” AF: The house was funny, because when they were scouting the location the guy that owned it was just working in his garage but the house was empty so they just went up and asked him, “Can we use this house for a few days?” MM: And you could tell that nobody had lived there for maybe twenty years or something, it was very smelly, very like… “eurgh!” MC: But it’s funny how quickly you can turn a house into a home. Because, as soon as we put new bedsheets on, it was chill. MM: But I am glad I wasn’t sleeping there on my own for the night. It was like… that kind of house.
“There are so many Danish acts about to release some amazing, cool stuff. It’s gonna be a really exciting time in the next six to twelve months.”
AB: So you have collaborated with acts like Liss and Kill J and Vera, how has that helped you? MC: The only way you can really evolve is if you have friends around you who constantly push you to make you better. It’s about learning from great people, and hopefully giving something back to them in terms of also being able to do something that they might not be able to do. We know that we are good at something, and they are good at something. It’s really inspiring being around talented people, but also to be really passionate about learning as well. Not just being passionate about making the next hit song – which is not the most interesting thing – you should never have your focus there. It’s about making… AF: Developing… you only get to the next level if you stay curious, and you learn to develop yourself rather than looking at outward factors.
AB: The tracks you’ve released so far have a strong point of view and identity. How do you feel the people of Denmark have taken to your music? AF: It’s insane in Denmark, basically we haven’t existed for more than a month. The first thing that happened was we got this TV spot on P3 Guld which is this big awards show in Denmark and that was our introduction and everyone watches the show and it was like entering the scene with a bang. People have responded really well to it, it’s so nice! MC: Denmark is amazing and we have been so lucky there. The main radio station is playing our track on rotation with four stars like DJ Snake, it feels like we have had a really good start.
“It’s really inspiring being around talented people, but also to be really passionate about learning as well.”
AB: There’s definitely a talented pool of artists coming out of Denmark right now, and it’s refreshingly uncommercial. MM: And there’s so much more to come… I think we are one of the first, including Liss, and there are so many people about to release some amazing stuff, so it’s going to be a really exciting time in the next six to twelve months, I can’t wait.
AB: Have you got any upcoming gigs or tours at all, or is that not ready yet? MC: We seriously have some fucking exciting stuff! But, it’s not confirmed yet. We just got a call from our manager saying, “This might happen,” and hopefully it will… but let’s see. Luckily a lot of things started happening after we played one show in London. MM: And we are definitely going to come back to London and do a show in the New Year. But, we don’t have a grand tour planned, we want to take things as they come and be flexible.
AB: I know a lot of artists write 150-plus songs for their first albums, is it like that? I imagine that just writing as much as possible is great. AF: Yeah it’s been like that over the last two-to-three years. I mean, we have a bunch of songs and we just write and write and write and write so we have a big selection to choose from. MC: Yeah, basically we want to release an album ASAP but we will only do it when we are really ready.
‘Love To Hate It’ by Off Bloom is out now via Sport Records. For more on the band check out their Facebook and SoundCloud.
Seoul fashion designer Jaewoo Lee serves up a minimal, proportion questioning collection with pink to shock the system.
Like a rebirth of Saint Laurent’s iconic “Le Smoking,” JWL’z short cropped jackets, paired with the high-waisted trousers, added a hard, solid, “gender free” exploration of the female silhouette to Korean designer’s latest collection. Then, as the collection evolved, lace blouses and bursts of pink and green brought out the fun elements to project some soul and personality to, at a first glance, quite a serious collection.
The classic technique of cutting up the silhouette with monochromatic, sharp lines were there but in addition, the lines didn’t just cut across the model, they went in different directions to trick the eye into making female shape have a whole new blueprint on each look.
Both the birth and the development of Lee’s designs are rooted in her understanding and appreciation of the ‘souls’ of each fabric she uses; how they differ, how they combine and compliment each other, and how the colour, texture and construction of each work together to engineer her designs.
This masculine/feminine collection also included low-cut busts in hard triangular shapes to show off the hint of the collar bone and chest, creating a simplistic elegance to the colour-blocking and square shapes which makes this collection inclusive to a variety of women and ages.