LAB EXPERIMENTS: Seeking to support emerging talent, the launched Discovery Lab, a new space for fledgling labels to showcase their collections through immersive and interactive presentations. Housed inside the BFC show space during London Fashion Week Men’s, Discovery Lab saw nine brands present their collections using a range of multi-media projects and live performances.
Several designers at Discovery Lab focused on offering guests a unique experience, such as a live dance or music performance. Highlights included streetwear-inspired brand Ka Wa Key, which showed off a collection inspired by young monks via a mesmerizing contemporary dance piece. Soft fluid silhouettes were seen throughout, from unstructured overalls to elongated hoodies with sloped shoulders and loose trousers belted high on the waist.
Art group NiNE8 Collective chose a more immersive presentation that featured a video presentation and one-off artworks on the walls. They hung alongside a collection of reimagined streetwear staples with hand-painted, graffiti-inspired motifs. The collective also turned the space into an underground party featuring live music by NiNE8 Collective’s founder and rap artist Lava La Rue and artist Danny Trash among others. Guests were encouraged to join in.
This season also saw a wider breadth of perspectives on street fashion. Something to Hate On’s skate-inspired collection was about youthful rebellion and saw new iterations of its classic pieces in different fabrics and colors including cashmere and denim in burgundy, purple, white and black. There were also utilitarian boiler suits and pouches draped across shoulders and chests, a collaboration with Palmer Pouch.
3.Paradis whipped up a collection with a political narrative called Far Away from Home. It referenced immigrants who came to New York looking to fulfill the American dream but who are living an American nightmare. The brand teamed with New York-based streetwear brand Pony for a capsule collection that referenced the past and contemplated the future.
There was an uncomplicated masculinity about the collection that saw the re-emergence of streetwear tropes from a decade ago, such as trucker hats, hoodies and basketball shorts alongside pieces that bore the word HOME splashed across the chests of track jackets and t-shirts. The dystopian presentation featured models bound to a concrete cube with metal ropes, symbolizing the inescapability of poverty and being trapped in a city that isn’t their home.