Stylee Friday: MAN at London Fashion Week

September 26, 2008

British designer Christopher Shannon was sort of like the hot ticket on the hot ticket as newcomer to the MAN fashion show at London fashion week. The menswear show which is sponsored by Topman, was four collections deep this season and MAN curators the Fashion East group were happy to invite buyer Sarah from Colette to lend a hand as guest panel member. She in turn brought a little Parisian flavor along with her of course—madcap fashion installation vibes courtesy of our homies Andrea Crews.

To really get under the skin of Shannon's work, a little lesson on British youth culture is probably in order. Shannon is from the North of England and likes to think of his aesthetic in terms of "refined Scallyism." An exact definition of the word scally is a bit tricky, but if you're familiar with the term "chav" then it's kind of like the Northern English version of that—think shellsuits (that's the British term for those shiny tracksuits popular in the late '80s) and spiky gelled-out crew cuts. If Lady Sovereign were from Liverpool she would probably be a scally. It's no surprise then that Shannon used to work for Kim Jones who also borrows heavily from lad culture—the Reebok Classics in the show are just as much a scally staple as they are a chav one. It's those cultural references that make his clothes all the more fun to play with—he reinvents signature street looks with tongue-in-cheek elegance, like those tailored all-over-print suits and running pants paired with button-downs.

Another more folksy but equally strong collection at MAN came from Dane Hans Madsen. Designers like Sandra Buckland and Louise Goldin have been really putting the oomph back in to knitwear innovation on the women's side of things, so it's nice to see a fresher take for the boys too. Madsen essentially takes sturdy traditional knits and pushes them forward, updating the old world view with techy fabrics and modern knit-inspired prints without losing any of that chunky nordic charm.

Christopher Shannon

Hans Madsen

Topman Design

Posted: September 26, 2008
Stylee Friday: MAN at London Fashion Week