There was a girl on Christopher Shannon’s runway this afternoon. And then another. And another. In same-but-different versions of Shannon’s signature panelled sportswear, just as the menswear which the show was ostensibly meant to be about was a same-but-different version of the things we’re used to seeing at a Shannon show – a same-but-different that got more and more interesting as the show progressed.


The colour palette was familiar – the pristine white that seems to be Shannon’s black, alongside rain-slick navy and flannel grey. But the shapes felt more authoritatively grown-up than usual, with the female models’ sheer-spliced shirting and printed sweatshirts facing off against male counterparts in leather shirts and zip-apart outerwear and cable-knit sweaters that sliced their way through solid slabs of tonal colour. There was an almost minimalist calmness – especially after the feverish splicing and customising Shannon used in last season’s folk-inspired collection. And yet the inspiration – that of a dis-ordered hoarder – was something that at its’ heart evoked mess and chaos: a sensibility that allowed for slices of motif-spattered wool and dislocated flaps of material unfurling over trousers, yet never threatened the relative harmony of the whole show. Even the gaffer tape which triggered much of the exposed detailing was executed in a way that felt integrated, and even integral to the garments’ articulation.


It was a shift which perhaps brought Shannon to a place closer to other designers on the menswear schedule than before (and a shift which simultaneously set him apart once again from the gradual encroachment by other names on the luxe streetwear which was once so singularly his sole preserve). But it breathed new life into his vision – and, particularly in the case of his interloping womenswear pieces, opened up an intriguing set of possibilities for his path in seasons to come.


Images courtesy of HommeModel


Posted by: John-Michael O'Sullivan


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