This season’s MAN event showcased the AW14 designs of Abley, Alan Taylor and Craig Green – the guy who used to put wood on people’s faces, but doesn’t anymore. First up was Dublin born designer Alan Taylor who chose oversized tailoring as the heart-piece of the collection. His cubist approach, which explores the idea of a fourth dimension, creates unique silhouettes but needs some more developing as the exaggerated cuts didn’t complement the male body well in some of the looks. The collection was rounded up with an homage to artist Henri Matisse’s colourful and graphic body of work from the end of his career known as his ‘cut-outs’.
The second show by british designer Bobby Abley made it’s point very clear – it’s getting scary. His collection, entitled “Phantom Manor”, continues the storytelling of last season – this time “through the gloomy swamps, the forbidden forests and the haunted hills to the Phantom Manor” the shownotes read. He developed his cartoon inspired proportions further and took Disney iconography (like Katie Eary did) and gave it a vicious twist to haunt your nightmares. It was a spectacle when models wearing mouthrings with “DREAM ON”, “BYE” and “BRAINS” written in Disney font on the clothes while carrying teddybears marched down the runway. It was no surprise to us when we read that he gained experience working between Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott. “Naive and a bit dark” is how Abley characterises his work – add brutal and haunting and you are good to go.
The grand finale was provided by the farewell collection of Craig Green as part of the MAN event. His first collection had that kind of raw straight from scratch feeling and introduced his wood theme. The second one went colourful while still keeping the wood theme to maintain that kind of anonymity. It was like a caterpillar transforming to a cocoon in the second season to reveal the butterfly that evoke in Craig Green’s designs for the final season. The romantic collection revisited his love for complex colour and pattern combinations. The Mandala-like motifs were all hand painted on the clothes – supporting Green’s anti-digital leitmotif. The designer’s signature concern for masculinity is presented through the vein of grand tradition. It was a promising offering by a young designer who seems to have found his place in the industry.
Photography by Stefan Dotter for WhiteLies Magazine