• Text  Tempe Nakiska
  • Photography  James Naylor
  • 16th June 2014

Eastern combat

Colour, sex and tradition – the revitalising trio of elements that left Astrid Andersen’s show tingling in the air long after the last boy walked. Andersen has looked to Asia for inspiration for some time now yet this season was different. No, it wasn’t the geographic shift from Bangkok to Tokyo but rather the hunger for reinvigoration the designer approached the collection with.

The presence of a slowed down version of ‘Creep’ by TLC was no accident: revisit the video and you’ll find T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli cloaked in hot hues of silk pajama, very much aligned with the shades of dawn and dusk that rippled across Andersen’s boys like the hit of a refresh button. These were karate kids of the hip hop age, their silk kimonos trailing the ground over fine black mesh fighting gear. Combat, that is, imbued with the respectful custom of the sumo, or so their ebony prayer beads suggested.

After all, it was Andersen’s recent trip to Japan and experience of her first sumo-wrestling match that got her really riled up this season. What Andersen does best is masculinity flipped over, and here it was presented with a beauty and softness that spoke its own language.

Read our preview of Astrid Andersen’s SS15 collection here.