• Text Dean Mayo Davies
  • Photography Harry Clark
  • 10th January 2015

New bag

Christopher Shannon is at his finest with elements of the dev’d. Last winter’s Thatcherite Britain, chain-smoking in the kitchen in front of peeling wallpaper saw to that. As did its local legend footballers walking home from practice in the rain, getting their crown-and-glory ruined (their haircuts).

The designer, who grew up in Liverpool but has spent longer working in London is magic with a reference, of which we all know. Yet if you’re the type to turn up to LCM in a (not quite right) three piece suit, as there is a strong trait of London attendees, much of what he does is likely to go over your head.

FW15, shown today, would have. Its homage to Nigel Shafran’s Britain would’ve; putting the precinct on a pedestal with its plastic bags, BOGOFs and sexing up an already sexy 90s small town icon: Adidas Poppers (always worn unpopped as flares).

In a way, and even though there’s been a season in between, this collection was a natural follow-up to the footballers. The ciggy knits that everyone went (Embarro) Mental for, this writer included, were updated to the equally iconic: a can of pop named Broke; a Tesco bag reworked to Save Me and perhaps the best, a cornershop carrier declaring Thanks 4 Nothing. There was also more Judy Blame collaboration, the type of plastic bag paraphernalia that only the legendary stylist can conjure as brooches and stuff-hanging-off.

No other city on fashion’s map could offer this, and thus Shannon alone is justification for a London schedule. Sophisticated and self-deprecating, parading and making perverse the things we recognise from our lives, the attitude is pure British, offering clothes his models could see themselves in as opposed to just wear.

Fashion is about a lot of things. And sometimes its about the right CAT boots (who the designer collaborated with again, zipped up the back) or t-shirt or puffa jacket, particularly as an adolescent. Here’s a reality check for anyone that doesn’t get it: life is often quite crap and a struggle. Not everyone grew up in London, went to boarding school or has a pocket handkerchief, let alone matches it to their socks. The right pair of trainers, t-shirt or puffa jacket mean the world, especially when it’s of its world. And when it’s pushed weirder, set to Leslie Winer on the soundtrack, even better.