- Text Lewis Firth
- Photography Takanori Okuwaki
- 11th January 2016
Showed yesterday, James Long’s FW16 collection was themed around the idea of local heroes. “It’s about people we know and that we love, the fun people who inspire what we do everyday,” the London designer explained. The idea of heroes also extended to our favourite clothes themselves: “It’s about the pieces we all wear: tracksuits, trackpants, sweatshirts, fun things.” It’s a grounded vision that will no doubt inform much of his output for Iceberg, the sleeping Italian icon that he recently took the helm of as creative director.
Separates had in-built versatility that could be “worn in so many different ways”. Jumpers were striking, his denim wicked, and his painterly prints eye-catching but not overpowering, easily mixed and matched.
Those “fun things” Long mentioned came in multiple ways: lace and leopard-printed, varying fabrics were rubberised to ward off the weather, while more layers were added with spray-paint (dashes of lime greens, stone grey and a baby blue) to create a James Long-stamped camouflage. Motifs of cards, flowers and a cute little caterpillar – on bombers and pullovers – acted like trinkets belonging to these heroes.
Christian Louboutin created custom-made harness boots and knee-high riding boots in Long’s striped acidic colours, too. And don’t forget Long’s knits: acidic hues and super-chunky gauges in cardigans and crew-neck jumpers. It was all there.