• Text Daniel Challis
  • Photography Harry Clark
  • 14th June 2015

Total symmetry

Entering the domed presentation room at Lee Roach yesterday we were struck by heavy hitting symmetry: eighteen white mannequins were stood on mirrored plinths, offset by the grand architecture of the room. Lee Roach is at his best when playing symmetry off with its opposite, so the display makes sense, it’s what really gets him going. But moving closer the view became fractured and dismantled as you began to tune into the complex construction of the garments. Those clean vibes were matched with the punkish tendencies of transparent construction for which Roach is so widely acclaimed. Utilitarian strapping harnessed partial jackets over simple t-shirts, hole punched patterns and suede leather jackets held together without a single machine stitch.

This is a masterclass in making, fitting then that Roach chose to hold this presentation at the old Central Saint Martins building a stones throw from LCM’s Victoria House. The pure intricacy of his collections are sometimes quite overwhelming to grasp first off, you get a sense that pages and pages of footnotes exist, connected to each reversed seam or hanging from each D-ring. And then there’s his presentation notes that talk so brilliantly of the assemblage of parts, the detail involved. And the mirrored installation, a collaboration with artist Filippo Maria, the reclaimed and re-constructed cargo trousers, the selection of the mannequins, the heritage of the building itself.