Christopher Shannon is bored of looking backwards for inspiration. Instead he’s been trawling through Google for images of fellow Liverpudlians getting pissed up on annual hedonistic pilgrimages to the beaches of Europe. Nobody conceptualises references quite like Shannon.
Whereas last season Shannon offered up a few home truths SS16 saw a change in direction, he’s now feeling upbeat and it shows. A sense of fun ran through the collection as models were sent down the runway straight from foam party excess, the remnants still clinging to their hair, discarded bikinis hung limp – the morning after debris.
Shannon’s signature sports styling came via high-cut shorts and fine gauge jerseys in recurrent fluoro tones, with zip detailing. Sweatpants were splintered and flared by silver zips, replacing last seasons poppers and denim came sliced open, only to be stuck back together with gaffer tape, capturing the exuberance of carefree adolescence. Fluorescent club paraphernalia came courtesy of legendary stylist Judy Blame, keychains, whistles, and pins made especially for the show.
The ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’ plastic bag knits, and cig packet ones previous to that, have been updated, now emblazoned with lighters baring slogans, ‘Damaged’ and ‘Needy’, as zippos hung around model’s necks (with shorts this skimpy there’s no room for pockets).
And the affiliation runs further, always one to look forward Shannon has worked with Zippo to create three windproof lighters – a collaboration we all wanted, we just didn’t know we did – “I think of the zippo lighter as one of a ‘holy trinity’ of items young guys have in their pockets, alongside a phone and keys”, says Shannon.
Shannon’s tongue may be firmly in cheek but this is no pastiche rehash, this is the designer’s homage to a youthful rite of passage, an ode to the effervescent spirit of youth and carpe diem liberation. Soundtracked by Leslie Winer, Shannon is taking us all to a 4/4 euphoria.
GALLERYBackstage at this show
GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show