• Text Tempe Nakiska
  • Photography Harry Clark
  • 13th June 2015

Radio junkies

Name just about any of London’s most successful men’s designers who’ve risen in the past decade and you’re more than likely to end up with a MAN alum. Kim Jones, JW Anderson, Christopher Shannon, Astrid Andersen, Craig Green… The fashion showcase has been the go-to platform for emerging design talent for ten years now, providing recipients with financial and ongoing business support along with the catwalk outing and invaluable exposure they come with. MAN celebrates its Big-1-0 this season, and if the brilliantly garish birthday balloons in the Topman space entrance didn’t have you aware of that fact then the MAN Turns 10 short film that preceded the actual collections did. A look back at all the program has achieved and the more animated moments that have marked it: Craig Green’s wooden head pieces, anyone? Bobby Abley’s violent metalwork and off kilter Disney prints? More than anything, it was a reminder of the creativity that ultimately underpins all that commercial stuff, the potentiality of the imagination that is the reason why we get all juiced up about fashion in the first place.

Liam Hodges was the second and final designer to show this season, following up Rory Parnell-Mooney in taking his third and final MAN collection to catwalk. By now, the RCA graduate’s affinity for elements of the cult-y are a familiar mainstay on the LCM schedule. The past couple of seasons have seen the young designer look to tribal influences, boy scouts and gritty market merchant culture, and yesterday his threads sang the tune of a pirate radio station, broadcasting hijacked airwaves to the kids Hodges imagined playing outside the station’s quarters. 

And that was where it all came together: Hodges stirred his creative references in with a seriously hefty lug of sportswear DNA, jacquard football kits in sharp white, black and blue grounding his most cohesive output yet. Another passes out with serious promise.