Lon­don Fash­ion Week Men’s 2018: Ones to Watch

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews - BY FIONA MA PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY FRANCISCO GOMEZ DE VILLABOA

FOUR NEW-GEN DE­SIGN­ERS ARE SHAK­ING UP LON­DON FASH­ION WEEK MEN’S WITH THEIR OUT­LANDISH, OFF­BEAT DE­SIGNS.

by Ka Wa Key Chow and Jarno Lap­pa­nen is in its fourth sea­son, al­though this week marks the first time the de­sign­ers have made it onto the Lon­don sched­ule. Chow is a Royal Col­lege of Art grad­u­ate, while Lep­pa­nen comes from an arts back­ground.

The in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the col­lec­tion was “a story about a monk who imag­ines him­self as a model in a work by the late pho­tog­ra­pher Ren Hang,” said Chow. Draw­ing di­rectly from this ref­er­ence and monk im­agery, the col­lec­tion was cre­ated from a swathe of bright-yet-earthy col­ors in a swathe of red, golden yel­low and cobalt blue.

The duo said they have also been work­ing on fab­ric ma­nip­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment this sea­son. “We will con­tinue us­ing our sig­na­ture tech­nique, which is where we cre­ate a semi-trans­par­ent pat­tern on cot­ton blend and it makes it look like a paint­ing,” Chow said. The process cre­ates the ap­pear­ance of dreamy, light­weight and floaty gar­ments. A plas­tic-y PVC fab­ric will make its de­but in the new col­lec­tion. “We wanted to have a wa­ter­proof el­e­ment to it and we used a com­bi­na­tion of pre­vi­ous tech­niques to de­velop it,” said Lep­pa­nen.

Ka Wa Key is stocked in Open­ing Cer­e­mony, Wut in Tokyo and at two stand-alone bou­tiques in China. Prices range from 90 pounds for a T-shirt to 1,000 pounds for spe­cially treated gar­ments such as coats and jack­ets. Their col­lec­tion will be pre­sented as a 15-minute per­for­mance piece in Lon­don Fash­ion Week Men's Dis­cover Lab on June 11.

Jordan

Bowen and Luca Marchetto launched their epony­mous brand Jor­danLuca last year. The two had been work­ing in the in­dus­try for a few years be­fore join­ing: Luca was de­sign as­sis­tant to Vivi­enne West­wood and Jordan was mak­ing hats with Bri­tish milliner Stephen Jones.

Jor­danLuca launched in Septem­ber 2017 and busi­ness has been thriv­ing: Harvey Ni­chols is among the 12 stock­ists that have picked up the brand. “We have a few years of ex­pe­ri­ence, so we started with a very fo­cused dis­tri­bu­tion strat­egy in terms of where, when and how we are go­ing to dis­trib­ute our prod­ucts,” Bowen said.

This sea­son, the grow­ing move­ment of flat Earthers in­spired the duo. “It's not just iso­lated to Amer­ica, it's grow­ing big­ger and we felt that this was very rel­e­vant be­cause ul­ti­mately it boils down to peo­ple not be­liev­ing in our sys­tem, with some­thing so fun­da­men­tal as the Earth be­ing a globe,” he said of their in­spi­ra­tion.

The col­lec­tion will see a con­tin­u­a­tion of their best-sell­ing pieces such as track­suits made from crinkly alu­minum Space-Age fab­rics. Macramé, linen and denim will also be in­cor­po­rated into the col­lec­tion in an ap­pro­pri­ately earthy pal­ette of brown and camels. “Ul­ti­mately Jor­danLuca is Ital­ian her­itage meets Lon­don sub­cul­ture, so we will still be look­ing at those two tropes and fus­ing them to­gether,” Bowen said.

Their col­lec­tion will start at 130 eu­ros for ba­sic items while heav­ier pieces will have an av­er­age price of 1,000 eu­ros. Jor­danLuca will be show­ing their col­lec­tion at Lon­don Fash­ion Week Men's Discovery Lab on June 9.

From left: Sharon Wau­chob; Ka Wa Key Chow and Jarno Lep­pa­nen of Ka Wa Key; Bianca Saun­ders, Luca Marchetto and Jordan Bowen of Jor­danLuca.

Ka Wa Key

Jor­danLuca

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