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Royally glamorous, historic Carlton Terraces by St. James Park filled its rooms with innovative designs by a variety of up-and-coming designers. Differing from a catwalk or even a presentation, this 2 day installation felt more like a walk through a museum filled with beautiful pieces of art in the form of clothes and accessories.

Fashion East Installations came about in 2009 as an alternative to catwalks and a sneak peek into the future menswear designer heavyweights. With Martine Rose and Agi & Sam among past designers presenting here, the bar was set high for the new generations of menswear creators. Ten different designers showcased their work, each making their own statement, however one thing they all had in common was that they drew inspiration from  the sense of being British.

It was interesting to see how every designer transformed their given room accordingly to their themes and ideas either using digital media or props to create a particular mood. Maarten Van Der Horsts debut installation ‘I WANT YOUR LOVE’ was presented in a dark room filled with neon lights, showing her obscure collection which was inspired by rock bands Iron Maiden and Metallica, teenage delinquents, and wearing your aesthetics proud. This was in-your-face rocker, with live models wearing Vans shoes standing against projected images of this collection that epitomised the attire of teenage rebellion.

On the room opposite, Kit Neale created an abstract and surreal world, his live models coolly leaning against a massive, cartoonish, acid green dragon. In his SS13 collection ‘One Fin N’ Anuvver’ the East London based designer uses his vibrant colour filled prints to show us a multicultural Britain, paying homage to Peckham in South London, and eccentric British seaside locations.  While William Richard Green gave us an anti-postcard look at Britain, influenced by his Muslim background and heavily inspired by military and army references. His monotone coloured collection resembled contemporary combat attire, looking closely at how Western clothing was applied to traditional Muslim attire to accommodate colder weather. Quirky designs in dark colours, which made for a very subtly wearable collection.

T.lipop’s masculine collection was featured inside a smaller room, with models hanging from a dark wooden wardrobe, with flowers and bric-a-brac decorating the room. Inspired by the vibrant and rich in colours Mexican culture and their famous sugar skulls, his shirts sported floral prints and intelligent cutting, mixing blocks of bright oranges, pinks, and turquoise. The models had their faces painted to resemble skulls, a post Zombie Boy vision of East London’s hipster fashion culture.

– Walter Ugarkovic

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