The United Kingdom will vote whether they’ll remain or leave the European Union on June 23. London Collections: Men has been a celebration of British culture this season. Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton, of the menswear label Agi & Sam, were celebration roots and culture this season. BBC Radio 4 soap-opera The Archers provided the soundtrack to the runway presentation, Del Boy from the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses was emblazoned on a sweater. Where roots were concerned, Sam Cotton reflected on his father and mother, his father being a farmer/house husband and his mother working in the city. The result was a hybridisation of gender roles, told through a masculine scope with feminine flairs.
Womenswear in the menswear runway has saturated the London runways, this season more than ever. Designers like Nasir Mazhar, Katie Eary, Bobby Abley have forever dabbled in womenswear. This season saw the launch of basketball-meets-hip-hop women’s clothing at Astrid Andersen. A slew of other London fixtures were inclined to feature the opposite sex on their catwalks too. While some of those labels have the distinction between men and women, Agi & Sam’s focus was on gender, specifically gender roles.
Turquoise, orange rubber gloves encased the hands of male models from the first look. Looking at the first look: there’s a geometric-printed farmer’s jacket, a large-collared checkered shirt and rolled up trousers. The rubber gloves was the insinuation of farmer-cum-house-husband that was an inspiration factor in this collection. The women that emerged blended seamlessly with the men’s looks. Jackets and trousers could be shared between any gender. Tailoring was the only indication, but even at that, the gender-blurring lines between the two added a flavour to the collection that prevented it from becoming chilly, like the landscape it’s based around, the open fields of the English countryside.
Bringing things back to the city was the Only Fools and Horses reference. As aforementioned, his mother worked in the city. The happy-go-lucky Del Boy of Peckham was humorously printed on a white tee. Functional city-garb and countryside staples punctuate the humorous addition.
“He who dares — wins!” is an iconic catchphrase used by Del Boy, played by David Jason, in Only Fools and Horses. Here, Mdumulla and Cotton pushed the boundaries exploring gender through various cultural touchstones and personal experience. Gender is topical and it wasn’t just an aesthetic in this collection, it was a progressive, intelligent step forward for the brand. “He who dares — wins!”. This Agi & Sam collection certainly won me over.
Photo Credit: voguerunway.com