You know you've been hit with fashion gluttony when after being rammed with womenswear collections from all corners of the globe in email attachments, from fashion weeks in the big four and further afield, you're STILL not sated. In fact you go looking at the menswear stuff as well. Most of you will know that Steve of Style Salvage is the root source to blame.
A few weeks ago, when he took a closer look at the prints in Agi & Sam's A/W 12-3 collection, which was the talk of London's menswear day during fashion week, I wasn't content with just merely seeing the pieces up close and getting their inspiration notes. The difference between Steve and myself is that I'm probably more inclined to try the stuff on, in order to really begin to get what all the fuss is about. Therefore in another his n' hers type post, I have bullied him into a bit of print action, something that he is slowly converting to as I encourage him to work prints into his closet, bit by bit. Part of my evil agenda of course.
To be fair Steve didn't really need bullying when it came to supporting this dynamic print duo. Being a part of the MAN showcase gave Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton an incentive to really come into their own this season. For A/W 12-3, they ponder "Darwin's Theory of Why The Chicken Crossed the Road", which sounds more complicated than it actually is. They imagine an apocalyptic world where they have nothing at their disposal to recreate finer cloths of yesteryear. Using a fabric created entirely from plastic bottles, Agi & Sam then printed the textures of crochet blankets, Linton tweeds and tartans. Tessellated ducks and puppet men as well as a beautiful watercolour print of chickens and mallards are unexpected surprises. Printing the appearance of textures on to a surface isn't anything new but it's Agi & Sam's boldness with colours that really lifts the prints. Actually, it was the mallard and cockerel look that really hit the spot for me. I can almost smell my grandfather's tweed caps and see his old wooden mallard ornaments, as favoured by anyone with a fixation to Countryfiles. Agi & Sam seem to have a knack for hitting nostalgia notes, what with their previous tees printed with Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and potato smiley faces.
The show was mainly styled in mono-print ensembles, which worked as a visual statement but in reality, the prints can be boldly mixed together and Steve even went for a combo of two of the prints together. Being a fashion glutton and greedily delving into menswear does of course mean being totally comfortable with a slightly oversized fit and in the case of the coats, I especially like the way the shoulders are too big and the length hangs longer than usual. Predictably, I went in for the mixed print kill, especially with pieces like the blue tartan blazer and the oversized traffic light hued tweed print coat.
Agi & Sam aren't exactly menswear purists though that sacredly can't be worn by women and in fact, they did do a small womenswear capsule collection last season. For now though, they want to concentrate on their menswear offerings and launch womenswear when the time is right and when they have the ability to do it properly. To my mind, that's the sane thing to do. Greedily egging menswear designers to make womenswear by simply adapting the sizing isn't exactly sound business advice. For now, shamelessly stealing from the wrong rail every now and again will definitely suffice.
Agi & Sam tweed print cream-sleeved coat and tessellated puppet print long shirt worn with Glamour x Opening Ceremony cat sweater, Luella shoes. For all the He credits, Style Salvage will enlighten you.