Exams are done! I am free! The world is my oyster - from now until September, I am free to work on whatever projects I feel like without having to also balance keeping up with schoolwork. I finished on Friday and have planned to be as busy with Bloom (my zine which has taken a year to produce) and other exciting projects for the whole summer, as I really want to make this a really productive and successful year.
This outfit is from a day at work a week or so ago. Isobel was selling this jacket on her Depop and I had to buy it - I adore Sukajans and this one was the coolest colours...I haven't really taken it off since it arrived if I'm honest.
I wore the jacket with a silky dress also from Depop, a Topshop turtle neck, and shoes from The Whitepepper. Also took advantage of the huge houses near work for a backdrop.
Last Sunday, I spent the afternoon at London Collections: Men to see the SS17 KTZ show. I wore the jacket as what better excuse to wear it again with Monki socks, and the striped Beyond Retro wide-leg pants I wear all the time (and keep cutting shorter - either I am shrinking, or they are growing?!) The show was incredible and I wrote a long piece on it for Bricks magazine, which I will post in full here.
"It was raining. Not uncommon for the British summer, the air felt like a warm clammy blanket over your shoulders, the gradual awareness of damp after you’ve danced your heart out at a club and the crowd is beginning to disperse. Standing outside the venue for KTZ’s SS17 show, I glanced up at the arches of Invictus Plaza and felt grateful for the slight protection from the grey weather outside. It was, however, easy to ignore the rain; no matter how dark it was, or how damp, flocks of people were ready and waiting for the show to begin, excited chatter bubbling through the queue and the wildest, most fascinating outfits being paraded up and down like peacocks outside a stately home. As with the designs themselves, KTZ’s following has a huge sense of strength within it. I always find there are less random celebrities, less celebrity hunters, and just generally a more serious and authentic vibe to their audience than I feel when seeing shows from some other designers. Something about Marjan Pejoski’s work resonates with the underground youth of today, fuelling his creative power and strongly suggesting that the reign of KTZ over menswear and streetwear has really only just begun.
The venue this season was a nightclub, Pulse, tucked away underneath the arches and reminiscent of the sort of underground hideouts you expect from a subculture or movement. You felt somewhat accepted into the world beneath the city of London, about to witness something truly exciting and somewhat prophetic. I am always excited for KTZ, but this season the excitement had morphed into a more intense anticipation; something in the air suggested that this season was going to be pivotal, and without a doubt, it was.
The heavy, pounding beat of Berlin producer Pantha du Prince became somewhat like a marching order of the Berlin club scene; models marched out in uniform, monochrome and metal like the stamp of a futuristic militia. The theme was dark: deconstructed jackets and manipulated leather, mysterious black hooded figures, chains and metal accessories added to the authoritarian, military feel, with a distinctly kinky twist – gimp-like masks, PVC, and leather rebelled from this otherwise so controlled image, suggesting an uprising within the dark futurism Pejoski had created. I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a civil movement; walking into the new world, this sequin clad army shone from the dark, murky depths of London’s underground, reminiscent of the way petrol shines from a puddle of rainwater. Despite being dark and brooding, the beauty in the work was unmistakable and provoked a sense of a brighter future – this collection was all about action and rebellion, remaining strong and pathing the way towards a new Utopia we can only dream of.
The final walk featuring all models was to the significantly upbeat Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths – a song described by guitarist Johnny Marr to be “a rush all the way through.” It was written allegedly as an attack against the merciless media, and felt like a driven, encouraging end to the show, finishing it on a high and suggesting through it’s tempo that the revolution begins now.
After stepping back out onto the grey London street, I felt changed, and filled with a new determination to create and inspire as this collection had. Its undercurrents of protest sparked my own drive to be and achieve more; its solidarity and strength demonstrated the beauty of fashion as an art form: able to provoke and inspire, to unsettle and to disturb. It also became loaded with a new meaning for me once I realized that the name of the venue was the exact same as Pulse, the club in Orlando where so many innocent LGBTQ people were murdered so brutally. I felt numb with the thought that like I, they had simply gone outside – a case of simply being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I couldn’t get over the fact that like us at KTZ, it was a space in which people sought refuge, a space to dance and be safe from the dark and gritty world outside. A place to rebel from those who do not understand, or could not get past their own hatred in order to empathize – and yet instead of solace and comfort, on this night they found death. It left a somewhat darkened feeling towards the show itself but for me increased it’s meaning; now is the time to act, with our bodies as an army, we must march forward and create a new world in which love is not a crime, and hate is not the answer."
In other news I have begun enjoying my freedom from school and exam stress, wandering around Notting Hill's bargain basements and meeting up with old friends. Yesterday I was able to spend time with Yukika in Dalston, wandering through vintage fairs and eating lunch in the Shacklewell (a favourite Dalston bar). We met about three years ago at a zine launch, and so it was lovely to be reunited and hang out before she flew back to Tokyo today.
I hope you all have a lovely week!