Returning for his second season at Fashion East Installations, Kent boy Liam’s still drawing his dappled tipple from a strange brew of strong British culture clashes, this time pulling focus on folksy Pagan druids, scuzzy good-time-boy roadies and, in no small way at all, Gorilla tape.
Ideologically, nothing’s changed since this time last time round – As a brand Liam Hodges is still principally interested in an expressive, polysyllabic masculinity. It’s about a new luxury brand that doesn’t just cater to high borns. It’s for men who live for the week, not just the weekend- or as he’d tell you himself, it’s specifically not for any man driving a Volvo.
Having had the wheels for his installation well waxed by Red Bull Catwalk Studios, facilitating the sound piece collaboration with the band Puffer, and the track ‘Cosmic Grit’ that accompanies Druid Road, Liam’s been able to stick a platter together: A quasi Pagan ritualistic event disguised as a fashion installation, and a music video. The video, shot by Liam and Sean Wild, concentrates on Puffer (of which Sean’s a member) clattering around in Liam’s clothes for two celluloid minutes while playing ‘Holsten Pils’. Meanwhile, the installation’s meant to look a bit like an aerial Stonehenge and it’s been decked out along English magic ‘Lay Lines’ (Google it) to boot. Expect yourself to be spiritually enhanced, but no refunds.
Most importantly, AW14 itself is all about big shapes and hard workwear silhouettes, the result of Liam’s interest in creating for himself some future classics. Less flouncy avant-garde and more functional and wearable, the collection’s a result of Liam setting his own rules for defining the spirit of the thing. The collection’s chock full of Gorilla tape, chosen specifically because it’s tough as leather and looks good. Every garment has tape on it, whether it’s drawn with and printed on (Holla Tom Baxter), taped on, or is in fact what consists of the garment- like the big tape jacket. Having traipsed an organic path from druids to roadies, if this collection proves anything it’s that one thing leads squarely to another. In this case, that other thing is a lot of men dressed up in gaffer tape. And it’s lovely.