Crafty & Youthful English Folk Traditions at Christopher Shannon for S/S’13

by Katie on June 26, 2012

I have a bit of a love/hate thing for Chris Shannon. Whilst I loved his panelled festival gear, I hated the ruffled trackie bottoms (as it turns out, so did he), but it was his coming A/W 2012 collection which really turned my head, the prints reminding me of the rampant logoism in the late ’90s speed garage scene, and there seemed to be more than a nod to cult capital clubwear brand Michiko Koshino. This collection is urban, it’s angry, and it’s definitely a London thing.

Spring/Summer 2013 is another winner. I love the colour combinations, especially the indigo/forest green/mulberry/cream/black story. I love the bold horizontal stripes, the raw-edged denim, the badges specially created for this collection, and the strips of upholstery ruching and fringe that simultaneously recall the crafty folk aesthetic, and gap-year backpackers’ adoption of ethnic affectations cited in the show notes. Those just-above-the-knee shorts that were everywhere are also here. I’m not so keen on the pieces constructed from strips of fabric, which were seen by some as a literal steal from English Morris dancers, but to me mere show pieces.

Another surprise is former Eastpak designer Shannon’s collaboration with the Cambridge Satchel Company. Just when you think that there’s all there’s been to be said about satchels Shannon comes along, adds fringing, and scales them up to backpack proportions. A genius move which freshens up both brands.

Christopher Shannon champions the style of ordinary men, the boys you see at bus stops, or the lads down the youth club. His brand character is ferociously youthful, unsurprising from a designer with a background in dressing pop stars. Shannon hit this point home at the end of his catwalk show by playing Tulisa’s ‘Young’. “Forgive me for what I have done” – could she be singing about those ruffled track pants?

Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah Blog
Catwalk images used by kind permission of

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