As we await the start of the show, we are surprised by a group of muscular rugbyplayers who approach the catwalk and proceed to roll out a green grass walking path. We are guessing the collection will be sports inspired? The sports reference, as well as the name of the label suggests it will be a collection of menswear, none the less M.E.N. actually stands for the names of the design team behind the label: Maartje Janse, Elysanne Schuurman and Nikki Duijst.
Es tut mir leid! Ich habe mich verwahld.M.E.N.
We see the first models strut down the catwalk, to our delight both male and female. Showing us designs that indeed take some inspiration from sports with their use of color, the use of white piping along the seams and choice of materials, the silhouettes and separate pieces are very unique and tailored. Often, we see quite extravagant shapes such as a big frilly jacket, yet the parts are laced together with thick white sports shoe laces. These laces are used throughout the collection, serving as a fresh and innovative detail that really –literally- pulls the looks together. Specifically, a pair of tight green trousers that becomes super wide from the knees down looks absolutely amazing with the white laces down the hips. Another very cool technique used are the laser cut patters on some of the items.
What we noticed about the collection is that the designs are feminine and masculine at the same time, finding a balance between figure hugging and oversized pieces. Even perfectly tailored tight around the body, the androgynous approach is always evident in the designs.
The three designers explain that they want to challenge the traditional roles for men and women, taking them out of their original context. In our opinion, they have definitely succeeded and all while in a playful and experimental way. Furthermore, we love the importance they place on making fashion sustainable. One of the ways in which they achieve this is by using leftover materials from other well-known designers collections, in this case from Ann Demeulemeester, A.F. Vandevorst, Dries van Noten en Walter van Beirendonck respectively. After a finale walk from the models the rugby players return to the catwalk to close with a little battle dance and final head-to-head scrum, this was surely a very interesting introduction to the label!