Rounding out the penultimate day of this season’s London Fashion Week: Men’s, Martine Rose took over her daughter’s school to show a Fall/Winter 2020 collection inspired by her archive. References to previous pieces and motifs were seen throughout the collection, including T-shirts adorned with “Expect Perfection,” a slogan that the London-based designer has used throughout her career.
“I was interested in reintroducing some of these funny old things,” Rose explains, “people always say they wished they could still get these T-shirts, so I thought I’d give the people what they want.” Arguably the stand-out reference to previous collections is a rug-inspired print that appeared on viscose shirting, jacquard denim pieces and fleece items. This pattern was made up of archival Martine Rose imagery, including lookbook shots and backstage pictures, alongside a paisley pattern.
Speaking about the return to her archive pieces, Rose added that there had always been common themes throughout her work. “The inspiration is always the same, it’s always about outsiders, it’s always about people on the periphery and mashing them together, because that’s what I feel is interesting and what I’m inspired by. Sometimes I’m interested in different things, that might be tailoring in one collection or it might be something else, but the essence is always the same.”
Contrasting the archival reference points, Rose has also introduced new techniques and materials for this collection. One highlight is the latex tailoring, which also contrasts with the innocence of the show’s setting. “You have to have friction, you have to have contrast,” Rose continues, “that’s when things get interesting.”
The collection also features references to different parts of London, with Tottenham, Croydon, Clapham Junction and Tooting appearing on a jacquard fabric. “It’s everywhere that I have some connection to,” Rose explained. “I’ve either lived there or my family is from there or my studio is there.”
Additionally, FW20 features the introduction of two new collaborations. Footwear for the collection was made in partnership with Six London and included square-toe loafers featuring London place names, penny loafers and over-the-knee cowboy boots, as well as shoes with built out soles.
The second collaboration in the collection saw Rose partner with Farah on a range of pieces. “When Farah approached me it was a no-brainer,” she explains. “Their reference points crossover, they were really big in Jamaica like Clarks and Bally. I remember my uncle pressing his Farah trousers to a knife-edge pleat, and my cousins playing football in theirs. I just felt like we were coming from the same place. It was really organic and very natural.”