Saul Nash, who in 2022 won the International Woolmark Prize and received the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, packed out the Old Selfridges Hotel for his fall show, adding a backdrop of pristine mountain peaks and placing some piles of black sand — or was it snow turned black by urban soot? — here and there on the runway.
He had decided to juxtapose clothes for the slopes with what’s needed for inner-city living.
“When you grow up in London, you wear a lot of ski outerwear, but you never learn to ski. It’s a symbol of aspiration,” Nash said in his show notes. “I don’t want to wear a tracksuit for the rest of my life, but I will always want to be in activewear.”
His models strolled out with hunched shoulders, blowing on their hands or hugging themselves against an imaginary chill. Some broke out into dance moves, swivelling on their quilted, slipper-like Ugg shoes.
They did their best to animate a variety of tracksuits, sweatsuits and some puffer jackets — not the most exciting clothes to view on a runway. A silver set and some gradient color treatments woke up the eye a little.
The show notes enumerated a host of performance fabrics and features, including compression knits; bonded, technical outerwear; Velcro fasteners, and zip-off sleeves.
Maybe greater appreciation comes from wearing it, and moving in it, rather than just seeing it.