In Martine Rose’s world, everyone is invited and anything goes. Her spring show — held on the rooftop of a corporate building in East London — assembled a colorful cast of characters, from Eighties ravers, skinheads and football hooligans to new romantics and “Wild West Rodeo smooth talker kind of guys.”
Here was a loud, in-your-face concoction of colors, aesthetics and textures — think smart suits worn with football T-shirts; elegant tailored coats paired with silk pajama shirts and velvet tracksuit bottoms for a “just-rolled-out-of-bed” look; sporty retro jackets sprouting brocade, chinoiserie sleeves; or cartoonish fleece sweaters straight out of a thrift shop.
Nothing matched but Rose somehow made it work, nailing once more that quintessentially British magpie look.
Besides celebrating these archetypal characters — which she turns to for inspiration time and time again — Rose had a more sinister message alongside the bold, eccentric spirit of British subculture.
Contrasting with the vibrant fringed shirts, Eighties power shoulders and printed denim was eerie, smudged up makeup, exaggerated wigs and T-shirts featuring the slogan “Promising Britain” and a clown encircled by stars lifted from the European Union.
“It’s a comment on our government, the fact that they’re all clowns and it’s made with the tongue firmly in the cheek,” said Rose, adding that she chose to show in a corporate building to further her critique and make a statement about businesses leaving the U.K. “It also inspired a lot of cuts and how everything is worn inside out, upside down, back to front because that’s really how everything feels at the moment, not just on a national level but also a global level.”