Now in its seventh year, MAN – the new-talent menswear initiative overseen by Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy, and sponsored by Topman – has become the show to find the names to watch. Previous alumni include JW Anderson, James Long and Christopher Shannon and there are new names joining for the spring/summer 2014 catwalk show. Showcased on the opening day of London Collections: Men next month, here’s an exclusive lowdown on this season’s picks.
The only designer participating for the second time, Green graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2012 and was part of the MAN lineup last season. He has caught attention for an extreme aesthetic – with headpieces made out ofsmashed-up wood worn by models for his previous collection, as featured on the front page of the Guardian. “The different viewpoints and aesthetics will make for an interesting show,” says Kennedy. “Craig’s debut last season was exceptionally accomplished and thought-provoking.”
Abley’s aesthetic is out of this world – or it certainly was last season when he themed his collection around spaceflight, evenmaking a spaceship for a model at his installation to appear in. This time around, his show debut, promises more. Like Jeremy Scott, who the Ravenscroft graduate worked with before setting up on his own, pop culture is his specialist subject. “The cartoon prints on sportswear-inspired silhouettes last season were fresh and wearable,” says Kennedy. “He’s now ready for the runway and I know he’ll bring the fun.”
Launching his label in 2011, Taylor – who hails from Dublin – has previously worked for Alexander McQueen as well ascurrent menswear darlings Agi & Sam. Like both brands, his aesthetic goes between traditional tailoring and a magpie sensibility, with his autumn collection inspired by cubism. This is his first catwalk outing. “We’ve had our eye on Alan Taylor for a while,” says Kennedy. “His experimental tailoring and contemporary take on heritage fabrics are very considered and skilfully executed.”