LONDON, United Kingdom — With a dearth of big-ticket household names, it’s no secret that the current menswear season is dramatically lacking those crucial can’t-miss-it moments. It raises the question of how smaller brands and emerging designers can seize the opportunity to garner the column and timeline inches that would previously be reserved for bigger brands with glitzier venues, front rows and all-round FOMO moments. Now, more than ever, the shows and presentations that are considered and original will capture the attention of the fashion crowd, as well as the wider world. That’s perhaps why Band of Outsiders decided to stage a public-facing show to show the third collection designed by Angelo van Mol, who along with brand director Daniel Hettmann, was hired to reboot the brand last year after it folded in 2015. There’s a catch, though. It was a public-facing show on ice.
Staged at Somerset House, one of London’s biggest Palladian buildings that happens to have a seasonal outdoor ice rink, the show was part festive fair and part novelty act. Guests formed a crowd around the rink, clutching onto cups of mulled wine, to watch as a combination of model-esque hockey players and figure skaters stood in formation and demonstrated tricks while wearing the label’s alpine-inspired collection. It was a joyous moment, least not because each of the non-models seemed to relish in the opportunity to competitively show off their tricks and pose for the cameras and audience, who were generous with their cheers.
The clothes were somewhat secondary, but perfectly lovely nonetheless. The collection was a combination of classic menswear items in classic menswear colours, with the occasional winter-themed polar bear print scattered on accessible pieces. A white, fluffy shearling coat, cadet side-stripe long-johns and graphic sweaters were in their element. Other looks, like the abbreviated emerald velvet suit and fitted khaki get-up, may have benefitted from a different style of presentation. That said, the presentation was simple, effective and Instagrammed to death — and, perhaps most importantly, it entertained the mixture of fashion people and "real" people in equal measure.