LONDON, United Kingdom — Martine Rose decided to send London a love letter with her latest collection. She felt the city’s been going through a rough patch lately. She staged her celebration of her hometown in a cul-de-sac in Kentish Town, way off the beaten fashion track, but that’s exactly what she wanted – heart and soul, neighbours hanging out of windows, kids thronging the street, and food served when the show was over, just like a street party.
The collection Rose showed was the perfect complement to the story of her life in London, from her 14th birthday spent raving at Strawberry Sundae in South London through the subsequent UK garage and drum’n’bass scenes. Always about the music.
She’s never been a bells-and-whistles designer, and here the clothes stayed true to the spirit of the inspiration. They could almost have been plucked straight from the closet of kids back then: rave t’s, a parka with bike shorts, a dandy leopard bomber with striped pants for maximum dress-up, stonewashed leather, with a deliciously ruffled blouse as a reminder of Rose’s shirtmaking roots.
That was probably the most fashion-y piece (though the SPEED sweater with the grommeted, stonewashed denims was a definite lewk). Otherwise, there was an authenticity – a truly lived and felt quality to the clothes – that reminded me of the way Marc Jacobs was able to evoke his youthful way stations in his Marc by Marc collections. You could feel the love.