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Thursday, July 3, 2008

MAN Hour

Daryoush Haj-Najafi...

MAN, the Topman-backed group show and one of few genuine must-sees at London Fashion Week, is launching a range of tees and bags designed by those appearing in MAN's forthcoming show in September: Hans Madsen, leather specialist James Long and hotly tipped sportswear tailor Christopher Shannon. MAN has even gained a French contingent with fashion and art collective Andrea Crews, chosen by Colette proprietress Sarah.

The launch party, Brit Disco, took place during Paris men's week at Rive Gauche club, a massive improvement over the usual Le Baron, where I once witnessed Gareth Pugh get booted for making out in the toilet. London DJs Disco Bloodbath provided the tunes, disco being the musical micro-trend of the summer, especially of the Italo and Cosmic varieties. The air was hot with impossibly twink-like fashion editors and talk of new appointments, such as Dazed & Confused's Nicola Formichetti's new title of fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan. He sat with Arena Homme Plus' Jo-Ann Furniss and V newbie Jay Massacret, while on the dance floor, throwing mad shapes, was Charlie Porter, new deputy editor of Fantastic Man and now i-D. His boss at Fan Man, Gert Jonkers, said of Romain Kremer's men's show earlier that evening: "Helmet Lang, new rave." While it wasn't meant enthusiastically, it should have been, as it cleverly summed up the Clockwork Orange-referencing, codpiece-featuring collection. Meanwhile, in queue for a smoke, rumors of an upcoming Teen V bounced around.

Also in the house was Seven New York's Joseph Quartana and former Lindberg designer and model-cum-DJ David Lindwall, who managed to bag a Seven order for his conspiracy-theory tees earlier that day, joining Dover Street Market. At the end of the night, Cassette Playa's Carri Mundane—yet another Seven favorite—introduced me to Kanye West's ever-present front-row pals and Paris Fashion Week sensations Don C and Taz Arnold whose style was described by the New York Times' Cathy Horyn as "fascinating" and "cubist." His TI$A solo project's infectious, Ice Cube sampling, new release Vote Obama. Don C declared my Justice tee, "Fresh to Death," making my night. They then left to go to a strip club with Carri, who told them they should definitely check out Bernhard Willhelm's show come Sunday. They did, with Kanye in tow, so if he's sporting medieval tights in his next video, you'll know why.

Fantastic Man's Jop van Bennekom & Gert Jonkers, Carri Mundane of Cassette Playa
photos by Debbie Bragg

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