Rebellion. Social disruption. Nonconformity. UNDERAGE AW18 took inspiration from the underground punk movement of the 70s through to the late 90s, remaining very relevant for those feeling the same unease in the current global political climate. Aptly titled “Riots of Our Own”, the collection celebrated those who helped to bring about social and political change through self-expression, independence, and a fight against the grain. There was no room for wallflowers here.
Designer Ying Shen trained in graphic design, before coming to London to study fashion at Central Saint Martins. Her aesthetic uses a high impact palette of gold and silver alongside primary yellows, blues, and reds against a base of black and white. Presented at the underground level of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), the collection was fearless; giving nod to androgyny through screen printed textiles from original illustrations, bold slogans, and metallic accents. Shen combined pure tailoring wool, polyester chiffon, and technical fabrics with twill, satin, and cotton corduroy to produce a multi faceted sartorial statement.
Models of all genders defiantly gazed out at the audience in bold kimono-inspired outerwear over hooded tops, classically tailored pinstriped kilt suits overlaid with original prints in red and gold, and reinterpretations of the very British wool coat covered in semi-abstract renderings of the punks of yore.
Geometric jewellery by Skylar Long echoed chain links in a tumbling cascade of red prohibition signs. Rebellious and irreverent messages were splashed across the designs and on the models, to LIVE YOUNG DIE FAST and YADA YADA. The combination of conservatively tailored pieces, punk sentiments, and bold slogans made this collection one of the most unique and captivating on the schedule.