Joseph’s creative director Louise Trotter was in fighting form for SS17. This was the first time the brand has combined its men’s and women’s collections, using the new runway model being introduced at Burberry, Vetements and Gucci.
Utilitarian details were prominent throughout: the show began with a series of crisp, heavy duty garbadine-style cottons crafted into tops and oversized trousers with scrunchy paper bag waists and parachute sleeves finished with a drawstring. As the collection built, more luxey fabrics were tacked on: a pearly pink iridescent material was stitched over the shoulder to create a cape, and military macs had disconnected backs; shirts grew additional sleeves, hanging loose with huge cuffs. Clothes were hung from one shoulder, an emerging trend at the shows. The garments took on a life of their own and grew and multiplied into themselves.
This was commando style utility wear. Fringed knitwear, culottes and backpacks were finished with army surplus-style webbed netting. Tent tapes were used as straps. Tracksuiting was patchworked into a jumble of athleisurewear. Accessories were made in collaboration with Longjourney, using remnant military surplus fabrics to create backpacks and bumbags. Simple flat sandals were worn by both sexes.
“The collection began in a state of undress,” said Trotter. “Layers collect as the journey intensifies, until the clothes overbear and the focus is no longer on the wearer but the garments entirely.” Survival of the fittest indeed.