River Island T.Lipop Collaboration
After a series of womenswear collaborations, River Island’s Design Forum has turned its hand to menswear – teaming up on an autumn/winter collection with the esteemed British designer T.Lipop.
The collection takes a bold approach by playing form against function. By clashing formal tailoring with sportswear and military themed pieces, T.Lipop creates an extreme contrast within both the looks and several of the pieces to make a fashionable statement whilst remaining essentially masculine.
T.Lipop has held senior positions at Nathan Jenden, House of Holland and Griffin Laundry before striking out on his own. He quickly garnered acclaim for his innovative styles and technical cutting techniques that reveal an artistry beneath his minimalist aesthetics.
His collection for River Island is centred around bringing the dichotomy between form and function together in a coherent look. To this end he takes pieces from both extremes of the spectrum: padded and quilted pieces as well as thick knits create a utilitarian, practical style whilst blazers and trousers sit alongside printed shirts – mixing innovative, fashion forward cuts with traditional tailoring.
These influences are brought together by pieces that draw from both sides, creating a bridge between the two and ensuring coherence in the collection. Tailored trousers are modified with a drawstring waist that adds an element of sporty practicality and a formal briefcase is outfitted with shoulder and chest straps that give it a look akin to a bicycle messenger backpack.
Accompanying the collection is a short film produced by the British Fashion Council’s Fash/On Film initiative, also sponsored by River Island. Directed by Aoife McArdle, the film presents a strange, post-apocalyptic take on the life of one man, and taps into the themes of survival and utility that permeate the range. It is an interesting way of promoting the underlying ethos of the collection, and it will be interesting to see if the Fash/On Film initiative will lead to more high street retailers taking this artistic approach to their advertising in the future.
The sixteen piece collection will be available to buy in selected stores and online from the beginning of September 2013.