Agi & Sam are a duo known for their colorful prints and updating of tailored menswear. For fall their coats were seemingly ripped apart and deconstructed, fastened in a haphazard way—with Velcro, nonetheless. Adding to that, some of the models wore strange masks made from Lego, like weird outgrowths on their faces. What on earth was going on? Backstage, Agi Mdumulla explained that he and his co-designer Sam Cotton had been regressing back to their childhoods. “We wanted to enjoy what we are doing, make fun and playful clothing, and here it’s almost as if the wearer can build their own clothing,” he said, explaining those coats (which, by the way, looked quite awesome and could be put together like a “normal” garment).
On a visit to his family in Yorkshire, Mdumulla’s mother showed him a clothing range he’d designed at the precocious age of four. Naturally, it was called “The Coolman Collection.” Mdumulla and Cotton recognized that it’s easy to forget that playfulness when they, just like everyone else, are so busy. So they went researching at Toys”R”Us and their old primary schools, asking the children what they wished clothing could do. The resulting collection continued the looser and more supple silhouette already seen at several other shows this week, including cropped, wide trousers and oversize, drop-shoulder coats. Tailored jackets were turned inside out, and the knitwear—made in collaboration with Jaeger—used color-blocking in primary colors. The prints on coats and trousers looked like someone doodling furiously on their iPad, but were in fact VHS covers and prescription drug packaging that had been merged then given to children, who painted their own versions. Phew! As you can tell, there was a lot going on.
While the collection was tricky, conceptual, and perhaps somewhat overcomplicated at times, it had a creative energy that made you want these pieces—especially the coats. In Sweden there’s a saying that from children and drunkards you get the truth. So what seems to be the truth about menswear? The drunkards’ take on things will have to wait until next season, but apparently the kids think it’s just not bold enough. Well, consider that amended now.