Agi & Sam Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
It wasn’t the first time that Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton returned to childhood to draw inspiration for their collection; last season saw them bringing children’s playfulness into the equation as a disruptive force. This time the duo focused on the fears of early age, like nightmares, ghosts, and monsters. Why this interest in childhood? “We are afraid of growing up,” the designers joked backstage, but at the same time there was something to it. Initially known for their colorful, bold prints and fabrics, they seem to be going through a process of progressing into a more mature brand. They are not newbies anymore, and with adulthood comes serious responsibilities. That the designers talked about focusing on product and toning down any overt references spoke to this.
The main print here was a hand-painted striped pattern, and the main silhouette, low-crotch wide and cropped trousers worn with open shirts. While this base was all casual pajama party, the collection also featured loose-fitting, ice blue corduroy pants, denim zip hoodies, as well as Agi & Sam’s take on the greengrocer coat.
Mdumulla and Cotton are clearly two talented designers, but the collection didn’t wholly convince. There will surely be great stuff to pick up here (in particular the pajama pieces), but as a whole the message was slightly unclear and searching. While quite cool looking, the utility leather “vests” (they had no backside) seemed to belong to another collection and therefore came across as gimmicky. It didn’t help that they were partly hidden underneath the clothes, and therefore looked like they lacked purpose.
It all made you wonder if maybe the solution here—for this brand and these two designers—is to refuse to grow up. Or at least stop in adolescence. After all, in 2015 (and most likely in 2016, too) youth is extended more or less into eternity.