Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford said their collection was about outsiders—runaways, specifically—and there was for sure a frisson of sedition in the room. Someone in the audience was smoking marijuana, something skunky, and the tunes were organ-rearranging drum and bass mixes of Bowie and Björk. Yet these wafts of rebellion ultimately didn’t convince. The Casely-Hayford taste level is simply far too cultured for anarchy. Sure, the last look starred a lovely ivory-lined fuchsia overcoat as the climax to a fleeting but delicious pink-tinted section. And there was a little edginess in the mohair-jersey-blend sweatshirts that featured overlong arms. There was also a great deal of layering—using fleece for Navajo-print sweats seemed quite bold—and one brown-pink-white-scarlet brushstroke-print parka had a dramatically oversize hood. This, though, was at most a gentle cage-rattling of the male codes: certainly not a storming of the barricades.
So no rebel yells, but this collection struck a chord when you savored its dissonant whispers. Those trousers, hemmed a little high, with unusual room at the thigh and a judicious narrowing at the calf, were delicately disjunctive. The four-buttoned double-breasted jackets were narrow-revered and worth revering. Flashes of orange drawn from that time-honored trope, the MA1’s horrid lining, only served to make the delicate fade on gray and white checks more soothing. For the finale, every model wore their look under long hoodies, which did give them a vaguely disconcerting mien. But the knowledge that some had on Casely-Hayford’s debut piece of wearable tech, a belt that contained a phone-charger, slightly undermined the theme. After all, how can a runaway convince if he wears a belt that allows him to stay in contact at all times? Ultimately this was a rich and lovely collection that made a statement more compelling that the rhetoric it was framed by.