Hardy Amies Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
When Hardy Amies designed the costumes for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, he based the scenes set on Earth on his own 1960s tailoring. But as soon as the movie moved out into space, the costumes became more free-form—from space suits in bright colors to egg-shaped flight stewardess’ hats. Creative director Mehmet Ali took Amies’ work on the iconic film as his reference point for the Spring collection, reworking it into a story about innovation and exploration. Clearly, in Ali’s mind, modern masculinity is in essence the will to be a pioneer, to break new ground. It is a heroic vision.
There is just one nut to crack for a brand with roots on Savile Row (even though Amies was at the forefront of ready-to-wear back in the day) and a favorite of the Queen during the 1950s: How do you stay true to your heritage when your ideal is “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” as they used to say on Star Trek? Backstage Ali spoke of his fascination with all the fabric innovations that had come through space-travel research, and it was clear that it was here that he saw the possibility of progress for menswear. There was an amazing lightweight material Ali called “filtration rib,” used in blazers and pants, and that felt like liquid fabric to the touch, while laser-cutting was used to create transparency effects on outerwear, making layering more interesting (and possibly, more challenging).
These were clothes for the so-called yummies (young urban males), affluent and impeccably groomed, and they were in abundance in the audience. In many ways, the clothes told an interesting story about many of today’s guys as both traditionalist and forward-looking: Strip away the layer of techno garments here, and what remained was a 1960s suit. If you could see beyond that, the pieces that stood out—like a transparent black, white, and neon yellow hooded training jacket in parachute nylon—really did feel like they aimed at the future.