Katie Eary Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear

Katie Eary Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear

A My Little Pony look-alike—only with a huge, ahem, “appendage”—graced the shirts and shorts at Katie Eary’s Spring presentation. We know what effect the vernal season can have on people’s libido, and Eary seemed all clued in about it. “It’s basically 1950s teenager,” the designer said after the show, name-dropping Elvis Presley and his youthful innocence. “But his sexuality was so threatening to people,” Eary continued, and it was this sexual undercurrent beneath the polished and wholesome surface that she was looking to explore. The color scheme was in itself seductive, with ombré effects of turquoise blending into pea green. Other times, the neon signs of the Las Vegas Strip were evoked on shirts with stark, printed detailing. Boxer shorts peeked out from underneath pants, another take on teenage clothing rebellion.

Eary has a forthcoming design line with Ikea and it’s easy to see why her sense of humor and subversiveness could appeal as interior design. As a fashion designer, her role is not as evident. You sometimes find yourself asking if this is really a collection of prints rather than clothes. She is most successful when acting as a kind of young, East London send-up of Richard James, the Savile Row tailor with a similar genius feel for color. But this time you got the joke and then thought: Now what? A pony with a giant schlong is fine and dandy, but when repeated over and over, the joke gets a little old (a certain “one trick” metaphor comes to mind). The trompe l’oeil chunky knit print on fine-gauge knitwear just fell a bit flat in comparison, and you ended up wanting more. Because the shirts, loose and billowing, were gorgeous, as were the shorts, which were cut in a way that made you feel embarrassed for looking. Yes, they pleased the libido.

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