Nasir Mazhar Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
Knowing that Nasir Mazhar’s father passed away a few months ago made it impossible not to notice that the collection he presented for Spring was almost all black. And while the designer said both that he “felt empty” and that he had wanted to accentuate the masculinity of the models, it was hard to shy away from the clothes’ fiercely aggressive and hard-hitting stance. Sometimes they were positively militialike, with camouflage tracksuits and “tops” (if you could call them that) that looked a lot like gun holsters.
The first model combined a facemask straight out of Mad Max: Fury Road with dancehall-style accessories and a revealed muscular chest. Well, why not? It sure made for a striking look. Mazhar explained how he had strived to flatter the masculine form—and these models did have forms aplenty—but also revisit many of his brand’s core pieces. In a way, Mazhar was summarizing his label’s trajectory up until now, and the designer explained he felt like this was an end in some way. “I don’t want to say the end of an era, it sounds too dramatic,” he said.
Trainers were a new addition to the usual caps and backpacks, showing that the next chapter of Nasir Mazhar might be more of an evolution, rather than a revolution. Which is probably smart, since Mazhar himself noted that it had taken people eight years to fully catch on to even his most iconic accessory, the Bully cap. It now sells out each season, but it points to the fact that the fashion press, demanding change and new ideas, often pushes young designers to move into new territory before they have found their audience.
If the opening was Mad Max, the closing look was something all together different: a tracksuit of scrunched black fabric that made the male body look cushioned—its hard muscles softened. Add to that the sweaters and shorts made of rubberized pleats and the impression of aggressiveness started to fade. What remained was a collection that dressed up as a backwards-glancing and introspective, monochrome affair but, in fact, showed how this designer’s real shtick is innovation.