Maharishi spring/summer 2017 collection catwalk show for LFWM
Maharishi brought their spring/summer 2017 collection to the BFC Showspace for the London Fashion Week Men’s.
Sweeping in like a breath of fresh air amidst the heavy fabrics and warm palette of the predominantly autumn/winter collections at the event, Maharishi were here, not just to make a visual statement, but a political one too. Founded in 1994 by Hardy Blechman, the Soho-based store advocates an environmentally and socially conscious ethos throughout its work – particularly natural fibres, upcycling of military wear and a dedication to fair trade – but in this selection a more profound commentary was at play.
For spring/summer 2017, Maharishi takes its wearer on the Tour d’Afrique, highlighting the persistent American and Chinese military presence across the continent and alluding to French colonisation through its design choices. The dominant colour swatch exudes the earthy tones of African mines, whose exploitation for products like coltan fuel conflict, and a season-exclusive tiger stripe camouflage is printed on silks and hand-painted on to reclaimed army uniforms.
Beyond the heavily military aesthetic, embroidered jackets and Japanese yukata-style tops depicted African maps reminiscent of the 1960s American tour of Vietnam, while traditional African styles – such as the Djellaba and Djellaniya robes from north west and the Horn of Africa – permeated the choice of cuts.
A collection of contrasts, Tour d’Afrique is unapologetically provocative, demanding the viewer not only enjoy its visual effect but read into its references and hear what it has to say.
Photos: Kimberley Archer