Bobby Abley autumn/winter 2019 collection catwalk show for LFWM
For autumn-winter 2019, Bobby Abley took inspiration from his family, childhood and hometown of Scarborough, where he worked on the collection.
Revisiting his youth, Abley created a series of oversized scarf-cum-balaclavas in striking neons with contrasting black stripes, as well as colourful patchwork baby blankets, which were hand knitted by his relatives and incorporated into the collection as one-off pieces. The family team of knitters also created cardigans and jumpers in fluorescent colours — a palette which recurs throughout the collection.
The rest of the show was a vivid recollection of Abley’s favourite characters from Pokemon. The fiery combination of orange, red and yellow of Charmander, soft feminine lilac of Mewtwo, powdery blues of Squirtle and of course, the distinctive sunshine yellow of Pikachu was sure to give anyone who lived in Pokemon’s heyday a jolt of nostalgia. These colour schemes appeared throughout the collection, as did the characters themselves in repeat motifs. Elsewhere, The iconic Poke Ball was interpreted as a technical poncho, oversized polo shirt, backpack and cross-body bag.
Aside from the Pokemon hijack, the collection was sportswear-inspired and technical fabrics featured heavily, with the addition of corduroy wide-cut trousers, white vinyl cut into jogging bottoms, and a blanket tracksuit with appliquéd leather lettering spelling out “Whatever Forever”, which referenced one of the designer’s many tattoos.
It also seemed as though the Abley boys were ready for adventure. Cowboy hats, cravats and Western-cut denim jackets induced a boyish nostalgia. However, you could not pry Abley’s charming obsession with Pokemon away from him: the finale featured a life-sized Pikachu toddling down the catwalk. All in all, the collection succinctly demonstrated Abley’s ability to blend personal reminiscence and playful imagery into a unique brand of contemporary menswear.
Photos: Huw Jenkins