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Show Report

Show Report: Tim Coppens A/W 17 Menswear

by Lou Stoppard on 12 January 2017

Lou Stoppard reports on the Tim Coppens A/W 17 show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Tim Coppens A/W 17 show.

It's fitting that as Donald Trump made his first press conference speech as US president-elect, Tim Coppens showed a collection at Pitti Uomo, Florence's dynamic menswear trade show, catering to men and women 'living in apocalyptic times.' Does Tommy Ton exist it in this dystopian universe? Because alongside the vaguely Hunger Games esque uniforms, there were plenty of street style friendly elements, from shouty slogans reading ‘Acid’ and ’Never Ending Fun’ - a slight contraction to the collection’s given theme - and Mad Max inspired details and sporty panels. The sense of concern and fear came through in the undertone of practicality - the sense of hardwearing, long-lasting clothes. 

Coppens had concocted elaborate stories for his two characters. The girl boy was Max. The girl, Tequila (no I’m not joking). This Europe-based show was a homecoming for Coppens - he’s Belgian but shows at New York Fashion Week - and I sense he’d got somewhat overexcited. Tequila was described as ‘a girl with two long braids, a white bird symbolising peace, and a white horse.’ Bonkers. In reality, the Coppens girl looked in keeping with the broader womenswear trend for retro 90s elements - slips with sportswear and so on. There were no obvious horses or birds, but plenty of good dresses and outerwear pieces that looked modern enough.

On the menswear front, it was actually the simplest pieces that had the loudest punch, despite Coppen’s efforts to make this a moving, conceptual collection that commented on modern times. Those vaguely formal, vaguely skate-inspired tailored trousers looked great. Other more punchy pieces felt awkward. I’m not sure how tasteful it is to do an image of a bomb exploding with the text ‘Never Ending Fun’ over it on a very expensive jumper, even if it is a reference to Robert Longo, given the state of the world today, especially in the wake of recent Syria reports, but in times like these it’s tough for designers to know how much they should and shouldn’t make comment. That was a theme that also ran throughout the recent London menswear shows - an undertone of pessimism and anger that designers were keen to channel into something. How much do you draw inspiration from the world around you when operating in a medium such as fashion? How can one be political when selling bags and shoes for hundreds or even thousand of pounds? Coppens can keep asking these questions moving forward. For A/W 17, his experiments worked best when he looked to what he knows - the way young cool well heeled men and women like to dress in bustling metropolitan cities.

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