When esteemed Simon Foxton styles your graduate collection you know you’re onto a good thing. That’s exactly what happened to Danish-born designer Astrid Andersen for her RCA graduate collection in 2010. Two years later, and showing as part of MAN yesterday, the consultant fashion director of i-D and renowned stylist – who has worked for The Face, Arena Homme Plus, Vogue Hommes International, SHOWstudio and with longtime collaborators Nick Knight, Alasdair McLellan and Jason Evans – is still on board.
For her London fashion week debut, Andersen’s A/W12 collection took inspiration from the group mentality of American hip-hop collective The Wu Tang Clan and the uniformity of the ancient Shaolin Monks. A colour palette of burnt oranges and reds referenced this and were mixed with neon pinks and reflective colours for a more contemporary edge. Marble-print puffa jackets, netted vests, fang-like lip tattoos and her new logo – which appeared “tagged” on her models’ torsos – reinforced Andersen’s signature sports-lux aesthetic but with more of an urban gang mentality.
Here we speak exclusively to Foxton about working with Andersen, his top three pieces from her A/W12 collection and the "hard" glamour of the models' gold painted nails...
How did the collaboration with Astrid initially come about?
I know Astrid from her days as a student at the RCA where I am a visiting professor to the menswear course. I have always liked her aesthetic so when she asked me to style her show I was delighted.
What was it about Astrid’s designs that particularly stood out for you and what has kept you styling it?
Colour, volume and wit.
For A/W12 what is the Astrid Andersen “boy” that you have envisioned?
A kind of futuristic gang member, a techno-tribe!
"Simon Foxton’s key trends for men’s fashion A/W12: Vibram five-finger shoes, gold nails and chin tattoos of course."
What were your initial references with the styling?
Shaolin monks, Maori tattoos and “hard” glamour (the beautiful gold nails).
What are your top three pieces from this collection?
Reflective trousers, marble print sweats and the nylon and fur coach jacket.
Editorially what makes Astrid’s collection so good to shoot?
They are big statement pieces that tend to make good graphic shapes .
How does working with a designer on a collection differ to working with a photographer on a shoot?
I'm not sure it does – it's all a creative dialogue .
And how does working with an emerging designer compare to bigger labels?
I guess emerging talent is more receptive to new or odd ideas, they take risks. With larger labels or brands you are often working with a team of creatives so it can be a bit like “design by committee”.
Simon Foxton’s key trends for men’s fashion A/W12: Vibram five-finger shoes, gold nails and chin tattoos of course.
Text by Lucia Davies