Martine Rose’s acid-wash T-shirt captures the unburdened energy of the 1990s
Martine Rose’s Spring/Summer 2019 show was held in a surburban cul-de-sac in London’s Kentish Town last summer. The street’s inhabitants peered out of their windows or held impromptu gatherings in their front gardens, drinking wine; playing children circulated among the attendees, who watched on from plastic lawn chairs. Rose called it her “ode to London” and the energy of the unfolding scene – set against a perfect summer evening – proved just how much could be gained by taking the familiar out of context.
That might just be the raison d'être of the Martine Rose brand: in her hands, things that you had never previously considered – square-toed loafers, fluoro biker pants, lycra cycling shorts – will suddenly embed in the mind like a sartorial earworm; meanwhile others, which you have seen and worn over and over again – hoodies, sweatpants, jeans and the like – are suddenly spun off their axis, elongated, supersized or twisted at the seams, until near-unrecognisable.
An acid-wash T-shirt might well encompass all of this at once: hers, in brooding coral, with a contorted ‘Martine Rose’ logo barely visible on the left-hand side, conjures the heady days of 1990s rave, and the unburdened youth who partook (Rose herself remembers watching her older siblings dressing up for day-long parties on Clapham Common). Back then, you might have made, dyed, cut and pinned your clothes yourself; now, Rose will undertake the hard work for you. And yet that raw DIY spirit remains: her clothes seem to have already lived a life of their own.
Hair: Hirokazu Endo using Bumble & Bumble. Make-up: Mattie White using Lord & Berry. Model: Priscilla Cheseaux at Storm Management. Casting: Troy Casting at D+V Management. Set design: Laura Little. Manicure: Robbie Tomkins at Premier. Photographic assistants: Ellen Egan. Styling assistants: Priyanka Makwana, Sarah Carone, Grace Naef and Antoine Caballero. Set-design assistants: Frank Styles.