Style & Grooming

London Fashion Week Men’s: The Details at Rottingdean Bazaar

Personalised cheese boards and cardboard cut-outs of Naomi Campbell: Amelia Karlsen documents James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks’ A/W18 collection

England – particularly Middle England – isn’t very popular these days, but it provided the inspiration for Rottingdean Bazaar’s A/W18 collection. James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks brought out the region’s eccentricity – and dare I say it charm – with their show at MAN, which opened with a bird whistler.

What followed was a series of tongue-in-cheek designs that included a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “We Do Big Sizes! 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL!!!!”, a sweatshirt with a cheese board glued on it, repurposed inflatable costumes purchased from a local joke shop and an outfit comprised solely of stickers. The show closed with a woman dressed as a dartboard and a man in a distressed blue dress carrying a cardboard cut-out of Naomi Campbell.

“We live in Rottingdean and we went to this summer fete and there was this 80-year-old man who makes personalised cheese boards and he’d made that ‘Personalised Cheese Board’ to advertise them. We thought it was genius!,” laughed James backstage, shedding some light on how the ‘Personalised Cheese Board’ idea came into being.

Instead of casting professional models in the show, they enlisted different people they know – the ‘Personalised Cheese Board’ look was worn by “Charity Shop Sue”, while other models included one of their tutors from Central Saint Martins, fellow designer Liam Hodges, and Luke’s father.

As Faris Badwan noted backstage at Charles Jeffrey later that day, “in so many areas, fashion has lost its sense of fun”. This was the antidote: pure fun. And yet it was more than that. James and Luke’s work is characterised by ideas; good, fresh and original ideas, which is surely what fashion week is all about?