Christopher Shannon is by no means on the cusp of success; he graduated six years ago and has been making waves within menswear since. At the forefront of an unstoppable masculine fashion-conscious resurgence; Shannon was named this year as the winner of the first ever British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Menswear Fund.
He falls within a burgeoning group of young designers who have been playing a pivotal role in the rapidly expanding and evolving world of male fashion. A self professed ‘anti-establishment’ designer, continuously absconding from garment and concept restrictions that had previously hampered the menswear industries creativity. Pinks for men? Of course, cried AW09. But what about frills? Definitely, replies AW11. Shannon’s latest catwalk offering for his eager male audience proffered knotted Bjork style hair and cut out detailing. But its all man. Shannon flawlessly combines every element within the male psyche; the tough, brash resilience, and then the less often explored softness and self awareness.
No wonder the fashion conscious female has been secretly getting in on it; appropriating pieces from the collections for herself under the radar. Responsive as ever, this season saw the launch of Christopher Shannon’s first range for women. Resolute but delicate, designs featured tough frills, feminine slouch and all sorts of other contradictory aesthetics that come together in that particularly superior way that Shannon’s collections always do. Like other designers of his genre and age, he is reacting to a market that sees a blurring of gender boundaries; a diminishing of restrictions on which garment or form belongs to which sex. Prerequisite notions of biology are becoming looser, being rethought; not only in fashion but socioeconomically. Christopher Shannon is pushing the boundaries continually, but in that relevant, desirable and immensely human way that he does so well.