11 MA .pdf
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This MA collection by Christopher O’Brien has at its heart the abstraction of the
male silhouette through the manipulation of fabric and layering in a distinctive yet
restrained manner. The use of distressed and crinkled fabrics throughout each design
creates individual subtleties and elements of awkwardness, which at the first glance
are not immediately apparent. Whilst the spirit of the collection is in tune with ideas of
minimalist menswear and traditional tailoring, albeit in a disassociated way, it develops
its theme by amalgamating these conventions with styles drawn from elsewhere.
Throughout the collection, the design process has referred to sportswear to art and
photography, especially Derek Ridger’s brilliant pictures and to wartime images from the
middle east. Images using garment layering in unconventional ways is a consistent theme,
the effects of using a constricting layer within the garments make them appear disturbed.
This idea became a way of bringing an uneasy and crinkled effect to the top layer of the
silhouette. This in essence creates a textile that becomes the garment itself, encouraging a
different view to the normal conceptions of menswear and preconceived ideas on layering.
The variation of intense blues and whites utilised from garment to garment is a direct Influence
from Francis Bacon’s“Man in Blue”series. The collection takes muted blue and aligns it against
the contrast of striking white in order to convey further the angular composition that the
manipulation of fabric and layering offers in abstracting the male silhouette. The colours used
allow the individual garment subtleties to take an unobvious stance, encouraging that second
glance to really understand the intricacies that make up the body of work that is this collection.
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Design - Joseph Prince
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