The O&U Fashion Week Awards

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

This is hardly going to be some kind of prestigious award that will make or break a person/designer's career, nor will it give Leonardo DiCaprio nightmares of golden statues. Instead, it will serve as a way for me to show my thoughts on the latest menswear catwalks without boring you with industry bullshit and over-analysis of overarching trends behind the collections. 

Five main awards have been decided on and here they are, with explanations and nominees (click the pictures):


The nominees for this include any collection that not only made me vocalise 'what the fuck?', but also made me do the face. This doesn't mean the collection had to be shit, it just had to stand out.


Katie Eary will make an appearance more than once in these awards, not necessarily in a bad way. The reason for the 'what the fuck?' was the obvious addition of the Mickey Mouse/Deadmau5/Darth Vader cross - Which I genuinely love.

Thom Browne has always known how to grab attention and this is no different. I have genuine love for his work this year, but the elephant head did make my head spin a bit.

Wantanabe would have won the 'Alice in Wonderland' award had I decided to do it (with strong competition from Moncler Gamme Bleu. Quite sombre compared to others in this category, but the mix of punk and countryside got me.

Beirendonck, one of the Antwerp Six, went political (and with a great message). Any collection from this fashion house is destined to make many say 'What the fuck?' and I'm sure that's the intention.

I personally feel that Versace going for crotchless chaps was about as good an idea as Donatella's desire to look like the lovechild of Mickey Rourke and Iggy Pop.



Hands down Thom Browne. Did I forget to mention the Shakesperean Teletubbies? I think the beauty of this collection is the fact that it's weird as hell and warranted a 'what the fuck?' reaction, yet every element shows the skill and talent of Thom Browne and made me love it more.





I wouldn't class this award as one for bad hair as such, but there is certainly scope for that. Essentially this is a repeat of the 'what the fuck?' award, but specifically for the hairstyles of the models.



Imagine the combination of the partly yellow anti-mohawk and the Darth MickeyMau5 head? There you have the Katie Eary show. That woman knows how to grab attention.

Lanvin really has the indie-kid hair going, with essence of bowl-cut present with some of the models. There was no uniform hairstyle with Lanvin which was rather refreshing.

Dior Homme took the bowl cut idea and ran with it. To be fair, they did try hiding it with a cheeky middle parting or two.

I'm beginning to regret not including Comme des Garçons Homme Plus in the 'what the fuck?' award. Seriously, what the fuck?! I have no words in my extensive repertoire to describe this.

James Long really captured the essence of swimming sessions at school. I hope that was the aim, there's no other excuse.



This can't be a surprise. The Davy Jones reminiscent hair of the Comme des Garçon show far surpassed the requirements to 'win' this award with epic amounts of what-the-fuckery?.




As long as you've seen The Da Vinci Code, this reference should make some form of sense. This award is for those designers who decided that having albinoesque models was a good idea.


Have you spotted the trend yet? Katie Eary is nominated again and deservingly so. I think the prominence of red in the collection makes the model lack colour a bit.

Valentino, a man with more fake tan than all the Playboy Bunnies combined (plus Silvio Berlusconi), decided that being Tangoed wasn't enough. So he soaked all his models in bleach... I think that's what happenedSince when did Tilda Swinton start modelling Rick Owens menswear?!

I don't think the blonde messy hair helps the Saint Laurent model look any less pasty. The combination of that with the oversized jacket and his own small frame is reminiscent of a child in his father's clothing.

Lastly there is the Aryan-supreme from Dries Van Noten. There were many other pasty models in the show, but this guy really stood out.



The irony of Valentino was not lost on me, however the award for pure pastiness has to go to Rick Owens. These guys were probably rejected from the cast of Twilight for being too pale.




Tailoring is the name of the game for this award, as the name would suggest. Starting to get a bit more serious I suppose, but tailoring is as important as it gets.


Am I stretching it a bit to include Katie Eary in yet another selection of nominees? Perhaps. On the other hand, the tailoring part of her collection was nothing less than bad-ass.

Thom Browne makes his second appearance and he does so with style. Honestly, if you can make an elephant and a badger look sartorial and dapper, you deserve some recognition for tailoring.

A. Sauvage had an entire collection of amazing pieces, and the tailoring was no exception. The London label combined classic with contemporary in a truly British way (by adding sunglasses).

Was there any way Hackett would not make it into this? They always have the suiting down. The quintessentially British label is taking advantage of the currant desire for heritage, they have it by the shed-load.

John Galliano may look like the unknown musketeer, but his label is always worth watching. Especially post Galliano-gate, with Bill Gaytten as head designer, the tailoring is remarkable.



A. Sauvage killed it with their tailoring, combining crisply patterned single-breasted jackets with bright velvet two-button double-breasted jackets. Bold move, but it pays off. I am completely in love with this label at the moment.




This is the big one. This award goes to the label that created my favourite collection this season and that is not an easy thing to decide. Instead of doing nominations for this award, I will do a third, second and first place... It seems more fitting. So here goes:


Ports 1961 could have been in the running for the Savile Row award, especially with the trench-capes. This whole collection is understated and sophisticated, there wasn't a single item that I didn't love.


Fendi have always been big on fur and this year was no exception (hence the fur floor), but this is not why I love the collection this season. If anything, I love it despite the fur. I don't know where to begin... Just look at it and try to tell me you don't love it.


This collection probably wasn't for everyone, and I have been a Thom Browne fan for quite some time, so I may be biased. However, this collection made me break the rules of speech and somehow say 'what the fuck?' and 'ooooooh' at the same time. Even with a colour palette that doesn't stray far beyond greyscale, your attention is grabbed and you're sucked into the fantasy world of Mr. Browne. Very few designers successfully manage such a feat. Although no matter how much I love it, I don't think I'll be donning the elephant head to my next work outing.



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Well there you have it, the first form of O&U awards are over. There were many designers and labels that I haven't mentioned so far, and many awards that I decided against doing in the end. I even surprised myself that Burberry didn't make it into the cut, (especially since I love them so much) but their collection left me underwhelmed this season.

Topman Design came close to getting into the O&U award but decided against it. I felt that this was more because I love what Topman and Topshop are doing by putting themselves on the same level as the high end designers and labels, not because the collection impressed me. Still, it was entertaining when they made it rain on the models.

I have a special mention to make to Katie Eary. Next time I might make the Leonardo DiCaprio award for being nominated so many times without winning any, and Katie will have to get it. I did make it into a bit of a running joke to entertain myself if I'm honest. Her collection has stuck with me and I love it more and more, mainly because I don't know why I love it, I just do. That should be an award in itself.

Lastly, I will give a sub-award to Alex Mattsson and this is 'The Most Punchable Model Award'. Here's why:


Cheers guys,
O&U.

(Images: Homme Model)