Focus: Bowie, Pop, Reed - and Katie Eary AW16
Katie Eary is talking about the inspiration for her AW16 menswear collection. ‘I was looking at outback/trailer park life in Southern America,’ she says. ‘And I was half way through the collection when I watched 'The Sacred Triangle’, a documentary about Bowie, Iggy & Lou directed by Alec Lindsell. And I was like “oh shit, I'm gonna have to scrap all that and go with this!”
‘If you haven't seen it, you MUST!’ she adds, enthusiastically. ‘Bowie, Iggy and Lou Reed - at a time of cross pollination between art, music, fashion and gender.’ She also became engrossed in the idea of Iggy Pop hooking up rather messily with bass-toned Warhol singer Nico for about three months; the idea of them swapping and sharing clothes became a spiritual reference for the collection.
So there’s more than something of the dirty, sexy, glam rock flair of the musicians’ sartorial styles that riffed through a collection that showed Eary - early iconoclast in menswear, RCA MA Menswear, no less - staying true to her love of kaleidoscopic print and colour but also, just a little bit, growing up. ‘Slowly but surely,’ she agrees, laughing.‘I definitely wanted to communicate sophistication.’
Crushed velvet jackets in cobalt blue and burnt orange, louche silk pyjama suits and shirts - this is Eary, after all - in striped print complete with super dangly sleeves. Stand out pieces (feel free to whisk any of these my way) included a furry bear coat (Revenant but friendlier); seemingly low key fade-to-grey knitwear, studded with embroidered goldfish and insect life; metallic trousers in silver or black with biker-inspired lacing up the front of the legs. I want.
Women designers at London Collections Men are rare. Lou Dalton, Astrid Andersen and Eary: who else? So I ask: ‘What does being a woman bring to your designs?’ Eary replies, characteristically - brilliantly - direct. ‘How is this relevant?’ That's me told.