"Refining Content, Calibration in Progress" Liam Hodges at London Collections: Men SS17

Refining content is exactly what bloke Liam Hodges done for Spring 2017. In the past he's been known for putting his "man" each season into context. If he was in said position, how would he go about doing it? What would remain and what would he lose? That's a question he's constantly asked himself. A market-stall trader, a pirate radio host, last season for instance had him race petrolheads down the runway in numberplate yellow and blue essentials. Those who take pride in fixing up and kitting out their old bangers - and if last season's boys with their toys took home first prize, SS17 seen them mature and actually get the job in the garage. Liam mentioned to i-D "Now, it's about developing that world and working on the product, the garments and reigniting some more motion within the brand itself, rather than playing off of other things." Refining his brand and putting a lot more focus and craftsmanship into the clothes as individuals. Something missing from his Fall 2016 collection I felt. You could tell right off the back of the first look that much more thought had gone into not only the clothes themselves, but the direction in which Liam Hodges sees him and his brand going.

In collaboration with Dickies (the American workwear giants) Liam had set out to create some of the most exceptional workwear-inspired garments all season. Liam had paid extra attention to detail, in both cut and silhouette. Sleeves off of workwear shirts riffed on Leg 'O' Mutton, accentuated by a horizontal seam running landscape across the chest, and when paired with a serious pair of tailored utility trousers, worn high, helped prove my point. Hodges' signature patchwork could be found on the most incredible jersey sweatshirts, sweatpants and shorts, gone are the prints and illustrious jacquards. Instead, replaced by overlapping patchwork squares of the same fabric, developing a slouchier/off the body effect, highlighting the asymmetric patterns, overhanging sleeves and purposely stepped hemlines. Relying less on print and more on good design. The words "I'm Ok" fronted a killer printed t-shirt, featured alongside a dental x-ray vision of Liam's very own teeth - or not. He has some of the most famous teeth in menswear. So is he ok? "Yeah! it was an internal thing really, about me making the decision to step away from as much print and as much jacquard, and narrative." There was actually something very touching about wearing your imperfections on your "sleeve." We all have them, big and small, maybe it's time for us all to embrace them.

Something Liam Hodges has always stood by with his namesake label, is the fact he designs with himself and his friends in mind, always questioning how it would look on his close friends, "that would really suit so and so" and "how would they wear this?" I recall him saying that in an interview he did with Crane.tv last August. Liam explains "It didn't need to be a one-look thing, it was about personality, who we thought could represent the brand really well and really strongly." before later saying "rather than being like 'It's this guy, that's it'." Carri's (Munden) little-big brother is growing up, it seems.

Another recurring theme for Liam Hodges is his choice of soundtrack. Opened courtesy of Maxwell Owen and Hector Aponysus, the spoken-word poet who has collaborated with Liam on his past three shows. Hector's bars contain perhaps the final word on the new, stripped back Liam Hodges vibe: "We're jus' out creating tryna improve the moves we're making," "Find us a lane to stay in and stay slaying." The finale was accompanied by music from Gaika, Hodges says "He's on board, he gets it." As the Liam Hodges gang made way for their final stomping ground of the season, stomping around in a pair of Timberland 6-inch Premiums. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this new, matured Liam Hodges.






Images courtesy of Dazed Digital and SHOWstudio

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