It's no surprise that I like collaborations. The designer, James Long, graduated from the Royal College of Art in London back in 2007 where he debuted his own collection at London Fashion Week's MAN show in the same year. The River Island Design Forum has brought something new to the table; working alongside British Fashion Council has allowed the young and 'up and coming' designers of London now have the ability to create limited edition pieces. There's a demand, or even a market, for this because London (compared to the other fashion week cities) is much younger and there's much more emerging talent. Collaborations, like so, offer good quality pieces which have a lot of creativity put into them, making it more widely available to the public and those on a tighter budget at a fraction of what the designer's original collection would cost. For this season, James Long has designed a menswear collection, while Jean-Pierre Braganza has designed a collection for women.
There's not a lot of options to choose in the 10-piece collection but it isn't the design forum's intention to design a big collection. These so-called capsule collections allow the designer to share there inspiration in an explosive sort of way, while the consumers get to enjoy one or two pieces, rather than an excessive wardrobe. The mix of 'leather', kaleidoscope colour palette and the sunglasses are all part of James Long's trademark; the hyper-tech fabrics and pop colours echoed Long's previous collections, especially the SS15 collection where a lot of the inspiration came from the colourful streets of Ibiza. Like any other sportswear collection, it's almost too easy now to expect a good mix of polyester, nylon and neoprene. But the various fabrics and distinct colours have made this collection stand out from any odd collaboration. It's the closest I've ever gotten to a technicolor dreamcoat. The rich colours can really make one re-think before stepping out of the house... but if you're up for good fun, why not. Because some gloomy days just call for this rich injection of colour.
(I've sadly missed James Long's AW15 show but I'm very much looking forward to what the designer has to offer in SS16 in June.)