Last Friday, London Fashion Week Men’s launched its 10th edition, presenting four days of shows, designer presentations and events to celebrate London as a centre for menswear design talent.
Day three saw maharishi host the catwalk to present Tour d’Afrique – a collection inspired by the questionable American and Chinese military presence in the African region. A natural palette of dark green and nude colours, were highlighted with sunset yellow, blazing orange, coral and cobalt blue. Jackets and sweaters featured embroidered tigers, giving even the simplest jumper-trouser outfits a strong look. What’s more Maharishi – founded by Hardy Blechman in 1994 – hand-painted the tiger design onto reclaimed military uniforms.
The SS17 collection also features unique versions of the most popular, traditional robes. The Djellaba – the traditional hooded, long loose robe from North West Africa– was one of the most popular pieces on the catwalk, along with the Jellabiya, a wide collared sleeved robe from the Horn of Africa. Long shawls were worn underneath caps, while navy vests and coats were paired with army style trousers and flat, diver style shoes. The collection was accessorised with bumbags in all colours, big black glasses and caps.
Blechman’s vision for Maharishi was to create environmentally sound, fair-trade produced, long-lasting, high-quality, utilitarian clothing. The collection has always included the strong natural fibre hemp as well as organic cottons and upcycled military clothing, and maintains a strong ethos of respect for nature while utilising the latest technology.
The Tour d’Afrique collection stayed true to form, referencing history and highlighting contrasts in East vs. West, nature and handcraft vs. technology, and military vs. pacifist, with Mother Nature at its core.
Words: Dobrawa Zowislo