MAN – Nicomede Talavera S/S 2015 London
MAN – Bobby Abley S/S 2015 London
MAN, the Topman-funded talent hub that supports three fledging designers each season, had had a shake-up for S/S 15. Its star designer Craig Green had moved on after three solid seasons. Who could fill his big beautiful boots?
Well Nicomede Talavera – a classmate of Green’s from the prestigious Central Saint Martins MA – was giving it his best shot. He’d tried hard for his debut and the effort showed through in the impeccable finishes. There were ideas there to back up the skill but at some points it was hard to trace whose they were. Talavera’s or the design greats that dominate fashion – Mrs Prada, Raf Simons, even Yohji? The influence of Green could also be felt. The long line tunics and layered silhouettes that Talavera had crafted so well felt familiar when just a few seasons ago would have shocked. That shows the market is ripe for someone like Talavera, who’ll hopefully grow in confidence enough to reveal a more unique perspective next season.
Then to Bobby Abley, the oldest MAN designer but ironically the one with the most basic, immature aesthetic. He’s a Disney fan who churns out simple sportswear with simple, borrowed graphics. For S/S 15 the tale du jour was The Little Mermaid. Aptly given his shallow, surface-centric approach Abley has just watched the movie rather than read the book, so his take on the tale focused just on Ariel winning a hot man. In fact, the original story is about her thirst for a human soul. Abley has missed that, but then that lack of depth is wonderfully appropriate. His are clothes without soul or substance.