LONDON, JANUARY 8, 2016
by LUKE LEITCH
To raise Nasir Mazhar’s hackles, just say, “streetwear.” He palpably snarls at a word he feels comes laden with an implicit marginalization. That might just be a little oversensitive. Yet he delivered a comprehensive rebuff to any such marginalizers—real or just perceived—in a collection peopled by imagined clubbing characters as richly cast as their clothes were diverse. The Darth Vader bucket-head looks were attention grabbing, if stagey. Much more pragmatically memorable was a fitted tracksuit considerately ruched to inflate the man within. Dance floor lingerie for men and women, liberally strapped and worn over pulled-down denim, was effective podium provocation.
With the exception of some ironic white piping and two feathered arcs around his name on a logo sweatshirt, the collection was all black—Mazhar said he was taking a sabbatical from color. In photographs this inkiness will swallow up detail, which is a shame because there was a lot of it; the intricate folds and layered construction on many of these looks gave the illusion of technical function both tough and pretty. There were tangible nods to old-school woolen Yukon workwear rendered in nylon, a knowing hat tip to clubbing codes past in a shawl-collared jacket, and even hints of Jacobean jerkin in his gilet shapes for men and women. It is streetwear—sorry, Nasir—but that’s to belittle neither the medium nor the exuberant invention of this collection.