LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – For Astrid Andersen the expression ‘New Model Army’ gets bandied about a lot by individuals talking concerning Astrid Andersen’s shows. It’s understandable; similar to Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy, Andersen’s with confidence muscular models seem to be a distinct species from the fragile boy-men that also dominate the menswear runways, significantly in London. And this season’s runway, with its Black Panther berets and aggressive, combat-ready layers, underlined the still-potent attractiveness of the Action Man ideal.
After last season’s Sumo-inspired wraps, nowadays skew back to the opposite finish of the Andersen sensibility — the exaggerated, menacing swagger of Nineties U.S. hip-hop. Jumpsuits, parkas and bombers were pumped up to widescreen proportions, in a meld of shiny leathers, fuzzy plaids and wet-look sheers. Moulded vinyl badges and baseball graphics hammered home the label’s activewear roots, aboard supersized crimson Ushanka caps and color-blocked sweaters extended into calf-length, side-slit tunics. Andersen’s additional deliberately disruptive side added slithers of jarring strawberry lace and crushed raspberry velvet to the combination.The overall impact, as ever, was a compelling one. And going by the proof of the audience, there isn’t any shortage of manpower ready to sing up to the Andersen tribe.