It would be remiss to talk about the fashion label Floyd Avenue without mentioning it’s creative director, Floyd’s place in modern South African counter culture. One of the founders of the youth subculture The Smarteez, Floyd helped redefine South African street style, fostering the extravagant use of colour as a means of identity. Nearly seven years later, Floyd might have left the brightly hued faux Japanese brocade jacket behind, but he is still just as insightful about what is possible with menswear.
His new collection is more compact than the other menswear collections show at this year’s SA Fashion Week. Choosing to show only nine looks might have been an inconvenience but it also ensured he brought his best, and that he did. The label decidedly kept the entire collection neutral, forgoing the incandescent colours and cross referencing of Floyd’s days as Smarteez. This allows the focus remain on the silhouettes and construction choices the label offers us, and it is quite an offering.
Floyd Avenue takes the basic idea of a modern gypsy and creates a collection around this. But he does this in the most interesting of ways; by deconstructing colonial uniforms.
By exploring volume and tailoring to drape loosely on the body, he solves the primary problem colonial suits posed in South Africa’s unrelenting summers. Then he takes the assortment of leather harnesses usually worn to holster belts and other weapons and repurposes them as makeshift girdles, giving form to the pieces. No part of the colonial uniform is left unspared, jodphurs are widened to allow ease of movement, Dress pants and loosened into culottes, the classic white shirt is reworked in several ways. Using tassels and cords as his only detailing, he lends a wistfulness to the entire collection, taking the negative connotation of colonial uniform and recasting it in a new light.
Our only regret is that there are not enough clothes in the collection.
Photo Credit: safashionweek.co.za