Martine Rose’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection was held at the St Joseph’s Community Centre in Highgate, North London, a place that has been chosen due to its strong symbolic resonance. Esteemed as the crown jewel of London’s menswear scene, Rose’s SS24 line was a masterstroke in striking a balance between moderation and unruly.
Rose reminisced about the vibrant community centers of London’s past, once the lifeblood of varied cultures, serving as impromptu club venues before designated spaces were commonplace. “All over London, wherever waves of immigrants have come in, you saw them—West Indian, Turkish, Polish, Irish—everyone has had their own community centers. They’re really important”, Rose said. “And this one is untouched. I thought it would be fun for people to sit down, have a drink, and feel pulled into participating in something”.
Her vibrant tribute to London’s subcultural trends launched with a powerful reggae beat. The convincingly authentic characters of Martine Rose paraded onto the stage, clad in her rebelliously provocative interpretations of both men’s and women’s fashion, layered with intricacy. Martine Rose plays with gender lines, men in women’s clothes and women in men’s clothes. It’s things that she’s played with for a long time.
Indeed, the collection featured a comprehensive array of recognizable Rose signatures like her oversized tailored jackets, voluminous floor-sweeping outerwear, and reappropriated high-visibility work and athletic attire. Rose’s appreciation for vintage aesthetics was tangible, demonstrated by her penchant for materials weathered and worn, evoking a sense of well-loved ownership. “I don’t like it when things look too new. We patched denim with gaffer tape to create a ‘make-do-and-mend’ look,” she clarified.
The collection bore the distinct imprints of Rose’s signature style. Each piece was a reflection of social observations and experiences, encapsulating pre-existing nuances or slight fashion faux pas. When it comes to menswear, Rose pursues a delicate tension between two poles, pairing classic elements like tailored cuts and sportswear, with dramatic opposites. Inspired by refined feminine attire, she was looking at quite stately lady things, like Barbour jackets cut on a ’50s women’s a-line, corsetry, and pearls.
Rose’s footwear continued the theme of radical reinterpretation. She redesigned the familiar Nike Shox MR4 mule sneakers with an artistic touch of paint splatters. Additionally, she also offered a sneak peek at the future designs from the ‘Coming Up Roses’ collection for Clarks, the British footwear brand, which includes a men’s Oxford in black leather and mock-exotic takes.