I’ve given up trying to look smart. Shirts, bow ties, knitwear, that’s all great, but you know what? It’s a pain in the ass dressing like that. It’s uncomfortable, and it creates way too much laundry and ironing. Honestly, I don’t have time in my life for ironing. My old obsession with sportswear is back with a vengeance. Don’t panic, I’m not talking velours or tracksuit bottoms (I haven’t gone mad), I’m talking sweatshirts, trainers, bomber jackets – clothes that are easy to wear. If you feel comfortable you look comfortable. The other great thing about sportswear is that it’s F-U-N. It’s time to throw that sophisticated muted colour palette out the window.
Astrid Andersen’s presentation at London Fashion Week was a joyous fusion of sportswear and high fashion. Tracksuit as couture? Yes please…
The colours and fabrics were as brash and as bold as the man who’s daring enough to wear them. The collection references the hip hop aesthetic of the 1980’s, back when it was really exciting. Nowadays anything you could describe as ‘ghetto‘ or ‘bling‘ is so ubiquitous it’s become boring. Astrid Andersen has rethought the whole idea of the look and somehow put attitude back into the clothes, making urban seem edgy again. I caught up with her to ask her some questions.
Your new collection was inspired by Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ and Public Enemy… Do you have any other favourite films or musicians who might inspire future collections?
I have a constant love for Andre 3000 from Outkast as he power dresses, he is so outrageously flamboyant and cool. But music is a constant influence in my life in general, and I find it hard to function without. But it’s all very different music that stimulates me when I work. I mean this season for the show in Copenhagen we had a live pianist playing 2Pac who I loved because it was filled with attitude and he had this cheesy, sexy cool vibe – but in the studio I often listen to Pink Floyd as it calms and centers me.
What kind of man do you have in mind when you design your clothes?
For me it’s about male confidence. I design around a certain street style attitude, which I think any man with confidence can pull off.
Which piece from the collection is your own personal favourite?
The brown jacket from the last look, in swakara fabric, polyester and fow trim. The make and quality of this garment is amazing and this I love. I also love the showpiece bright yellow/green cropped puffer jacket, simply because it makes the man wearing it look so over the top it’s sexy.
Which other designers do you admire or take inspiration from?
I admire Ricardo Tisci for his brilliant way of making men look casual and sexy and I love Bernhard Willhelm and Jeremy Scott for their ability to incorporate humor in such a clever way into menswear.
Words by Warren Beckett