Kit Neale has in a few short seasons become my favourite designer at LC:M. The lobster prints and fried chicken shop logo's from last season were amazing enough (lobsters are my spirit animal you see, or should that be spirit crustacean?). The new collection is inspired by Elephant & Castle. Inspiration really does come from the most unexpected places sometimes. If you've never been to Elephant and Castle some of the nuance and humour of the prints and accessories will be lost on you. Of course there's no real reason to go to Elephant & Castle unless you live there or know someone who does. There's not much to see besides a terrifying rundown shopping centre. A quick look at Yelp will explain this better than I can, here are some choice excerpts from the top 2 reviews -
"The elephant and castle shopping centre just looks like a ruin. It stinks and isn't really welcoming."
"Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could travel back in time and go to a shopping centre in the middle of the 80s depression? Well, you need to wonder no longer, you can just visit the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre!"
Historically speaking it's an interesting place, and due to its location it happens to be home to a lot of London's artists and creative types. But it's not somewhere that'll appear in a guidebook for tourists to visit. I think perhaps it is this 'inside joke' for Londoners that makes the collection so great. Kit Neale's designs are whimsical without ever veering into costumes and humorous without being laughable. Look closely at the prints and the accessories (this season the bags are made by the awesome mi-pac) and you'll see rats (a key feature of Elephant and Castle) as well as the shopping centre's iconic logo. Having two cats at home might make wearing a plush rat hanging off your waistband a dangerous game but, but I'm willing to give it a go. In the name of fashion. After all, lobsters are so last season.