Martine Rose’s Saturday night show at the St. Joseph’s Community Centre in north London was her homecoming after staging her international debut at the January edition of Pitti Uomo.
“Before club culture was really what it is now in London, there were specific clubs for youth culture and people co-opted spaces such as community spaces and ballrooms,” Rose said backstage after her show.
One of the women who works at the center told the London-born designer that “maybe this will help us from closing.”
“Community centers are vital. They’re a lifeline to people and every community, every wave of integrated immigration has subsequently come through a community center service,” she added.
The room was lit in red with Martine Rose branded coasters that bore phrases such as “You smell like a Gemini” and “I’d murder a pint” written in biro and Sharpie pen, scattered across the round tables where guests sat, including Burberry’s chief creative officer Daniel Lee.
Rose twisted and reshaped menswear classics such as waxed jackets, trenchcoats and hi-vis vests, subverting traditional menswear codes and playing with the idea of sexiness.
“I love playing with gender lines. I think it’s a real proposition, it’s not a gimmick. I find men in women’s clothes sexy and women in menswear sexy — that’s to be celebrated. It’s kinky and sexy,” she said, referring to the long pearl necklaces, hosiery socks, slinky camisoles and boxer shorts with lace detailing.
The show featured Rose’s upcoming tailored clothing with long-term collaborator Nike, which is set to be released in July to coincide with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer games, as well as shoes from Clarks, where she more recently became its first guest creative director.
“Clarks is something that’s so intrinsic to British culture and obviously Jamaican culture because it’s huge in Jamaica because of the Commonwealth. There’s a couple of British brands that are really big in Jamaica because Britishness is a sign of quality and you take it out of context it takes on a life of its own, like a myth,” Rose told WWD in an interview last month.
She has designed three pairs of shoes, taking signature Clarks styles such as the loafer, Oxford shoe and sandal to reinterpret it in her own way with a major focus on comfort.