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Exclusive: Colleen Allen F/W '17 Part I

Allow us to introduce you to Colleen Allen. If you haven’t already heard, she’s the young menswear designer you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with. The previous Parsons pupil is now making waves in London town via Central Saint Martins. With two legendary institutions under her belt, Allen’s forte for all things style, design and fashion should not be questioned, and we’ve got the assets to prove it. Celebrating a transformative period in her career, the designer’s FW17 collection marks the launch of Colleen Allen’s progressions as a brand. In an exclusive quote, Allen disclosed,

“Starting FW17, I realized that this would be the last collection that I would create completely by myself. In reaction to this, I wanted to document each look after it was made and short film became a natural gravitation for me to embrace this process. The aim for these films was to expose the mundane, the strangeness of the environments we immerse ourselves in, and the rituals we perform without questioning.”

Allen’s new collection, focusing on the English countryside and its inhabitants was developed as a natural advancement to her SS17 collection which employed the perspective of the American suburbs. The short films were shot in the photographer Brandon Wilkins’ home town of Essex—dedicating a congruent sincerity to the landscapes as he does to the subjects. Both the seclusion of the suburbs and openness of the wheat fields play into Allen’s intended exploration of contradiction, but also of masculinity within the spaces. Check out the mesmerizing videos below and the full collection of images in the slideshow above.

Colleen Allen FW17 Look 1: Trading Shells

Releasing each look by way of short film, the first flick, Trading Shells, features Colleen Allen’s “asymmetrical and reversible suit as a reaction to the tradition that men’s suits close left over right while women’s close right over left.” Its adaptability is applied in its gender ambiguity, how the male subject wears the garments and then leaves them on the ground for the following female subject to put on. Not only an ode to cross-dressing, but also to hermit crabs and their tendency to pick up each other’s abandoned shells.

Colleen Allen FW17 Look 2: Fresh Coat of Paint

The second film, Fresh Coat of Paint, debuts Look 2 of Colleen Allen’s FW17 collection, wide leg, triple top stitched denim paired with a beautifully constructed patent jacket whose beige color camouflages into the mundanity of suburbia. The public’s ignorance to forms of anti-conformity is emphasized by the passersby failure to acknowledge the subject.

Directed by Colleen Allen

Cinematography and photography by Brandon Wilkins

Model: Vincent Holden (PRM Agency)

Stay tuned to Milk for more on up and coming designers you need to know. 

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