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Sons of William Get Desert Storm

After lounging in a waiting room being served mixed nuts and dried fruit with a vodka Sprite, no one really knew what would actually happen when we entered the room for Sons of William’s second MADE FW presentation. The tone of our waiting room, one that resembled your parent’s foyer during a high school house party, changed immediately to one of a stark, ominous laboratory; a white washed room with columns and platforms jutting out in every which way, tied together with a banner telling the story of the doom of mankind.

Sons of William may be designers but they have enough style, flair, and creativity to be outright performance artists. Their SS16 lookbook is one designed for the year 3035, a post-apocalypse New York that has been swallowed by a nuclear desert storm. Accordingly, the pieces that accompanied this concept were practical wear for a desert storm. Models stomped out around us decked out in either thigh-high combat boots or Velcro-strap sandals, most of whom were rocking tattered cotton headbands straight out of Rambo. While knee-length wool peacoats and zip-around-the-middle PVC hoodies may seem out of place in a Spring/Summer line, what pieces could be better to protect you from radioactive sandstorms?

Yet for all the theatrics, Sons of William have a clear eye for design. The neutral toned canvas tops that were hand-stitched with patches of close-up, Mapplethorpe-esque photographs of the human body were both striking and moving, and the sheer durability of the dozen-pocket overcoats are next to none. It’s doubtful that anyone reading this will be alive in 3035, but something tells us that the designers might not be far off from the apparel of our inevitable end.

We chatted with the designers to learn the details behind this season’s detailed, and dark, backstory:

What do you think we’re seeing in this collection that’s different from you Fall/Winter collection?

We evolved with the story we had before. It’s kind of like a pass to more of a dusty area where the last one was more of a frosty area. This time we’re bringing in more colors and more variation in material. There’s a lot of new shapes and forms in terms of raw material and womenswear. That’s new for us.

Really?You’re completely new to womenswear?

Unisex! The whole line was meant to be unisex, but this time we wanted to even out the balance by having womenswear. Last time we only had unisex wear and menswear.

Was that challenging? What spurred that decision?

It was to even out the balance. We had a very strong mens look, so we wanted to venture into the feminine. We didn’t want to over do it though and give it too much of a feminine look.

Tell me about the photograph patches that appear on some of the tops. They’re fascinating. 

The whole idea with the collection is that we’ve divided the world into two societies, where one is the outcast society that’s outside of the cities and constantly hit with dust storms. The other one is the more civilized assemblies in the cities. They have more tech material to collect from. The collection is divided into two pieces where one is very raw and thrown together based on what they have available, and the other one is way more hi-tech and covered with more materials. The two districts are at war with each other. The idea behind the patches was that the outcasts are wearing it in the memory of soldiers that were lost in the war. It’s a remembrance of people lost in the war, much like the military when you lose a soldier and you wear their patch. It’s the same idea. It’s anonymous people that have been lost in the war.

Which side of the society would you guys be in?

We’re right in the middle. We equally like the civilized and the outcast.

You wouldn’t fight each other?

No! We try to keep our minds in both areas so we can design them to their highest potential.

Check out our Cheat Sheet for Sons of William here.

Photos by Andrew Boyle

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