Having just returned from Hong Kong I am putting off unpacking my bulging suitcase, focusing instead on sharing one of of my favourite finds with you guys. As expected the shopping opportunities in this bustling city were immense and we certainly had a good crack at exploring all of them. It was obvious that we weren't the only ones enjoying the shopping culture as everywhere was so busy. Locals and tourists alike streamed through the streets and malls with a selection of bags in one hand and some kind of tasty treat in the other (be it egg balls, waffles, meat on a stick or smelly tofu). Despite the varied consuming opportunities it became obvious that one brand of shops reigned supreme, I.T. I.T launched in 1988 and introduced an eclectic mix of European brands to Hong Kong trendsetters. Twenty years might have gone by and this brand of shops is still doing just that. It was not my aim to leave the city with a couple of purchases from European designers but there was just too much on offer to turn a blind eye. I left the well stocked I.T store in Causeway Bay with a Raf Simons x Fred Perry Aw09 polo shirt.
Dazed Digital were first out of the blocks to unveil the collaboration.
For the third successive season, Raf Simons collaborated with Fred Perry for a collection based around the famous laurel. When the first round of images were released way back in June, I assumed that it was more of the same from this well matched pair. Even though I admired the collection I doubted whether there would be any significant design features which justified the increased prices for the famous laurel polo shirts. The above image and the rest of the spread taken from Robbie Spencer's styled shoot for Dazed & Confused captured the spirit of the collaboration but it didn't reveal its best feature, the metal effect. When I saw the pieces hanging on the rails of I.T for the first time I was blown away by the fabric effects and the metallic thirty leaf laurel polo shirt in particular...
For the third collaboration between Raf Simons and Fred Perry, inspiration was taken from the various stages of metal through rusting in both the fabrics choices and the metallic colour palette used. In an interview with Dazed Digital Simons informed us that "The inspiration came from the artist Carl Andre." The rusted metal treatment and enlarged embroidery combine to elevate the humble polo shirt in to something altogether more interesting. The pieces reminded me of the Patrick Ervell's SS10 collection. As mentioned previously, very little came out of the recent New York shows which provoked much excitement here at Style Salvage but Ervell's Decay in the Spring time was really something. Ever since I saw his presentation images I've been meaning to explore the aesthetic of rusting metal and it is certainly one I will revisit over the coming months now that I have this new polo shirt.
Worn with a mustard scarf from COS, drop crotch trousers picked up in a mall from Hong Kong, mustard socks from Uniqlo and Stingray Orwells from Mr Hare.
With each season, Simons and his team have a clear aesthetic to enable them to focus on the Fred Perry classics with an added twist and in this case it was through this marvellous metal effect. For me, the collaboration is gaining real momentum and long may it continue.