One of the most exciting additions to menswear day saw the return of Aitor Throup to the already bulging schedule. Despite an already impressive line up, it was difficult not to get excited by the return of this RCA MA graduate. Having spent the last couple of years working on projects for Stone Island, C.P Company and most recently Umbro, fans eager to see Throup's own line have had to wait. The reason we were all excited is because Throup's work is distinct. It communicates a conceptual approach to design while still creating accessible yet interesting garments.
The return of Aitor Throup. His presentation 'Legs' at LFW.
Last month I mentioned that he had presented his work on the lower body, the seemingly simple trouser to be precise, during Paris Fashion Week. Thirty eight pairs of trousers from Throup's design past (from 2004-2009) were sculpted on Gormley-esque, meticulously crafted forms and suspended from the ceiling. On Wednesday, Throup allowed the opportunity to marvel at his designs on home soil once again and of course I jumped at the chance! The presentation demonstrated the designer's distinct ability to unite form with function whilst explicitly demonstrating the designers fascination with structure and process.
Throup’s sculptures cast in fabric
His design work is primarily focused on exploring new structural solutions to clothe the human body. Here, Throup progressed chronologically through his archives, lifting a selection of designs before reinterpreting them with materials and design details appropriate to the season – and in doing so, has created an arena welcoming the expression of pure creativity and functionality. I was fortunate enough to take my seat at a talk at the V&A in August 2008 which saw the designer talk through his design process with Sarah Mower. One sentence uttered by Throup still rings in my ears, ""Artists create problems, designers solve them." You can really see how he is both an artist and designer, solving the problems his mind creates with focus and attention to detail and thirst for processes - his comic book scrawlings transform into reality. The presentation format in the Dairy was ideal the ideal format. It is a series of single items of clothing which have been afforded absolute consideration to form and function, ultimately transcending their origins to become sculptures cast in fabric. Throup does not "like the mentality of showing something for a very limited amount of time to a static audience" because he is obsessed with objects and "there is a narrative built in them and here I can allow the viewer to be the active component rather than the passive component." This presentation and these items of clothing are the truest representation of Throup’s work and are a welcome reminder of why he has such an important future in menswear.
Soon to be released trousers but be warned, these will be extremely limited and demand will be high.
After walking through this presentation and after speaking to the designer himself, it is clear that Throup’s designs exist beyond the standard parameters of fashion. They are meticulously constructed garments existing both within their narrative and without, made with respect for the human body and an astounding understanding of its formation. Throup is admirably creating his own path to follow, one which will not see him create two separate collections according to the demands of the fashion cycle but rather one that will see him tweak and release his constructions as and when he wants to. June 2010 will see the release of the first pieces bearing his name for many years, a trio of extremely limited edition trousers (shown above). I will never tire of analysing this collection or any other of Throup’s designs...now, I just need to start saving so I can purchase a pair.