Ong-Oaj Pairam was last seasons 'One to watch' according to 'The Times Fashion' and now after moving from Fashion Scout to having his first own independent catwalk show; Ong and his #ONGTOURAGE are established.
Being in the menswear game, I don't pretend to know much about woman's fashion but what I do know is that the Ong-Oaj Pairam will continue to be one of the only London Fashion Week catwalks that I will ever bother attending. Although Ong-Oaj Pairam is predominately a womenswear designer he always puts together some incredible menswear designs that would blow most seasonal menswear designers out of the water. The music, the production, the venue, the collections are out of this world and all put together by a humble modest Ong himself, his OngTourage and the team at Katch International.
It was refreshing to see Ong-Oaj Pairam opting for what I would consider glamorous looking beautiful models with flowing evening hair as at times during other catwalks, the looks are so out there and odd that you end up focusing on that rather than the collection itself.
What stood out for me in the men's looks were the bold metallic fabrics, combined with classic velvet tailoring whilst contrasting by mixing and matching the suit jacket and trousers. Then the finer details Ong finished the looks off with an oversize papillon style bow tie in the same epic fabric and some unique hexagon cufflinks by Tresor Paris.
This season Ong-Oaj Pairam takes a Warhol like approach to his collection, drawing on popular culture, celebrity and the iconic language of fashion. Whilst some pieces scream Bowie, Roxy music or the lost stars of silver screen – others talk Britney and Miley Cyrus. All held together by Ong-Oaj Pairam’s signature style.
Ong’s celebration of iconic pop culture isn’t all fame, money and glamour. Ong plays with themes of vulnerability and at times the vulgarity often associated with a celebrity lifestyle. This journey began with Ong’s scratch and sniff show invitation, giving the recipient amongst other scents - the sweet scent of success and the pong of not getting out of bed for less than $10,000 dollars!
Warhol’s influence is most obvious in print, which takes a camouflage like appearance this season creating a suggestion of danger. Yet Ong-Oaj Pairam’s urban camouflage is void of any militaristic forms. Instead it is an ‘almost’ abstract vision that is created with the flash of paparazzi bulbs, celebrity faces and animals caught in headlights. These animals also appear in hand embroidery using the same techniques that are used in military garments.
It’s a juxtaposition of identity and disguise that mirrors the celebrity desire to gain notoriety yet keep their private life hidden. It’s often reflective, and in it’s most extreme form Ong-Oaj uses acid to burn through layers of the camouflage revealing the person underneath.
Despite some darker themes the collection is after all a celebration, and a celebration in all it’s oversized, excessive glamorous, indulgent, and luxurious glory. Because this season, to Ong - too much is never enough.
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As one Fashion Event ends another begins! With London clearing up from another successful London Collections: Men, it's now time for Florence and Pitti to show us how its done.
Looking back at my Street Style photos from LCM there seemed to be a few different categories on what to wear. Firstly were the formal smart wearers. Amazing tailored suits (mainly single breasted jackets), layered with waistcoats, the layers generally were different fabric colour and weave. Crisp white tab collar shirts with a classic tie and pocket square combination finished this look.
Secondly there were a massive group of what I would guess as being from the East London Fashion houses. Their look was very much 'I'm too cool to make an effort'; very worn Converse trainers, skinny jeans, leather jackets, printed tees, a pair of Granddad glasses from the local vintage shop and finally the trademark beard.
Lastly the 'real' fashionistas because they wear anything and are confident in anything, bright colours and wearing any non-pastel coloured garment they can get their hands on. When I say 'real' I actually mean incredibly fake! It seems to me that this group are throwing anything on to get noticed but often look horrendous and attention seeking. Normally found outside all the shows soaking up the attention of the paps.
Now for Pitti...
As I wasn't at Pitti Uomo this year, I have been forced onto Instagram searching for #Pitti #PittiUomo #Pitti87 and boy do the Italian's know how to dress. It is effortless. The main looks seemed to be double-breasted suits, window pane fabrics, turned-up tailored trousers and the pea coat not worn just draped over the shoulders.
Here are my favourite Instagram looks:
Being in the Menswear industry as a shirt designer, business owner and now menswear blogger *extraordinaire; it has become a complete must to attend the ever growing in popularity London Collections: Men events. Running officially from 9th - 12th Jan this event was showcasing AW15 collections.
*Self proclaimed, no evidence to support this!
In previous years, I have been a little laid-back in my approach to these events - half expecting the postman to be working overtime to deliver all of my invitations. But now after a couple of seasons standing in queues to these major menswear catwalks and presentations - taking photos of those going in, I decided to plead, beg, bombard, prey to brands, event organisers and PR companies for tickets. Did it work? Hell yeah, for the first time I had more invites than I knew what to do with and here are my top London Collections: Men AW15 looks.
These two incredible tailored looks by the bespoke Joshua Kane. I love the subtle boldness off both looks.
Classic tailoring from Hackett, smart yet never overcrowded with too many accessories and all very wearable. The Tab Collar not only was prominent in the Hackett AW15 collection but set a theme throughout the event.
If I was to pick a collection that inspired me it would be this. Hardy Amies layered all my favourite autumn tones, using earthy colours, touches of yellow and a mixture of blues. The diversity of the collection was incredible with knitwear, double breasted blazers, fur-lined parka-esq jackets and just to finish us off they even showcased a dinner evening range. The complete collection.
For classic outerwear, the Aquascutum collection stood out - it was just effortless.