At London Fashion Week Men’s, Maharishi opted to showcase its SS17 collection rather than AW17, going away from the norm and choosing to present clothing that the consumer starts to buy this season, rather than waiting the traditional six months.
But then deviating from the norm, the establishment and preconceived notions of fashion is what cult London brand Maharishi is all about. Having shot to fame in the ’90s and coming back into the mainstream spotlight during the past few seasons, Hardy Blechman’s label uses military influences and gives them a twist to create clothing that showcases an anti-war ethos.
This season the collection looked to Africa, focusing on American and Chinese military presence on the continent – both of whom, Blechman argues, are there purely out of trade interests. Colours are earthy, natural and pay reference to African mines and those natural resources that fuel armed conflict.
As always, the collection looked East for inspiration as well as Africa. This season this took the form of the American Tour of Vietnam in the ’60s (that war reference always in the background), with silk bombers that featured African map embroidery on the back, wrap kimono-style tops and dresses for the female models that also made an appearance.
Previous Maharishi collections have always featured camouflage in some sort of guise, and this season was no different. This time it came in the form of tiger stripe, hand-painted onto reclaimed military uniforms, long hooded robes inspired by the North West African Djellaba, and loose fitting military jackets.
Words and images by Angharad Jones