Martine Rose Spring/Summer 2024

Martine Rose Spring/Summer 2024

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It’s in the heart of Highgate, North London, where Martine Rose’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection upends the usual trend. Choosing the quaint setting of St. Joseph’s Community Centre, Martine Rose once again proves the power of blending the ordinary with the extraordinary, crafting fashion narratives around the idea of an authentic, human experience.

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A typical Martine Rose runway goes beyond just a spectacle. It’s a veritable meeting of ages and cultures, of fashion enthusiasts and regular folk, each drawn in by the collective experience and the vibrancy of Rose’s work. Her shows are more than mere clothing exhibitions; they are explorations of society, of neighborhood life and its vibrant diversity. This year was no different.

As Martine Rose eloquently put it, “Community centers and youth clubs were the original club venues for immigrants across London, from the West Indian to the Turkish, Polish, and Irish communities. These places are vital, they’re our life-blood”. The intimate, untouched charm of St. Joseph’s Community Centre served as an ideal backdrop for her show – a lively, participative gathering, rather than an untouchable, high-fashion spectacle.

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A signature of Martine Rose is her playful yet subversive interplay with gender lines, which was evident in the Spring/Summer 2024 collection. As the designer puts it, “It’s thrilling and sensual to play with gender boundaries. The appeal of men in women’s clothing and vice versa has been a long-standing fascination for me. It’s a genuine proposition, not a gimmick“. And with that conviction, she presents a wardrobe filled with her unmistakable signatures – oversized jackets, floor-sweeping coats, and reinvented sportswear and workwear pieces.

Yet, Rose doesn’t settle for mere appropriation. She adds a touch of authenticity to each item, using worn-in, washed, and aged fabrics. “There’s an appeal to the make-do-and-mend aesthetic, like denim patched with gaffer tape“, she explained.

Inspired by the posture of motorcyclists, Rose gave women’s leather jackets a hunched-forward shoulder line. She thrives on socially observed nuances, on the unintentional slip-ups and quirky gestures that breathe life into clothes. Women’s skirts, turned inside out, with pleats erupting from underneath, added an unexpected volume and cool twist to the collection.

Menswear carried a touch of Rose’s wicked sense of humor. Classic tailoring and sportswear found themselves contrasted with elements drawn from ‘’stately lady things’’. Barbour jackets cut in a ’50s women’s a-line, corsetry, and pearls made surprise appearances, underlining a cheeky commentary on British class structures.

However, the heart of Martine Rose’s influence lies in her uncanny ability to break ground in serious fashion. Her innovative designs extend to footwear. From her spring-heeled Nike Shox MR 4 mule-sneakers to square-toed loafers and tapered, kitten-heeled slip-ons, her footwear range is an ever-expanding universe. In a particularly exciting development this season, Rose debuted her new creations as a guest creative director for Clarks, the egalitarian British footwear company. True to form, she’s created plush, pillow-like shoes that prioritize comfort.

With her Spring/Summer 2024 collection, Martine Rose once again demonstrates her understanding of the ordinary and the nostalgic, and her ability to reinvent it into extraordinary, globally influential fashion. The neighborhood show served as a reminder of the power of community and shared experiences, and how fashion can, and should, make space for such inclusive and human moments.

Diving deeper into Rose’s exploration of gender, her designs reflect the fluidity of modern society. From the way she intertwines masculine and feminine silhouettes to the decision to put men in skirts and women in oversized blazers, Rose constantly challenges our understanding of gender norms. She doesn’t do this for shock value but as an authentic proposal, as an advocate of inclusivity in an industry that is often known for its exclusivity.

Through her clothes, Rose explores the class structure, a deep-rooted British institution, with an almost satirical lens. Whether it’s the inclusion of Barbour jackets styled after 1950s women’s a-line cuts or the reimagining of corsetry, Rose’s designs simultaneously respect and question tradition. This unique perspective allows her to infuse her collections with a narrative that goes beyond fabrics and stitches, delving into societal observations and conversations.

As Rose continues to build a world where fashion transcends traditional boundaries, her eye for creating universally appealing footwear is particularly noteworthy. In collaboration with Clarks, she offered a series of designs aimed at reinventing comfort. She took the humble shoe, an object that carries us through our day-to-day lives, and imbued it with luxury and style, without compromising its primary purpose. This thoughtful approach to design underlines Rose’s mastery of creating fashion that is not only beautiful but also practical and wearable.

The Martine Rose Spring/Summer 2024 collection is a masterclass in how fashion can reflect and shape society. It’s a celebration of community, diversity, and genuine human interaction. It is the everyday made extraordinary, the regular turned sublime, and above all, it is a testament to the power of fashion as a social document. Rose’s runway is more than a catwalk; it is a canvas where life unfolds, and everyone, no matter their age, class, or gender, is invited to be part of the narrative.

As the sun set on the neighborhood show, guests left with more than just the memory of a beautiful collection. They were imbued with a sense of shared community, of having partaken in something that was both deeply personal and socially resonant. With the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, Martine Rose once again proved her inimitable ability to elevate the ordinary, making the local, global and the neighborhood, a destination.

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