It was a true WTF moment when Top Gear presenter James May hijacked the end of the University of Northumbria’s show at Graduate Fashion Week on Sunday to present his new menswear collection.
When I went down to Earl’s Court yesterday for day one of Graduate Fashion Week (more blogs on that coming soon) to watch three catwalk shows I thought there may be a few dodgy student garments on show, but I did not expect to witness the unveiling of a truly awful celebrity-designed collection. At the start of the Northumbria show an announcer requested that we stay in our seats at the end because something else was going to happen afterwards. When the lights came up it was announced that we were going to be shown the James May’s debut menswear collection. “What, that bloke from Top Gear?” I said incredulously to the guy sat next to me, and sure enough the one who’s not Jeremy Clarkson or the little one who was in a car crash came strutting out on to the catwalk wearing what appeared to be a navy blue boiler suit.
There followed about ten ‘models’ – they were clearly not professionals; one nodded and smiled at another as they crossed paths on the catwalk – in similarly utilitarian outfits. Workwear appeared to be the theme as every look was some kind of hybrid involving suits, overalls, tool belts, and, on one occasion, a pair of antlers. I managed to grab these two admittedly awful snaps on my phone but there are more photos over here. And you’ll be able to see the whole lot in an episode of the BBC2 series called Man Lab. I might actually watch it – I genuinely don’t know if it was intentional, but these clothes were hilarious.