What: Launch party for brand new menswear publication Document No.1. Just don’t call it a magazine.
When: Thursday 29th November 2012
Where: The spacious IPR showroom in East London, a venue filled with the wares of clients like Katie Eary and Christopher Shannon, plus a bunch of wooden palm trees.
“Britain’s menswear has had to live in the shadow of our womenswear designers for far too long” states Hellqvist’s boldface, page one Editor’s letter declaration, laying bare Document No.1’s desire to shine a light firmly on men’s fashion.
And what better time to start. 2012 was a banner year for menswear in the UK. Previously allocated a day tacked on to the end of the womenswear summer and winter fashion weeks, in June menswear got a home of its own. The awkwardly-titled yet long overdue London Collections: Men devoted three days to Spring 2013 just for the boys, bringing Britain in line with the Milanese and Parisian men’s shows.
With scores of seasons of reportage from the international fashion weeks under their belts, and excited by the changes afoot in the fashion calendar, O’Donovan and Hellqvist decided to join forces to document it all. Mixing designer interviews with backstage photography and commentary from their pals – who also happen to be industry experts – Document No.1 focuses on seven noteworthy London Collections: Men shows. So you’ll get the Guardian’s Simon Chilvers talking up the ‘boyish sportiness’ of Christopher Shannon‘s designs; fashion’s so-called fairy godmother Lulu Kennedy writing about Meadham Kirchhoff‘s zany ‘drug den’ presentation; or Style.com’s Tim Blanks discussing Aitor Throup‘s macabre signature skull bags. The result is a sleek, matte-white, mercifully advertising-free tome that straddles the line between magazine and coffee table book. Just 500 numbered copies were printed, available for free at the launch, but it’s a slight mystery as to where you can get one now. Which is a shame, because it’s a great read, and, much like British menswear, deserves a wider audience. But you can scroll through the whole issue, slideshow style, on the website.
If you don’t get your hands on one this time, however, fear not, because Hellqvist and O’Donovan are already working on the next iteration, which will cover the Autumn/Winter 2013 collections, shown in January. Spring 2013 was “the season that paved the way for the rest,” Hellqvist says. “Let’s cherish that.”
To view Document No.1 visit www.hellqvistandodonovan.com.
Photos: Alistair Allan