This collection is good. It’s very good. It appears that each year (BDMOTP was here last year) Jonathan Christopher sets the standard for the men’s shows in Amsterdam. And it’s pretty high. It’s class when a man lives up to his own reputation.
Last year there were dark and ominous black birds in the show and the collection had left a grand brooding impression. So much so that our article on the collection was very well received at the time. Then Jonathan used the color orange as a signature color to strike contrast against all the dark and brooding shades on the spectrum of black, and this year it was flame red, flame and fire red as in those ominous flares you will find on industrial pipes high above the ground or sea when oil is burned in open air so as to mark the finding of black gold.
Grand image, and even better show and collection. Lots of oil, oil being pumped out of the ground and immediately burned into the air, but all set against a stormy and ominous sky – clearly the skies of the North Sea – flames twisting in the wind, with flame orange barrels laying or standing scattered around on the runway, the slow and rhythmic pumping of the oil pump following the footsteps of the models shuffling on the move.
They wear dark colors and shades of grey and black but with that flame red somewhere tinkering in between. Their fingernails are dirty and they wear metallic rings and watches and oil is smeared on their faces around their eyes. Who remembers the housepainter workman’s clothing line and then the kitchen apprentice and cooking ready-to-wear work wear available a decade ago? But today in the age of who owns most oil wins the game that is not enough.
Because there is no industry darker and more ominous than the oil industry. Aren’t we, deep down, oil rig workers all? No friendly place. But a dark and brooding abode where all is not well. Jeans and shirt are ripped. Hemlines are cut off or worse, sawed off. Pants are opening and the flame color shows. Flames ripped in the wind across the dirty skies of the North Sea. Oil. Work. Dirt. The stormy skies. The dark sea. And yes all this this crude today controls a lot of the world’s trade, business, and power, so hey, why not dedicate a fashion show to it. Why not design a clothing line with oil rig workers as the going theme and inspiration?
Jonathan Christopher would do good to maybe become a stylist for a dark sci-fi film some day on some future date. It’s a good artist name to have anyways ‘Jonathan Christopher’, because with a name like that you will have to live up to a double epithet. And that he did, because indeed this show was the only time this week here in Amsterdam that the ever-so-aptly called Transformator Huis (the Battery House), where some of the shows are being held, was raving about a new collection.
We will not have seen or heard the last of this very talented designer who is carving out a big name for himself, and who, if you would follow the natural but dark and ominous trajectory of global oil politics, will most certainly make an international ascendency sooner rather than later. So if you get a chance, Jonathan Christopher is worth the wait and worth the trip to go see in person. Or just invite him to Tokyo, London, and New York, and his collections will stand up like rocks – before sagging down and spilling like a greasy slick of oil on the runways – flames and all.
Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.