Doing the fashion week in the Netherlands one expects of course to find a lot of simplicity of design and color, and lots of minimalism as these are both trademarks in many of the good things that the country has to offer, but we were surprised indeed to see these virtues in the MAYNE SS16 collections to be taken to the extreme: It was a little bit like the Ramones – two chords, and three minutes, switching the chords back twice, and a drum finale – hey ho, let’s go, what just happened – it’s a good show. From black to navy and back from navy to black (with some white for good measure) – that’s one short track. Design, stitches, cuts – all being reduced to tidiest of minimalist standard. This is below ready-to-wear. These are almost uniforms, but not quite. These are WORKMAN’s clothes. And that is what explains the collection.
MAYNE – ‘made for makers’ the leaflet reads, but when you read between the lines it becomes clear that this Amsterdam based menswear brand is trying to re-conceive and re-brand traditional working man’s clothes, and indeed, even before reading the show’s notes the impression some of the collection leaves is street and industrial wear from antebellum China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion – monochrome in color, as simple as possible in cut, and as practical as can be in style and design. Indeed, the leaflet reads, it’s the work wear of villagers. Those who rebel against Western imperialists no doubt, or so the story book reads.
The only curves visible in the design are inspired by Yuanyang Rice Terraces, and the leaflet makes a connection with the curves of Dada artist Jean Arp. That’s one giant leap to make inside something which reads like a Ramones tune but if you realize that Dada was a form of art which tongue-in-cheek deliberately tried to subvert traditional forms of art by mixing and misplacing other art forms into different molds, then you will start to get the total picture.
For ours is an age in which there is an overflow of individual and personalized expression. And so it’s quite a rebellious and fashion-radical statement that MAYNE is making here. Because in the same way in that the monotony of Ramones tunes in the seventies was a reaction to too much song and dance in the sixties, here we see a fashion reaction to our hyper personalized and uber-branded and super-styled contemporary selves. Keep things simple and don’t be a fool. And work hard. For the road from the village to the markets is longer than your vain cosmopolitan dreams.
MAYNE, the beginning of the end of hipster-dom. Let the Boxer Rebellions begin.
Posted by Sandro and photos by A.D.P. Yahampath.