Closing London Fashion Week Men’s on a high was the notoriously irreverent and fun-spirited London-based Yorkshire designer Bobby Abley.

Presenting his autumn/winter collection 2018 under the title Bobbyland: Where Everyone Is Welcome, the show was took on the designer’s trademark nostalgic slant (previous collections starred the Teletubbies), featuring his favourite childhood cartoon characters from Road Runner to Speedy Gonzales.

The Warner Bros’ Looney Tunes provided the theme for loud and proud, playful designs worn with contrasting swagger by urban-styled models.

Glitter-dusted lean torsos were coupled with oversized jackets and serious attitude was juxtaposed with a Bugs Bunny ensemble of faux fur dungarees complete with a bunny ears bandana and silver front teeth.

Tweety Pie’s cheeky expression peered out from an unabashedly yellow jumper embellished in hand-applied marabou feathers while Sylvester was presented on a grey neoprene number.

Outerwear ranged from faux fur trimmed padded bombers to neoprene and mohair oversized parkas finished with jewels. Knitwear featured clashing graphics and plaid shirts and pleated trousers sat with more outlandish designs. Looks were completed with paired duffle bags and baseball caps and bucket hats with braided tassel and shell trims.

A common thread was the use of coordinating and clashing colour, layered textures and fabrics, and consistent Timberland boots. And beneath the childlike veneer lay a more serious message of accessibility to fashion with the political slant hinted at in the show’s strapline picked up a Marvin the Martian sweatshirt with the slogan “Legal Alien”.

Since launched his brand under his own name in 2012, after studying at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, Abley’s creative, witty interpretation of wearable contemporary menswear have led his designs to become instantly recognisable on the international stage. This collection looks to show that trend is set to continue.

We had the pleasure of joining the designer backstage in the aftermath of his show. Amidst photos with full-costumed Looney Toon characters under the infamous “That’s all folks!” strapline and de-robing models, we chatted with the down-to-earth designer about his inspiration for the show and its overarching message.

By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 8th January 2018.
Photos: Huw Jenkins

Bobby Abley show was part of London Fashion Week Men’s AW18.