There was something extra special at London Fashion Week Men’s this year, as the British Fashion Council launched the Discovery Lab. This space was dedicated to represent and support young emerging talent in a creative and interactive way. During the event, the Lab saw nine unique menswear designers showcase their work. I attended to see 3.Paradis x PONY and was in no way disappointed.
Initially I was drawn to 3.Paradis a few seasons ago due to their incredible lookbook imagery and uniquely modern menswear. The brand is built on bringing together, a refreshing aesthetic of collaged silhouettes and cool utility to be interpreted in a contemporary way. For Spring/Summer ‘19, Emeric Tchatchoua, Creative Director/Founder of 3.Paradis, teamed up with American streetwear brand, PONY to bring an immersive collection to London.
When entering the Lab through heavy plastic strips, you’re shifted into a room full of newspaper scattered aimlessly across the floor, dimmed lighting and a concrete block in the centre which models are chained to by metal ropes at their wrists. This was 3.Paradis and PONY’s collaborative visualisation of their Spring/Summer 2019 collection: ‘Far Away From Home’. Each model was styled with individual, layered looks that blended idyllically to portray the theme that concentrated on merging silhouettes. The brand is known for their fusion of utility, sportswear and a dream of defining the ideal paradise; the garments and styling this season definitely exceeded that direction.
There was a prominent mix’n’match of silhouettes, from formal trench coats and blazers layered over boxy hoodies to full matching tracksuits and glossy utility vests over diamaté t-shirts. As strange as these pairings sound on paper, visually the whole capsule collection just completely worked and had everyone in awe. The only aspect that was consistent across all the models, was the white sneakers with laces sprawled across the floor. Reflective 3M tape and laces stood out prominently through all the flashes and lights which perfectly encapsulated contemporary streetwear and sportswear. The entire presentation had a strong sense of masculinity through the renewal of nostalgic basketball shorts and trucker hats which appeared to represent New York youth, a reference to PONY being NY-based. It was clear that an element of uncertainty and not belonging was vital, from the styling of blazers tucked unusually into waistbands and the disorientating lone words ‘HOME’ and ‘AWAY’ splashed across garments. This uncertainty stemmed from the models chained up and the unique styling which interprets ‘Far Away From Home’ as being an unfortunate situation that today’s youth end up in whilst searching for their ideal “paradise”. An official statement from 3.Paradis clearly expresses this idea from the collection. “It acts as a metaphor for those that have migrated from their countries to NYC in order to live the ‘American Dream’, a pursuit of PARADISE. These people are FAR AWAY FROM HOME.”