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We love London’s young menswear designers, the way they play with colours and push inner-city streetwear and sportswear to evermore polysexual extremes… but Lee Roach is doing something very different from everyone else, and his own way of icy minimalism is so refreshing and inspiring. In his own words, it’s an “exercise in restraint… An equation of purity.” Suits are stripped away to almost nothing, as lapels, collars and buttons are lost to white lines and black straps. “It’s not so much about not using colour,” Lee told us afterwards, “but about the process… introducing this really dark blue, but through the fabric; and with the white and the silver, using a treatment to create that sort of colour.” His show’s soundtrack, a foreboding rework of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’, echoes an appreciation of absence that seems to run throughout everything: the collection takes its inspiration from Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and how he can transform something as ordinary as a stack of paper into the sublime; the shoes are Nike Airs that Nasir Mazhar has taken apart. Lee’s first salon show is phenomenal, and looks like it arrived from the future… although, on the other side, it also reminds us of Billy Corgan’s iconic Zero T-shirt and silver trousers from Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream era.
Text: Dean Kissick
Photography: Mitchell Sams
Click here to see our SS13 Menswear coverage in full.