We really like the new collection and accompanying amazing lookbook of London designers Agi & Sam. The Autumn/Winter 2014 collection was named Watu Nguvu, the Swahili word for ‘people power,’ and the lookbook was shot by the never disappointing and regular Agi & Sam collaborator Luke Stephenson. The lookbook places Agi & Sam’s monochrome collection, showing a lot more maturity in its designs, in a odd eighties office environment, remembering of the BBC series, outfitted with the odd swivel chair and classic desktop computer. As ever with Luke’s photography, there is a playful element to the compositions, especially where the model is snacking on a snickers or acting as tech support making it one of our favorite outings of this season.
Over the past few seasons Agi & Sam have held the status as ones to watch, showing great talent proven in the chance to design a collection for Topman, but still searching for their particular niche. With the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection however the duo presents a mature collection that is rich in depth and detail: conceptual with innovative elements. The collection can trace its origin back to Agi’s recent trip through Masai territory in Africa. As always; travels broadens the mind, but in this case it has provided sharp focus for the young designers, allowing them to channel their creativity towards a specific target.
In this instance that target is the clash between Africa and the West, the familiar but still very relevant theme of Western Imperialism. The collection poses the question:
What if the traditional global roles were reversed and African conglomerates exploited the West?
This esoteric idea is expressed physically by the appropriation of traditional English coat shapes into African dress. Oil and the global petrochemical industry also provided fertile ground for comment. Mirroring the pop art branding which was the central theme of the previous Sterling Ruby / Raf Simons collection, the designers created logos and graphics for a fictional oil company, named Dick Oil, all in more toned down manner compared to their earlier collection making it their most elegant and our favorite till date.