Top of the Class: Colleen Allen

Top of the Class: Colleen Allen

As a student and designer, Colleen Allen pushes boundaries in menswear and reminds us that her line is for the sartorially expressive. For her Spring 2017 collection, she found inspiration in the mutable.

As a student and designer, Colleen Allen pushes boundaries in menswear and reminds us that her line is for the sartorially expressive. For her Spring 2017 collection, she found inspiration in the mutable.

Text: Natalia Spotts

Colleen Allen’s Spring 2017 collection began with seismology, the study of earthquakes and seismic waves. As a Chicago-born Parsons student based in New York and currently studying abroad in London, Allen is no stranger to transition. In a representation of the transient nature of morality, the menswear designer’s collection embodies the shifting of the earth in tandem with the shift between boyhood and manhood. During important times of change, ritual can become the one constant among deviating variables and can often times be found in the continuity of garments and clothing. For Allen, the objective is to subvert these uniforms and provide men an outlet to express themselves sartorially.

Inspired by the suburban American man of the late '90s, the collection references adolescent transition through a multitude of materials. “Some of the denim and knit materials are purchased secondhand and repurposed in order to give a feeling of experience to the pieces that referenced manhood,” explains Allen, while some of the other fabrics in the collection are used in a different method than intended. Khaki, a material widely regarded as the ultimate conservative garment material, is used to create a skirt while boxers are used in the construction of a trouser. “Materiality was especially important in this collection because the materials were really nostalgic references, says Allen, “and then from there I was free to play with silhouette and proportion.”

Shot in the real-life bedroom of the model, Dan English, the look book conjures a suburban alternate reality. The photographer, Luke Abby, encapsulates a trapped and dubious sense of place by establishing an emphasis on lighting through the room’s blinds. Warm, earthy toned hues are used to reference the seismologist and the impermanence of his work. The look book also includes a few select film photos in accompaniment, adding to the nostalgic impression.

View the collection look book below.

UP NEXT

Frank Ocean Gives Rare Interview to the 'New York Times'