Todd Lynn is a designer whose career comes laden with references to the darker side of rock. He’s dressed Marilyn Manson, sent models down his catwalk bearing septum piercings (for AW13), and has described his ideal client as “fearless with a heart of rock’n’roll.”
But as of next month you’ll be able to buy watered down designs of his on the high street, as he becomes the latest Designer at Debenhams.
Perhaps this is why for Spring Summer 14, he renounced the BFC catwalk space at Somerset House – where he has shown for a number of seasons – favouring instead a private members club on Drury Lane.
“SS14 the gig is soon!” the designer tweeted last Friday, in reference to the show that would follow some hours later, accompanied by a live band. Invites were lanyards akin to backstage passes, while pre-show drinks counteracted the trend for petite champagne flutes in favour instead of proper drinks in proper glasses.
As Clash approached the club with two hours ‘til show time, Lynn stood outside puffing away on a cigarette, measuring tape around his neck. Our attention however, focused on the band rehearsing downstairs; we were there to interview Wolf Alice after all.
“I went to (a fashion show) once, it was at my sixth form,” says blond haired bassist Theodore. “I did one in primary school,” lets on Joff, before conversation bubbles with stories of charity shops coming into schools to put on shows are exchanged by all.
The heat of the basement has been swapped for the rain above ground, and Clash and company are taking the only shelter possible, backs pressed firmly against the window of the ballet shop next door.
“I’ve been to a show party, was pretty glamorous,” Joel chimes. “On every single fashion show party list, I swear to you there’s the name Alex Gold. For like three years, every party I go to there’s an Alex Gold. If anyone wants to go to a party, just say Alex Gold.”
Pre-show feelings are those of both nerves and excitement, as Joel decides, “I hope no labels come down.” “George, M&S,” Theo jokes, before adding that he’s scared of fucking up. “Timing!” says Joel. “Tripping over a model,” Theo retaliates.
The performance came about when “the guy who makes the clothes asked us to play.” They subsequently said yes, Googled him, discovered he’d created pieces for Manson’s ‘The Beautiful People’ video, and were accordingly impressed.
Asked for their highlights of 2013, festivals come up top, with Beacons, Latitude and End of the Road all names dropped in. “And we’re going on tour tomorrow,” adds Ellie, the band’s vocalist and founding member. “With Swim Deep, then we’re going on our own little mini tour.”
“We’ve got a new EP coming out, that’s out on October 7th or 8th,” says Joff.
“Dingwalls will be our next big London show,” adds Joel. “And then we’re going to break up around December, have a nice Christmas and come back as a duo/DJ act or something.”
With old peoples homes and playing alongside a Diablo player on their gig repertoire, performing surrounded by models barely makes the cut for weird situations. “No, this is practically normal,” Joel suggests.
And when it happens, some time just after seven, it does feel normal. The clothes – leather dresses, sleeveless shirts and silk trousers – are strong reminders of the Todd Lynn lady, while the soundtrack echoes and enhances each piece. It’s not normal in the everyday, but normal as a means of fitting.
Words: Zoe Whitfield
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