London Fashion Week Men's is currently on and, after taking a look at some of the collections on the runway, one thing has become really clear - there are a few brands out there that should stop making clothes and focus on accessories. One of them is definitely Cottweiler.
Returning to London after their presentation last season in January during the Pitti Uomo trade fair in Florence, Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty moved from desert communities as inspiration for their S/S 18 collection.
The design duo actually spent time in Desert Hot Springs to research this new collection that was showcased by models walking around caravans. The main colour palette - a combination of sand, sage and dirty white - and some of the motifs in the collection were definitely borrowed from the vegetation and the animals they encountered during their holiday.
The collection featured functional garments such as light cloaks, ponchos, nylon shorts and simple T-shirts, leggings and crop tops in a technical knit-like fabric, and tracksuits and vests decorated with geckos or integrating panels of cork-based fabric - Corkshell, by Swiss company Schoeller. The panels were actually a way to reference another inspiration for this collection - the interiors of Recreational Vehicles and motorhomes.
For what regards the accessories, two models carried a jerrican, while others seemed to favour smaller and lighter options, such as utility belts with a series of functional pockets.
The real focus was on the sneakers that were a new collaboration with Reebok: the shoes referenced protective footwear and integrated rubber, micro suede, molded foam and sport spacer mesh.
One style - a zip up boot - was a reworked versions of the shoes seen at January's Pitti Uomo and was made using stretchy fabrics; another style was a sort of minimalist sandal-cum-sneaker combination.
Margiela recently launched an embarrassing pair of overpriced "barely there" sneakers kept together by a series of staples, but in this case Cottrell and Dainty played around with the deconstructed silhouette and with safety wear (another inspiration of the duo) in a more convincing way.
The design duo pulled the shoe apart, but kept the rubber soles and then proceeded to anchor them to the foot with multiple buckled straps that can be passed around the foot forming a sort of architectural frame (especially when the shoes are worn with socks in different colours or in varying tones of the same colour of the sole).
The versatility of the footwear and the way the duo developed the idea (even though it may have been taken further and maybe explored better to avoid the infamous Crocs shape) genuinely makes you wonder why designers keen on experimenting with technical fabrics and on developing interesting accessories feel compelled to create clothes. You may argue that Cottweiler are a young brand and they may grow up and mature leaving their futuristically modern urban neds and chavs behind, but, at the same time, why are they risking to lose money when they could invest all their energies in footwear?
After all, while consumers may just buy one pair of nylon shorts, collectors are always on the lookout for sneakers and shoes characterised by innovative designs. In a nutshell, there's no need to insist on making clothes when your strength is definitely somewhere else.