Newcomer Jawara Alleyne was raised in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, and graduated Central Saint Martins M.A. in the class of 2020. For fall, he’s crafted an entire mythologically inspired narrative into a collection that argues for a new vision of masculinity, made from repurposed materials. “The story is of a captain gathering her crew to save Sun City on the ship Renegade,” he said. “It’s a film in my head. I look a lot at my culture, growing up in the Caribbean. There are a lot of references, looking at Rastafarianism and the music I was listening to growing up—underground dancehall, trip-hop, punk—and how reggae started out of a fight for what’s right,” he explained. That took him on a journey to describe multiple characters woven from deep histories, looking at Indigenous tribes in the Amazon and Panama, as well as the Ashanti, and weaving together strands of identity and spirituality, arcing through time and cultures.
In Alleyne’s script, the ship and crew are on a mission to battle evil and arrive at a new consciousness of what masculinity means. “I was putting myself in the frame of mind that each of the crew is making their own clothes, because there’s a lot of craft where I come from,” he said. “It’s about examining the way we work with fabric and figuring out how to tell a new story out of the past. Looking at history, recontextualizing it, and putting new narratives on it.”
Each look tells its own story. Look 67 is what happened when Alleyne brought memories of his father to tailoring. “He’s a Rastafarian, and they used to wear these beautiful draped robes. Draping is not really done in menswear—so how to make a new language for that?” The result is a sleeveless velvet jacket with green jacquard drape: a modern vision of nobility. A pair of DMX’s Ruff Ryders trousers are collapsed and converted into a new shape and meaning. “This brand was very masculine and aggressive; he majored in the hip-hop scene, round the time of Sean Jean and P. Diddy.”
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