University of Westminster’s 2024 Men’s MA Show Was a Visceral Celebration

LONDONOn Tuesday night, models came shimmying and shaking down the runway to show off the University of Westminster’s 2024 MA Menswear graduate collections.

With the program’s past alumnae including Priya Ahluwalia and Robyn Lynch, it was an expression of youthful exuberance that underscored collections that explored personal narratives.

More from WWD

A look from AJ Samuel's collection.
A look from AJ Samuel’s collection.

Using elastic and pulled drawstrings, AJ Samuel wrapped and draped ’40s-inspired Burton suits, shirting and formalwear around the body, seemingly enveloping it in a tender embrace.

“I was looking at the idea of cultural assimilation, which is where one group moves to another society that they’re not part of and they change themselves to try and fit in,” the designer explained.

Referencing the Windrush generation — in 1948, Caribbean people were invited to immigrate to and rebuild post-war U.K., facing intense discrimination and racism on their arrival — garments’ cinched silhouettes and somber color story of navys, blacks and stark whites were a heartfelt reflection on the move to dark and dreary England.

Subverting classical tailoring fabrics like wools and crisp cottons, denim pieces and exposed underwear elastics referenced ‘90s hip-hop, a cornucopia that acted as a powerful comment on what clothing is considered respectable and why.

A look from Kiddeo Deng's collection.
A look from Kiddeo Deng’s collection.

Electric is perhaps the best way to describe Kiddeo Deng’s debut.

Leopard print coats with feathery fur collars were worn over sexy, skin-tight Lurex tops and pants printed with Qin dynasty-era dragons in effervescent eggplants, turquoises and magentas.

Growing up near Hong Kong in the early 2000s, organized crime was the basis for Deng’s work: “The first point for me is to respect the mafia culture I grew up with,” the designer explained, adding, “My uncle on my mom’s side is a cop, but he also worked for the mafia. He got caught and went to prison for many years, so the culture is a part of my family history.”

Rock star met cyberpunk in a delightful collision of colors and textures: shiny, super-skinny pants paired with cool overcoats with oversize collars peeking out, overlaid with eye-catching scarves.

A look from Danyel Hoza's final collection.
A look from Danyel Hoza’s final collection.

Gilded knitwear, accessories and even a flag in silver, Danyel Hoza gave sportswear a luxe new look.

Titled “Foresta d’Argento,” or silver forest, the designer described his attraction to the metallic as a good luck charm: “A friend told me silver brings more to men than gold, so ever since then I’ve been wearing it,” adding that he’s noticed a positive shift since.

Flicking through the university’s extensive menswear archive, the functional forms of Massimo Osti’s Stone Island and C.P. Company caught Hoza’s eye.

Using mainly upcycled fabrics like deadstock cotton waxed ripstop and recycled nylon as his mediums, the designer engineered wide-leg trousers and skirts as well as boxy shirts and jackets that floated around the body. The oversized silhouettes lended a delicacy to the utilitarian cuts, and against the tough techwear, silver foiled knits shone.

A look from Karim Younis' final collection
A look from Karim Younis’ final collection.

“Within Black and Asian communities, we’ve been trained since we’re kids to not show emotion no matter what we’re feeling. We are trained not to cry. We’re not allowed to voice our opinions. We have to keep quiet,” designer Karim Younis explained, adding, “This is my protest against that.”

Referencing clichés of angry, aggressive men in the U.K. (think head-to-toe tracksuits, extra-large hoodies, baggy pants), Younis upcycled sweatshirts, fleeces and windbreakers found in charity shops to subvert stereotypes.

Navy sweatshirts were deconstructed and sewn together anew, creating eye-catchingly distorted silhouettes. Paired with oversize flared pants, looks were full of movement and carried a powerful sense of freedom.

A look from Yang Cao's graduate collection.
A look from Yang Cao’s graduate collection.

Blending BDSM, boudoir and military uniforms, Yang Cao’s graduate collection was a chic ode to bawdy humor.

“In China we’re not encouraged to dress in womenswear. But here, [in the U.K.], we’re more free,” the designer said, explaining he was inspired by his Chinese identity to fuse masculine and feminine.

Often posed as diametric opposites, the two were brought together in kinky leather coats inspired by German military wear as well as a deconstructed button down shirts exposing and overlaid with undergarments.

Showing off a sly sense of humor, accessories inspired by the work of English artist Sarah Lucas included a penis-shaped handbag as well as a rouge-lipped headpiece.

Best of WWD