As a fashion journalist, the chance to try on the clothes I write about is still too rare. And it’s important. The relationship with a piece of clothing changes – in a very visceral way – every time you put it on. So when East London store Hostem invited me in to check out SS16, Heikke Salonen’s cult Blackstock collection was high on the list.
I first came across Blackstock last October, as Finnish designer and RCA graduate Salonen prepared to re-launch his eponymous label after a four year hiatus completing stints as head of design at Diesel Female and roles at Maison Margiela MM6.
Inspired by music and subcultures, Deadstock explores old preoccupations from fresh perspectives. There is, amongst some designers – including Heikke – a growing post-apocalyptic sensibility; an envisaging of a Blade Runner-esque universe in which scraps are revalued and re-used, because nothing new is available.
Silhouettes refer to times past yet are utilitarian and unisex, designed for a world in which you have to move to survive. These are clothes for children of the Anthropocene, the epoch that begins when human activities start to have a significant impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.
The first thing I notice about Salonen’s coat is its weight, restrictive yet cocooning, as if the woolen fabric – stitched over with swatches of material and photographic prints – could stop bullets. It is a little too big, which perversely feels just right – as if I have borrowed it from someone who is no longer around. And the tailoring: for all its raw finishing and dangling threads, the coat is cut by a master’s hand – and Salonen is nothing if not a master of cut.
For the 20 minutes I wear it, the coat takes me – as all good clothing can – into another world. I value each adventure.
Heikki Salonen Deadstock is exclusively available through Hostem, and through Farfetch.