Extraordinary menswear designer Harikrishnan matched cropped tailored jackets with billowing latex trousers to create literally overinflated silhouettes for his graduate collection at the London College of Fashion.
The super-wide inflatable trousers consist of up to 30 individual latex panels, which are either plain white or arranged in contrasting colour blocks of brick red and forest or mint green. Although they fit snugly at the waist, they balloon out to double the width of the wearer around the thighs, before finally tapering in again towards the ankles.
This look is achieved by pumping the trousers with air via a seven millimetre-wide inflation valve at the bottom.
“I got the idea when I was playing with my dog and I started thinking about how exaggerated objects must look from such a low angle,” explained Harikrishnan.
Latex was the perfect material as it stretches and through its shiny finish, exaggerates the trouser’s bulging silhouettes.
Arranging the individual panels into vertical and horizontal stripes further adds to this effect, while making for a playful rather than fetishistic take on latex.
“The final 3D shape of the trousers was visualised in a mini clay model and sliced into fragments. These were then graded and cut in latex, stuck together in various angles with high contouring to create these anatomically impossible forms.”
For the top half of the looks, Harikrishnan reverted back to slimline cuts, balancing the voluminousness with crisp suit jackets.
The collection was presented alongside 19 others as part of the London College of Fashion’s MA20 catwalk show, celebrating 20 years of postgraduate fashion courses at the university.