LONDON--Last night in London's Soho district, avant-garde concept store Machine-A hosted the launch of an exclusive knitwear collection from NewGen designer Craig Lawrence. Using black for the first time, he created metallic laddered biker shorts, crop-tops and fingerless gloves with the aim to design something quintessentially London.
Located in an old tailor's shop in what remains of London's minuscule fabric/garment district, Machine-A has raised more than a few eyebrows with its stable of edgy designers and their shop window exhibitions, the first of which involved a "life-size knitted masturbating man spurting over a pile of knitting magazines."
Founder and creative director Stavros Karelis has gone beyond simply creating a platform for emerging designers by purchasing outright the majority of his stock and even funding the production of a handful of cash-strapped talents. Future plans include a 10 person workstation providing designers the tools and expertise required to produce their collections.
The party, spilling out onto Berwick St. included towering trannies in Craig Lawrence dresses dancing in the balloon-filled vitrines and was attended by The Guardian's Sarah Mower, wigged-and-bearded expat Andre J (fresh off a shoot with uber stylist Nicola Formichetti for Arena Homme for which he wore a gold Balmain gown) along with bloggers Susie Bubble and Yu Masui.
The shop receives over 50 requests a week from stylists and editors near and far for designs by raw London talent like Gemma Slack, Erman, Thomas Love, Charlie LeMindu, Piers Atkinson and recent hot ticket menswear label Voidofcourse. On next month's bill is new recruit Vava Dudu, a Parisian artist-designer who has worked with SHOWstudio and whose will be performing live in the vitrines.
Machine-A 60 Berwick Street London W1F 8SU 020-7998-3385 **Event photos by Sabrina Morrison.