BURNED NOT FRIED – AJL BBQ 12.03.16
The 13th of March 2016 hell made a short yet brutal visit to the Asger Juel Larsen studio in Copenhagen. The studio burned to the ground – a library of work including patterns, hard drives and past collections lost forever. Grievance naturally ensued, but hell somehow breathed fire into Asger’s creative outlook. Feeling everything from despair to self-construction, this collection mourns yet also liberates itself as a new chapter with nothing to lose, everything to gain, and no direct past behind it. Elements of the collection quite literally ‘play’ with the flames – most notably the ‘leftovers’.
This isn’t a throwaway logo and statement, but the salvation of material that could still be used and patched together. The result is gritty and raw, from the billboard badges on classic tartan shirts, to the cigarette ash fraying seen at the hem of the denim. There’s burned ambition in these purposefully ‘unworked’ detailing. Asger has previously touched on western traditions and punk sub-cultures, and for SS17 he’s given it a thriftier aesthetic. Faded grey jeans have a rough guillotine-like cut above the ankle and short sleeve shirt appear more oversize if anything. DIY is the kitten motto in this collection, where men are encouraged to not be so conscious about the science in their look.
Whether its a prison pink shirt or double rodeo denim, nothing is completely accurate on the body – but its this silent disorder that marks new territory for menswear and Asger’s direction. Rugby-punk socks are pulled up and then offset against black tassel brogues, and vintage athleisure is taken on a safari through magnetic looking zebra print. Asger’s personality never diminished in the light of the flames though, and his trademarked chaos and riotous relationship with fashion is still seen throughout.
Washed crashed trousers and shorts are unexpected, likewise to the survival foil versions – and not to mention the tailoring that has been relaxed to an inspired new level. Trench coats luxuriously weight near to the floor, and clinical motorcycle jackets are met with oversized trousers. Perhaps one of Asger’s most personal and important collections to date, it reflects his darkness, chaos and eventual awakening from the last 6 months. A quote he came across which channeled his work read ‘Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it’. The AJL Company has found its sublime comedown, and presented a collection that is open to interpretation – because it doesn’t have a past behind it.