The AW21 collection ‘Twist’ is presented as a short film, directed by Fx Goby, an Emmy nominated film director. Subverting the expectations of masculinity, ‘Twist’ magnifies taboos of the sexuality of young men growing up in inner-city London – a story very personal to Nash. The film takes us into a dim warehouse dramatically lit in red and blue. We see two young men in the middle of a heated argument shoving each other and screaming. In slow-motion, peers rush to their sides, mirroring angry expressions.
The music is soft but tense, not allowing us to hear their voices, leaving us focused on intense facial expressions and expressive body language. Suddenly the argument softens, and two young men come closer and closer together until, finally, their lips touch. Like someone flipped a switch, the argument around them dies down while the room lights up revealing vibrant colours of the collection. The mood lightens and music transforms into light jazz. Everyone gathers around the pair embracing, supporting, and accepting each other.
“I wanted to look at preconceived assumptions about men of my generation, how we are perceived, and who we really are.” Saul Nash says about the new collection. Twist tells a universal story of acceptance, a story deeply personal to Nash. Twist is about movement in an everyday context, telling a story about the men who shape the way I dress,” continues Nash.
Nash, a dancer and choreographer turned designer, loves to evoke emotion not only with his clothes but also with movement. With the new collection he is reclaiming the idea of streetwear combined with highly functioning pieces of sportswear. As Nash told Hypebeast, he does not like creating pieces if they are not going to benefit their wearer. When he designs, he imagines himself and his brother growing up, first thinking about performance and functionality. Moving away from his lightweight fabrics, he introduced softshell and organic fleece creating heavier more compact pieces.
Fleece-backed top, designed for free movement of the body is sharply defined yet comfortable. Zippers play an important role allowing for movement and airier feeling when opened. Lightweight anoraks are made from Softshell, a water-resistant and stretchy fabric.
For the second season, Nash has partnered with Nike to create customized sneakers. He introduced a newly reworked version of Nike Air Max 95 and Huaraches – sneakers from his youth – which he hand-dyed, painted, and customized them with piping.
The most visible piece of the collection was a Softshell anorak with embroidery of two patches of Nash leaning in for a kiss with himself – an expression of self-acceptance. In this case, the meaning of the collection and the design hold the same importance. The film might only be 2 minutes and 22 seconds, but its message will stay with us for a long time. Before we feel accepted by others, we first have to accept ourselves.
Words by Ana Abram
Originally published on Original Magazine