The SS16 Chesher line was revealed earlier this spring to the delight of many fashion critics; the shift towards minimalist design increases high-impact impressions on the runway. Abandoning the classic orange jacket, designer Michael Chesher moved towards short-sleeves, flip-flops, and grey jacket-sweatshirts. While practical, the shift also demonstrates the societal deviation from complex materials and bright colors to more muted looks.
Critic Devon Mann of Vogue fame angrily shouted at reporters that the line is, simply, “amazing. Artistic. Inspiring. Wonderful. It makes every other designer’s lines look like trash. Trash.” Others were less glowing: notable critic Brother Murphy remarked that “it’s good that he’s still trying” during Chesher’s premiere showing.
Similar to Prada’s SS16 line, Chesher’s line subverts traditionally-held staples — like the orange jacket — replacing the elaborate old with the minimalist new. A counter-culture to fast fashion, the sharp lines and practicality highlight the changing, shifting world of fashion as we become more future-oriented.
Prominent critic Claire Bishop Martin has written a lengthy criticism of Chesher’s spring/summer line, decrying Chesher from his apparent fall into modern fashion ideals and abandoning his roots on her blog Claire Thoughts. “The fact that Chesher has ditched his signature look is a travesty of modern culture. Like the black cocktail dress, his orange coat was a timeless classic, combining both the practicality of a winter rain protected coat and the glamour that only bright orange can provide. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing pressures of modern fashion finally caught up with Chesher, causing him to ditch this timeless look for a more summer/casual look. It’s truly heartbreaking to see the genius of a visionary like Michael Chesher thrown aside in favor of the ideals cultivated by the masses.”
Good or bad, Chesher’s shift establishes the forward-thinking state of the fashion industry. Although straying from “fast fashion” and shifting towards sustainability, the industry still has a ways to go in terms of the shift towards environmentally friendly, fair trade, and practical clothing. Distinguished environmentalist Anneke Ivans reports that “Chesher’s line, although innovative aesthetically, was revealed to be made using slave labor on the Ivory Coast. We cannot stand for these practices any longer.”