‘HARDWEAR’ is centered around the exploration of identity. Our clothing, despite the intention, serves as the primary hardware of our identities. The pieces in this collection challenge modernity in its standard justifications for garments. It is about disregarding formalities in pursuit of constructing a new world in whatever space you occupy.
Marshall James is a self-taught independent fashion designer from Columbia, Maryland. After he started making clothes in 2017, he began to commission one of one upcycled garments to his close friends and colleagues. In 2019, he moved to New York to begin his journey into high fashion. After spending the last two seasons assisting at MENYELEK, he decided to hold his first show entitled ‘HARDWEAR’. The presentation showcased 23 looks, including 3 artisanal pieces. The garments are a mixture of upcycled pieces and conceptualized handsewn pieces. The show was scored by PUSHPIN, one of the great hardcore and Drum and bass DJs running the scene.
Marshall James approaches his ‘Hard’ motif through his use of juxtaposition as captured by his editorial shot by Yulissa Benitez and Wendy Timana. The photos in this series depict the models as vulnerable or (soft), while the garments tell a different story. The hardened textures of East Williamsburg, accompanied by the monolithic remanence of industrialization, set the backdrop for the editorial. Models in broad suiting, disrupted by wrinkled skirts and jackets, decorate the industrious landscape over 15 photos.
“I would like to be thoughtful. For this collection, I’m looking to designers involved in the anti-fashion movement in the late ’80s. Designers like Rei Kawakubo, Yoshi Yamamoto, and Martin Margiela redefined style in a way that they could have never predicted. The use of recycled materials, new shapes, and silhouettes offer new styling options and opportunities to explore and project one’s identity just by wearing a certain piece,” said MJM about his recent collection.
Marshall James was founded in 2020 and is independently funded.