Without a doubt Bobby Abley’s youthful, energetic approach to design shines brighter than ever in his Autumn/Winter 2019 collection. A brief visit to Urban Dictionary explained that the collection’s name is an anagram for ‘chill the fuck out’. Whilst there were references to Abley’s relaxed wearability in all of his garments in this sporty collection, the show itself was far from chilled. the music, ranging from techno to afrobeat was largely responsible for keeping the audience on edge. ‘CTFO’ is a concoction of inspiration derived from X-tina, Scarborough (Bobby’s hometown in Yorkshire) and Pokemon.
Graphic comic book-esque flame prints towered up a hoodie and trousers co-ord look branded by a print of a flame-throwing Charmander. The infamous Mewtwo was plastered across a handful of lilac pieces. Squirtle also made an appearance; featured on a pair of matching royal blue silk pyjamas, complemented by a patchwork quilt comforter that was trailed across the runway by a model.
Bobby Abley’s knitwear nods at the nostalgic themes that surface across this collection, all of which were made at home by his mother and other family members. Despite the knitwear’s contradictory aesthetic to the Pokemon motif, its sense of intimacy and personability feel is equally empowering due to how relatable it is for both the wearer and observer; a dynamic that is usually difficult to achieve.
All in all, the collection demonstrates Bobby Abley’s ability to blend nostalgic and playful imagery with contemporary menswear design.