Tue 12th January

Step Inside the Virtual Household of Martine Rose with ‘What We Do All Day’

Text   Dino Bonacic

Travelling might be on hold for now, but London’s queen of menswear Martine Rose is here to take us on an intimate tour of the world with her SS21 collection in a starring role.

Just as the fear of yet another Zoom call (or even worse – quiz!) starts to kick in, Martine Rose enters the chat. In collaboration with British experience design studio International Magic, the fashion designer has created a virtual platform that offers anyone a private insight into her spring/summer 2021 collection. Having previously hosted some truly iconic shows at unexpected, yet oh-so-fitting locations around the UK capital, we already know Martine for turning any location into a window offering a look at her fashion universe and beyond. Now, she has extended into the digital realm, too. 

Titled What We Do All Day, this digital experience is presented in the form of a realistic apartment block with 24 flats, each set at a different location around the world and showing the story of a real household. These households are shown as video vignettes which you can navigate yourself – starting with Martine’s own hometown London going into Nairobi and Tokyo, then back to Toronto and Los Angeles. Through short video clips self-shot and directed by the global cast of real people, you can see Viktor in Los Angeles sharing his obsession with Netflix’s The Crown or Mark in Wallhausen embracing the sensual duality of mixing lacy lingerie and skin-tight men’s shirting. You can also find one handsome chap known by the name Drake in his own studio, entranced into the process of making music while showing off his Martine Rose ‘football’ jersey. Coming at you from Kenya is the infectious laugh of the Instagram sensation and comedian Elsa Majimbo who looks on point in a pair of bright floral trousers.

Drake in Martine Rose SS21 for What We Do All Day

While this virtual, one-off show might be the most democratic and arguably more sustainable solution, it is not here to fully replace the sense of physical community Martine nurtures through her work. Its role is to utilise the digital opportunity and offer relief through a sense of togetherness in a time when we feel most distant. Virtual or not, this idea of storytelling is about making you feel something – and that’s coming from a self-professed techno-sceptic Martine Rose.

Over the past year, we have been reminded of how intimate our personal spaces are and how it feels to constantly have to share them with the world – even if it’s just in the background of our video call. Through What We Do All Day, Rose and the team behind International Magic celebrate that intimacy by giving people a chance to show off their personality and giving them free reign in capturing the videos. The only parameter: they have to shoot it on an iPhone. From dancing and DIY haircuts to remote workouts and even mooching about without much purpose – the videos prove how similar our home-bound experiences are despite the different locations.

Martine Rose SS21; What We Do All Day

While the stylistic inspiration for this show derives from the kinky voyeuristic tendencies explored in the designs for the collection, the final outcome is something much more earnest. It’s the feeling of belonging that’s been missing for so long – from remote fashion shows attempting to replicate the physical experience to the fact that we are actually prohibited from seeing anyone outside our respective households. With this latest experiment, Martine Rose proved that there is indeed a way to stay together despite being alone. Some might say they’re just clothes, but it’s clear that the power of her designs reach far beyond their physical purpose. 

Styling & Art Direction by Tamara Rothstein. Casting & Model Management by Isabel Bush for Joni Casting.

Experience ‘What We Do All Day’ with the last live presentation tonight, January 12th at 8pm UK time via allday.martine-rose.com.