Shouts out to Leo of Gubbos.com for putting me onto a new label straight out of London that has been steadily gaining attention over the past six months. Focused on a belief that ‘People need to be able to relate to good product’, The Plateu is a soft-spoken menswear brand that keeps its cards to the chest.
What to say of a brand with tight lips? The Plateu’s sparse, deconstructed website bears little information without an enthusiastic rummage. A quick dig on their Instagram profile reveals yet more mysterious photography and a few shots of a dude who I’m almost certain works in DSM, but who the people are behind the brand remains anyone’s guess. The official website currently showcases their Fall/Winter ‘Late’ collection from the season just gone, but the output is undoubtedly worth a mention until something new comes along.
True to their mantra, The Plateu’s lookbook showcases an aesthetic just as much as a collection of clothing. Film photography in colour and black-and-white, interwoven with a mixture of older, historic shots, paints a scene on which the clothes can then hang, allowing otherwise enigmatic photography to really interact with each of the pieces on show.
Prominently featured within the shoot are what look to be two waxed cotton pieces – a chore jacket with a large corduroy collar, and a lightweight hooded-parka. Utilising a popular fabric with a distinctly British heritage (owing to the likes of Barbour et al), the pieces are undoubtedly ambitious for a debut collection, but restrained design and functional features keep everything reined in. A mixture of cuts, such as the chore jacket’s horizontal-split back versus the parka’s more military-esque centre-seam, allows the brand to experiment with different fits, as well as providing a healthy jump point from which they can develop more uniquely modified pieces in the future.
Keeping things strictly constructed, the shoot also displays several iterations of the ‘Lagos Plateu’ button-up shirt. In brick red polka-dot, the otherwise typical piece is characterized by a musing on ‘trying to capture a huge ocean of imagination’ during late nights working. Other fabrics such as a South-West American-style fabric and intricate striped patterns take the Lagos Plateu shirt off the beaten track so-to-speak, but the styling within the shoot maintains a classic, understated British look.
Overall, The Plateu’s lookbook gives off an air of refined practicality. It’s ambitious for a brand to dive straight into the deep end from the start, producing constructed pieces and really crafting a product. That being said, by digging into the late twentieth century for reference points, The Plateu’s pieces develop upon classic British menswear styles, completing the story with nostalgic, timeless settings like old off licences and tube station platforms. Certain shots make me think of Renton from Trainspotting, or even Ian Curtis – weathered clothing on a weary body. If The Plateu takes the time to explore this even further as they progress through each season, there’s no reason this couldn’t be one of the most exciting brands of 2013.
The Plateu is not currently available for purchase anywhere. Following a promising introduction over the Winter, the brand has big plans for this year, so expect to see their product appearing in select UK stockists over the coming months. For the time being you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Enjoy the shots and dig deep for details.