Spring 2018 Menswear
June 12, 2017
The Power Rangers last season was fun. For me it wasn’t as epic as some of Abley’s previous seasons, but I’m more team Little Mermaid and Aladdin than the Mighty Morphin. I think the Rangers were just a bit past my time. Maybe I’m a little long in the tooth.
And this season was all about the Teletubbies, who celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, having launched on BBC television network CBeebies in 1997. I was 15 in 1997, and the show was aimed at one- to four-year-olds, so a little past my time too.
Well, kinda. I was living in London at the time, and in London it wasn’t until 2005 that fresh magic mushrooms were made illegal. It was illegal to dry them, and illegal to cook them, or in anyway prepare them for psychedelic consumption, but you could walk into almost any headshop and buy bags of the psilocybe fungi for next to nothing, and there was no age limit either. They were legal through my late teenage years and through college too. Stay with me.
Now, Teletubbies was originally created for toddlers. There was no actual dialogue and the fuzzy, larger than life humanoids would communicate by babbling to each other like babies. Bright colors, baby babble, and a saccharine overload of abject happiness were swiftly recognized as an ideal formula for psychedelic experiences. And though the BBC would never admit it, they began to air the show at late night spots—2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m.
In fact, during my late teenage years, you could barely switch on a television set after midnight without seeing those four friendly faces—Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Lala, and Po. There was controversy surrounding Tinky-Winky too, who carried what was widely perceived to be a woman’s handbag and the anti-gay brigade was up in arms. That only served to fuel appreciation among young broad-minded men and women, and across the country groups of students gathered in their dorms, surrounding TVs high AF and tripped out to the Teletubbies.
I’m not necessarily saying I was one of those college kids, but if I had been, imagine the smile on my face when the collection appeared on the runway. The first look wasn’t giving a lot away—Abley scrawled in a familiar script on a sleeveless, mock turtleneck tee (it’s the Teletubbies title script but I didn’t twig til later) paired with an ankle length skirt with snap closures, open of course, and a bumbag (that’s fannypack in Brit speak) with primary-colored fringe to the floor.
The following two looks were a product of Abley’s collab with Chinese brand I Love Choc—overalls with floor length straps emblazoned with those words and then a belly-top cropped nylon sport shirt with long, gloved sleeves paired with a cotton candy pink tutu and Timberland boots. The model pulled it off (not literally, unfortunately).
Then, the first proper glimpse of the Teletubbie capsule—a sweatshirt with Dipsy’s head printed large across the front with matching bright green sweatpants. Some oversized green furry shorts, Bobby Abley-branded bucket hats, and Teletubbie backpacks in Abley’s signature teddybear harness. Prints of Teletubbies rolling around on the floor or playing peekaboo as Teletubbies are wont to do were also fun, and despite all this fun, Abley’s sportswear is executed at a seriously high standard.
When the final look walked, a women’s pink layered dress, we thought it was all over—until a full-sized, bright green Dipsy stormed the runway, clearly so excited to be there among old friends such as we. He did a lap, waving as he went, and disappeared backstage like some fabulous acid flashback. Phenomenal.