Ada + Nik: AW 14/15 'THE DARK WOLF'

January 07, 2014
Perplexed by the flurry of slender, black-clad, ambiugously-gendered figures in hats, cape-like coats, leather jackets, and wedged brothel creepers (not necessarily worn in that order) flapping around New Oxford Street like stylish ravens? Don't be. London Collections: Men started yesterday, which would account for the surge of 'fashion people' milling from Somerset House to Tottenham Court Road.

Yesterday I covered Ada + Nik's AW 14/15 'THE DARK WOLF'; from backstage photos, to rehearsals, the show itself, and the after show party for my friend Jay's website The Arcadia.

"Rebellious British dark matter menswear brand Ada + Nik, by Ada Zanditon and Nik Thakkar, unveils its Autumn Winter 14/15 collection 'The Dark Wolf' at London Collections: Men. 
Having entered the world to critical acclaim at London Collections: Men in June 2013, Ada + Nik has been described as "The most refreshing new menswear line to emerge in recent years". Co-created by two established industry influencers with a combined 15 years of experience, 'The Dark Wolf' explores a progressive noir aesthetic with a bauhaus masculine silhouette. 
The Dark Wolf collection from Ada+Nik comprises thirty styles featuring their signature leather biker jackets, versatile outerwear and intriguingly bold geometrically cut separates. 
The unveiling is synchronised with the premiere of The Dark Wolf film for AW14/15 by Oz Thakkar and Ada + Nik, starring emerging rapper Smith LDN, model du jour Diego Barrueco, and illustrator and model Nikita Andrianova."
What I love about fashion week is that I get to catch up with acquaintances, make new ones, and see friends I'm usually too busy or flaky to otherwise link with. And of course to support the creative endeavours of others, we are all in the same boat together, if not trying to change the world at least adding a bit more beauty and excitement to it. I wonder how many people would show up if I had an exhibition? No...don't think about it, or I will be forced to confront my unpopularity. Haha. 

Oh, and there are half-naked male models wandering around. As any modelizer would tell you, "It's like an all you can eat buffet!" I just realized that if I was a man and I said that about female models I would come across as really creepy, sexist, and demeaning. Sometimes double standards can be a good thing.


Backstage photos.

The Ada + Nik model guidelines is indeed inspiring and sure to add a little swagger in one's step. Although certain models did not need any help in that department.

Of course there were tons of film crew and far better photographers than I to capture the whole thing for posterity (like Gabriel who despite his heavenly name brought out the devil in Jay whenever he tried to take a picture of her) but that certainly didn't stop me from trying.

Armed with my tiny compact Leica, I am glad I sat front row and not with the rest of the press. Among their enormous lenses and giant bodies (camera, you perverts) I felt inadequate, like the skinny boy in the high-school showers. I dressed almost all in black because it's fashion and because I overate in December. A pop of my lucky colour green to neutralise black's unlucky effect on me.

The show was held in ME London. With the hotel's fragrant air, quiet calm of the highly efficient team, and general serenity of the hotel the whole ambience was relatively tranquil compared to the usual hellfire of fashion week. 

Nik Thakkar being beautified.

I asked the hair and makeup team for a photo because I feel like sometimes they are unsung heroes, the furiously paddling feet of the swan beneath the grace above the water.

As fashion shows do, there was a lot of waiting around, but none of that is arduous when you're in such good (looking) company.

Me in my element. 

I took a break from doing not much apart from taking photos, being nice to the models, and asking for e-cigarettes by going upstairs to the bar for a tipple.

My version of the fashion diet is: champagne, photogenic pastries ie. macarons, gossip, and YSL.

I returned backstage and stood among the models drinking champagne and smoking e-cigarettes (kindly sponsored by Njoy), Jake enthused "You're living the dream!" I won't dispute that, but it is work nonetheless.


Because when you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

The boys in a display of bromantic solidarity. 

And then guests started trickling in, filling the front row...!

Friends in the front row.

Nikita Andrianova (who plays a character in the short film as a seductress in various sexy white pyjamas), Daniel Lismore, James Quaintance (The REAL Jimmy Q, he'll have you know!), and Joshua Kane.

I think they'd make the cutest couple ever, to which Jimmy sardonically said "We eloped last week, didn't you know?"

With the fabulous Munroe Bergdorf who you need to follow on Instagram NOW.

The press and media with real equipment. They gave me an inferiority complex. *hides tiny camera*

The Show.

The show opened the short film 'The Dark Wolf' by Oz Thakkar and Ada + Nik, starring emerging rapper Smith LDN, model du jour Diego Barrueco, and illustrator and model Nikita Andrianova.

Oh hey Nikita!

And then the models slope out gracefully, like black panthers clad in leather, mesh, and the sort of 'structured and geometric yet deconstructed and draped' silhouette that I've come to associate with only the most fashion forward men. The sort who are rebellious, yet instead of going the overly obvious masculine route of buying a Harley Davidson, daringly wear shapes that are not typically macho or aggressive. It takes a lot of confidence to wear skinny leather leggings with biker jackets or caped trousers with mesh tops.

My favourite looks:

Not every man would dare try it but the ones who do, I envy their girlfriends. Nana's boyfriend dresses in this style and she gets to wear his clothes, and she pulls it off well. Androgyny? I prefer the term 'gender flexible'.


The hero outfit.

Well done, Ada and Nik! Take a bow.

Le Afterparty.

Who else would match his eyes to his nails but Daniel Lismore?

I love fashion parties. Throngs of well-dressed men in sharply tailored suits in every fabric imaginable, bow ties and ties alike. 

And of course there are more eccentric characters who never fail to add colour to the landscape.

Yashka Moore and Thor Schuitemaker are the creators of YashkaThor, fabulous hats I'd wear to make London rain feel more like epic journey in the Tundra.  That reminds me, I need to watch Frozen! 

Natalia Kills, killing it. 

Mary-Elizabeth Ballantyne and India Rose James.

I want India's clutch! 

India's shoes are an exotic creature and have a life of their own. 

Krishan Parmar, whenever I think of him I think of hilarious Vine videos. "You're so sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy."

Darren Kennedy.

Nikita Andrianova, Jake Hold, and Achra Famiri.

And, um, me.

Will Pelham, India Rose James, and Dan Brown.

Dan Alexis.

Great work, Ada, Nik!

Thanks for having me.



  1. Thank you so much for the great photos and beautiful words! - Ada + Nik

    1. Whoa you're up late/early! Hello!
      It was my pleasure, what a great show! Thank you for having me, I had so much fun x