Simon MO’s AW20 collection “Peek a Zoo” is inspired by a dream, where Simon found himself to be a wild animal whisperer – able to talk to animals and experience their adventures alongside them. This dream triggered Simon’s curiosity in the connection between animals and humankind, which led him to take a deeper look into the role animals have played throughout history.
Simon spent time studying vintage veterinary practice and the relationship between circus animals and their trainers. Animals have always had a strong role in our history, ranging from a source of sustenance to symbols within religion and mythology to life partners, as precious companions for many people.
Climate change, illegal breeding and hunting have all increased the number of endangered species and continue to have devastating effects on our wildlife. Taking examples from popular culture such as Disney’s Mickey Mouse, The Jungle Book and The Legend of Tarzan have entertained, endeared us and educated us that animals are part of this earth and that they should be treated with respect and forever be protected.
Simon chose to present his collection through the eyes of childhood innocence, so that it could be playful whilst also reflecting a sense of pureness through a child’s untarnished love for animals. The prints and shapes are heavily inspired by the costumes of vintage circus trainers and their wild animals. Giraffe print burnout, knitwear inspired by chinchillas all made from faux animal skins, sihouettes borrowed from unisex veterinarian uniforms and colourful outerwear are all highlights.
Donations collected at Simon MO’s AW20 presentation will go to Freedom for Animals. The charity began as the Captive Animals’ Protection Society in 1957 and is one of the UK’s longest-running charities working to protect animals. Through a combination of undercover investigations, research, campaigns, grassroots activism, political lobbying and education, their work for animals focuses predominantly on issues affecting those individuals held captive in circuses, zoos and aquariums, as well as those used in the television and film industry, live animal displays and the exotic pet trade.