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. This collection highlights Simon’s curiosity in the connection between animals and humankind throughout our history, and he 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, but climate change, illegal breeding and hunting have all increased the number of endangered species and continue to have devastating effects on our wildlife.
The prints and shapes in the collection 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 went 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.