Category: Catwalk review


Paris menswear reviews: Kenzo AW14

Posted on 19th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review. 2 Comments

Workwear’s influence on high fashion is one of those trends that required a few spins on the fashion turntable before its real impact has taken hold. For one, it needed to shrug off the associations of the overly-earnest workwear enthusiast, or more recent re-treads of such classic looks being rehashed as “heritage”. Extending London’s menswear runways’ current love affair with the boys from the blackstuff, at Kenzo in Paris yesterday the workwear/industrial aesthetic was blown up to new proportions with a three-dimensional sense of fun typical of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s vision. Balanced by a solid palette of greys, black and brown, accented with acid lime (shouting as loudly as hazard tape) and orchid purples, familiar shapes such as tough steelworker bombers, factory-floor shirt-jackets and straight legged pants were given an avant-garde twist. Of particular note were the tailored … Read More »


Eyes down at the Men’s collections, AW14: focus on footwear

Posted on 17th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, London Collections: Men, Shoes. No Comments

As a confirmed shoe obsessive my camera lens is often to be found pointing at floor level when attending fashion shows and presentations, even when footwear isn’t the intended focus. At the recent London shows there were two strong themes evident, which have continued on into the Milan and Paris collections.

Firstly there was a definite element of fashion following the austerity agenda with simple, utilitarian shoes on display, apparently reflecting the uniforms of working men (quite literally on the wet pavements at Topman Design). And secondly, we saw the continuing influence of trainers and sportswear details in high-fashion footwear.

However, this being fashion, looks can be deceiving, so apparently straightforward shapes like simple workaday oxfords turned out to have a subtle, metallic sheen (as at Common) or were high-gloss with elements of bright colour at the sole … Read More »


NYFW, AW13 Duckie Brown: turning ‘outerwear’ inside out

Posted on 14th February, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, menswear. No Comments

A week ago today Duckie Brown presented their AW13 collection in New York. Whilst posters around the city suggested a potential print-fest, perhaps a wintry take on the ‘bruised roses‘ of SS12, what emerged was a brilliantly executed reversal of expectation with a a play on the whole concept of ‘outerwear’ and layering.

Whilst Daniel had hinted that the collection would be “tough again – poofy lad”, Steven‘s summing up: “changing layering around and using heavy wool for linings and light fabric for the outer shell…no shirts but underneath coats instead of shirts … Read More »


Martine Rose, AW13: look back in detail

Posted on 1st February, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review, London Collections: Men, menswear. No Comments

In fashion terms, London Collections Men AW13 is already history. Perception of what we saw here in early January has shifted and re-positioned itself around the wider context of menswear globally, now that Milan, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen and (imminently) New York have had their say. But the real work for designers has only just started in terms of sales and production, and there’s still the big question (for those not involved in stocking a boutique or planning editorial shoots for later in the year at least) of what to wear NOW, with a seasonal climate shift approaching.

It’s also a great time to pick over images from the shows for missed or forgotten moments. By now, the photos themselves have significance as a record of an ‘event’. As well as the clothes themselves: who was there? were they looking bored/scared/intrigued? The … Read More »


Meadham Kirchhoff men’s AW13: bin bags and Byronic dandies

Posted on 20th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review, London Collections: Men. 1 Comment

“It’s finished,” said the bouncer on the door at Meadham Kirchhoff’s AW13 menswear presentation, “You missed it by 30 seconds.” “Can I go and look at the debris?”, I replied, having noticed the stacks of bin bags making up the set, hinting at something quite apocalyptic inside. Flashing an obviously rare smile, he stepped back to let me in.

I was fortunate: the models were still standing in place to facilitate a last-minute photo shoot, the designers themselves passing me on their way out. Meadham Kirchhoff’s presentation last season was my favourite experience at the first London Collections: Men, hence my keenness not to miss the follow up. That mad squat filled with the scent of over-blown blooms, boys with pink hair and visibly alarmed fashion editors keeping … Read More »


Agi and Sam AW13: like classic portraiture come to life in Disney colours

Posted on 17th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review, London Collections: Men. 2 Comments

So much has already been said about Agi & Sam‘s collection shown as part of MAN AW13, or more accurately, has been shared. Images of designers Patrick Grant and William R. Green rouged-up and walking in the show, the basset hounds! the Marquess of Bath-alike! all proved infinitely shareable as a delighted crowd were caught up in the infectious buzz and sense of fun and got busy with social media.

But in reviewing the images again now, what strikes me is what an elegant and grown up collection it is. “We tried so hard to mature the collection without losing the fun” said they duo as I offered my congratulations after the show. And that effort really comes across. As a development from last season their use of colour and print is much more precise, the overall … Read More »


E.Tautz, AW13: revisioning the fabric of Scotland

Posted on 16th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review, London Collections: Men. No Comments

Patrick Grant’s little talks at the start of each E.Tautz collection are one of the givens of the menswear season in London, bringing a touch of intimacy and old-school charm to the experience of attending a fashion show. Whilst the echoing blank canvas of The Sorting Office space made such a verbal introduction impossible this time, the austerity of the space meant that the AW13 collection was left to create its own sense of drama and occasion. The pacing was unique in the Collections, no straight-out-of-Hackney-Wick striding here, instead there was time for the models (and us) to breathe between looks. A stirring soundtrack – Ultravox’s Vienna was particularly poignant – added to the sense of spaciousness.


Lou Dalton, AW13: raw terrain and Local Heroes

Posted on 13th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review, menswear. 3 Comments

Almost a week ago, Lou Dalton opened London Collections Men: AW13, presenting her collection to an attentive crowd primed for a week of looking at fashion for men. Whilst being the opening act will never be an easy gig, Lou is a perfect choice for this particular role. From the very first look, there was an air of calm accomplishment about her work and under her steady hand, London Collections: Men AW13 was starting out pitch perfect.

It feels right to be reviewing this collection now. By the end of the week of looking at beautiful garments on striking looking men, there is a sense of blur. As much as you want to see more, there is an element of visual fatigue, so going back to the start now feels right.

The City-boy formality of the opening looks … Read More »


Round up: London Collections Men, AW13

Posted on 11th January, by Colin Chapman in Catwalk review, Collection review, London Collections: Men. 1 Comment

The second London Collections: Men finished on Wednesday, with a Peter Werth x Nutter’s show where the models broke out into Northern Soul dance moves. It seemed a fitting ending to three days of fashion shows, installations, presentations and events that not only seemed more confident, cumulatively, but also possessed a collective sense of fun. Whether it was a ruddy-cheeked Patrick Grant walking the Agi&Sam runway with accompanying basset hound, Sibling’s ‘knit monsters’ in giant mittens, boys in flying saucers at Fashion East or the thigh-flashing peplum-shorts for men at JW Anderson, London’s fashion statement to the world seemed to be: don’t take everything so seriously. But alongside the British sense of humour, there was the equally typical love of provocation running through many shows, either as direct statements at Matthew Miller and YMC, or in the more general sense of … Read More »

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