Category: London Fashion Week
Following a press launch last night, the exhibition North, exploring the depiction of Northern England in art, photography and fashion collections has just opened in, appropriately enough, Liverpool. Curated by Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, the exhibition includes iconic imagery by such celebrants of the Northern aesthetic as Raf Simons alongside profiles of Northern-born image makers such as Alasdair McLellan, Simon Foxton and Christopher Shannon, demonstrating that the impact of Northern England on our visual culture goes far beyond the familiar tropes.
With less than a week to go now until the launch of London Collections: Men, it seems very fitting to be posting about the house of E.Tautz and it’s designer, Patrick Grant. Last season I witnessed Patrick backstage, remarkably calm whilst models took their final walks (hairclips still in place) and this sense of quiet yet purposeful confidence is a great sentiment I think to be carrying forward as next week’s schedule kicks in. E.Tautz would inevitably end up on any list I drew up of the best of London menswear, and has long been championed by me here because of the unique mix of history with a thoroughly modern approach to designing clothes for men. Patrick’s singular vision … Read More »
It’s been a week of announcements and invitations: most importantly the schedule for the first ever London Fashion Week for men. Billed as London Collections: Men, and actually happening over a weekend, it’s been announced that alongside the usual sterling selection of British menswear talent (and the rest) a few international colossi have deigned to visit our rainy shores. On this, much more to come but at least one name on the schedule has me considering blood money to get within the walls of said show.
Less monolithic but no less exciting, a lot of smaller events have been announcing themselves in my Inbox this week. I don’t normally feature events for the sake of it but as at least two of these are fashion related, so bear with.
Thursday 26 April
1. David David … Read More »
Menswear Day is always a sensory overload: with catwalk shows, presentations, installations, chance meetings, not to mention encounters with streetstyle photographers and the bundles of press releases and free papers one inevitably returns home with all jostling for headspace. So, looking back over the day’s events, captured on iPhone, camera and in memory, surprises often surface, alongside clear recollections of what went by. Here are a few of my favourite moments from yesterday, captured at the quieter points in the day.
1. Backstage at the E.Tautz run through, a model in his own clothes but groomed to perfection by Toni & Guy practises his paces.
2. The latest fabrications from Sharpened Lead favourite, Marwood ties. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that these speckled fabrics have been first to catch the eyes of discerning Fashion Week attendees.
3. The Fashion East installations never fail to surprise and provide specatacle. Here a frosty-looking model at L.Ipop brings a touch of Arctic explorer to the inside of Somerset House.
4. I was very happy to see this Sibling blend of fair isle and leopard print up close after being wowed by Paris Fashion Week photos and have a chat with Cozette about another adventurous video installation from the trio.
Pathos isn’t typically an emotion one expects from a show at London Fashion Week but as orchestral strings struck the opening note at Lou Dalton’s show there was an instant sense of heartstrings being tugged too. Here was a story. Which made perfect sense after reading the press release which explains the collection’s inspiration in a simple wartime love story between a conscripted officer and a local land girl. This simple narrative context provided Dalton with an opportunity to mix military and country garments, a combination which perfectly lends itself to her ongoing exploration of traditional English country attire. I loved the idea of a wardrobe begged and borrowed to withstand hardship, assembled through the need for warmth and practicality (an idea reminding me of the E.Tautz mix of sportswear and warm layers from the ‘Cuban Olympians’ collection a few seasons ago) and creating one-off fusions of old and new in the process.
One of the pleasures of Fashion Week is the blend of studio and showroom visits and more traditional catwalk shows and presentations that I’m able to attend here in my hometown. Whilst there is undoubted excitement in a catwalk show, and I love the theatre of it all, for appreciation of fine clothing you can’t beat a showroom or better still, design studio. The Showroom Next Door is a fixture on my Fashion Week circuit, and yesterday I dropped by to see the selection for AW12. A few meaty posts are on their way, covering perennial fave Casely-Hayford for example, but for now, here are some details from the collection by Giuliano Fujiwara. In terms of high-end designer fashion, the devil is very much in the details, and this truism was really brought home to me once I started trying on Mr Fujiwara’s collection for AW12 yesterday. I’ve recently become very appreciative of fine buttons, and those seen on the coats here, are of the highest quality, suggesting the elegance of bygone eras. So, consider this a foretaste of Menswear Day tomorrow, a calming opportunity to appreciate fine manufacture at close hand. The beautiful buttons really popped against the camel and scarlet coats, and I loved the contrast between the soft-edged camel blazer, and the raw finish on the camel overcoat.
With less than two weeks to go, it’s definitely time to start thinking about London Fashion Week’s dedicated Menswear Day on 22 February. The day itself has been gathering momentum over the last couple of years, and the recent announcement of a dedicated full three days for menswear in London coming up in June, only adds to the sense of occasion and anticipation. So what to expect and or look forward to on the 22nd? Firstly, in a word: capes. Ahead of us at least in terms of timing, Milan, Paris and Florence (in the form of the Pitti trade event) showed men literally shrugging off the traditional sleeved overcoat to leave arms free for whatever they were intended for (which in Italy inevitably involves a lot of gesticulating). Whether in the form of an actual sleeveless cape (Dolce & Gabbana) or as a regular coat draped across the shoulders (Lanvin) the continental men’s catwalks were full of them, as were the streets surrounding the Pitti event, as the celebrated peacock attendees, strode around with overcoats across shoulders, in the manner of cavaliers rushing off to a duel or liaison. Knitwear as outerwear, often worn over suiting or denim jackets, was another big look on the streets of Florence. I can’t wait to see whether London picks up these particular trends and what the London spin, is, if any. One teasing hint comes from Patrick Grant, whose E.Tautz presentation is always a haute highlight of the day, who lists ‘military cloaks’ amongst the inspirations for his AW2012 collection.
“I don’t NEED to know what the suits are made of”, commented one female (presumed) journalist on the stairs above The Lincoln Room, deep within The Savoy Hotel, “Well I do, replied her colleague, “I have to write about this stuff!”. Given you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that as men we really do care about what we wear, and whilst certain quarters of the fashion press still think of men’s fashion needs in the third person, with men to be passively shopped for and “kept on trend”, luckily the greater part of the audience for the E.Tautz presentation on Wednesday looked to be much more likeminded, sharing an expectation that we were about to see beautiful menswear and to be educated about it by Patrick Grant.
Menswear Day at London Fashion Week is always a visual feast, as much for the unparalleled opportunity to see dressed up men of all kinds parading Somerset House and it’s environs, as for anything presented more formally by the designers. Some features will follow on collections I’m particularly excited by for SS12, but here are just a few highlights from yesterday.
Spring is here, usually a cue for the fashion media to turn out every seasonal cliche in the book. I’ve lost patience with such writing. No more hackneyed, Enid Blyton-esque descriptions of whatever that season has to offer, be it mellow autumnal fruitfulness, crisp winter mornings or spring springing. Let’s face it, in the UK at least, seasons aren’t really so dissimilar. Whilst snow in August is unlikely, there’s a general blurring between the four, with a tendency to chill and drear. On that note, some spring trends!
Rolled fisherman hats
Rolled fishermen-esque hats were seen everywhere at the AW 11 shows, sometimes surprisingly so. At E.Tautz, they added a rugged, outdoorsy edge to the ever-haute tailoring. Though none seen were lovelier than the cashmere cable-knit hats by Chauncey at The Showroom Next Door. Despite their prominence in the AW lines, as … Read More »