Menswear Day SS12, Sept 21 2011: The Highlights

Posted on 22nd September, by Colin Chapman in E.Tautz, J.W. Anderson, London Fashion Week, menswear, menswear day, trousers. No Comments

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.

A Child of The Jago drew a crowd of punk royalty to the beautifully decayed Wilton’s Music Hall yesterday afternoon. Way off-Somerset in the deepest East End, strutting young anarchists brought the age of brigandage back to London fashion. Brilliantly accessorised with big hats and trailing handkerchiefs, the tailoring-based collection showed up the frayed edges of English gentility as striped suiting and boating blazers were subverted by straps and screenprinting. Hands-down winner for atmosphere.

In almost complete contrast, but subversive in its own way, beautiful informality was the order of the day for another of Patrick Grant‘s impossibly elegant E.Tautz salon shows, this time held at The Savoy. What struck me most from the SS12 collection was the mix of athletic-wear and tailoring, particularly in the flannel athletic pant, masterfully gathered at the ankle. In the hands of anyone less than Grant, this mix of tailoring and sportswear is a dangerous one, with neither side coming off well. Here it was executed perfectly.

It’s fair to say I didn’t like everything about J.W.Anderson‘s day-opener but I was instantly taken by the cocktail trousers, first seen in thick satin (tangerine and khaki were strongest) with a second example in non-satin tangerine appearing later on. I also loved the silhouette of the cardigans worn as skirts, something I can see being copied in London Fields next Spring as lower-body layering, albeit over shorts. If you’re baulking at the idea of tangerine trousers, I’m convinced that the current popularity of the yellow-orange segments of the colour wheel will continue for some time yet.  And those orange pants looked super smart combined with white and navy.

More colour! Shaun Samson‘s Mexican blanket pieces out-surfed the dark psychedelia of Adam Kimmel‘s recent (Paris-shown) SS12 collection yesterday, in terms of sheer audacity and inventiveness. I love his reverence for the ‘raw’ material here, most wearable in this loose, short-sleeved shirt option, but desirable throughout. I spotted a girl wearing one of the long t-shirts as a dress out in Somerset House courtyard yesterday, and the colours look amazing close up. Samson‘s is definitely a name to watch, the buzz about this collection was literally audible yesterday.

Much more on Menswear Day to come, including those promised features from both on-and-off Somerset presentations as well as a few stragglers from #NYFW.

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