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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 unease or menace at shows by Martine Rose, Meadham Kirchoff and Alexander McQueen. Pressed to think of prevailing trends and themes, I would say Post Punk and nostalgia for Britain’s industrial past (with all of its associated politics) came through strongly, alongside a sense of protection from the elements being taken to the extreme.
Below are some favourite pieces from shows throughout the week, in no particular order. In the next few days I will be posting reviews of collections that had most impact on me, as well as accessories that caught my eye in the showrooms.
Lou Dalton. The Black Watch tartan in Lou Dalton’s season opener will be seen as a very directional come AW13. Cleverly referencing both her personal inspiration in the Scottish islands and a uniform staple of Post Punk, this traditional fabric comes pre-loaded with atmosphere.
Topman Design. I loved the powerful outline of this boiled wool jacket, and the visual surprise of strong colour in a fabric more associated with utilitarian durability.
YMC. In a collection that explicitly referenced the ‘spirit of Post Punk’, the beret was the statement piece around which the rest of the collection was built, representing ‘freedom, revolution and rebellion’.
Shaun Samson. Our resident Southern Californian brought new meaning to the idea of protective outer layers with blankets bearing the Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Serenity Prayer’, whilst somehow recalling both Westwood/McClaren’s Nostalgia of Mud and Native American shawls.