London Collections: Men AW16 – Day 1 Highlights
LC:M is back again, and feels bigger and more sprawling this time with attendees being expected to navigate three official locations as well as the off-schedule curveballs in Soho and beyond. What used to feel like a celebration of menswear is now very much a corporate machine but London is doing very well at maintaining the voices of smaller-scale independent designers.
Offically, LC:M started on Friday, but it felt like it started Thursday night with Matthew Miller’s SS16 Goodhood launch event in Shoreditch. and the opening of Mad About the Boy, the exhibition curated by Lou Stoppard at the London College of Fashion’s gallery space in town .
LCF continued it’s fanfare to the onset of the weekend, with the MA show in the City of London on Friday morning, expertly edited by Anders Sølvsten there was an exceptional range of talent on show this season from the menswear postgrads.
Alexis Housden’s floaty sheers was just one of many outstanding collections at LCF MA show
The Topman Design show now bears the torch of opening LC:M and is always a heavily-attended event, the invited audience this season including an excited-looking Bryanboy. The collection itself had so many influences going on it was hard to keep up, from glam rock suits and louche crushed velvet to 90s distressed denim, but the show served it’s purpose of whetting the appetite for what’s to come over the weekend.
Nasir Mazhar’s collection featured complex layers of black on black with touches of 90s rave gear, but sexed up and made ultra body-conscious. What is so notable about Mazhar is his deft touch with the details such as the delicate use of feathers on the front of a sweatshirt and the specially packaged soundtrack CD by Murlo.
Wales Bonner’s collection, which opened MAN, was another spellbinding reminder of her ability to create not only beautiful clothing but also moments of true grace. Bonner has the power of a great filmmaker to set a tone through image, music and idea that wraps her work into a complete sensual experience. From the, now signature, sharp ‘70s outlines and diamante accessories to the oiled-up faces and hair festooned with gold and sliver leaf to the exotic Kora string instrument on show, there was no element of her vision that wasn’t painstakingly executed.
Rory Parnell-Moody’s MAN collection meanwhile didn’t divert too far from his ecclesiastical fascinations but T-shirts with lettering spelling out NANCY BOY made his vision seem somehow less theatrical and the tension in his work more real-world.
After last season’s rollicking nightclub-in-a-fashion-show recreation of his Loverboy night, it was clear that Charles Jeffrey would have to work hard at creating a big show, and he did it with a huge Gary Card-designed set, Day-Glo club kid models and his spin on tailoring, disrupted Aran sweaters and prodigious use of colour.
Craig Green brought the majesty again with carefully orchestrated waves of colour and exploration of oversized lacing, washed quilting and use of straps and fastenings, his work continuing to walk the borders of utility and a fine art/artisan approach to detail. The use of leather this season added a layer of tactile interest.
CMMN SWDN ‘70s themed presentation at the Alison Jacques studio in Soho, was a welcome break from the bigger venues. This sense of welcome extended to the collection itself, which featured cosy fabrics inspired by domestic interiors, including rich colour, tactile surfaces such as velvet and suede, and a sharp silhouette of cropped, boxy jackets and high-waisted jeans. Like the European city you’re yet to know fully but can’t wait to brag to your friends about discovering, there is great sophistication here.
Saturday looks set to be the most event packed day of the LC:M long weekend so hold fire for the next installment as some Sharpened Lead favourites like Lou Dalton, Matthew Miller and Sibling come out to play.