Day 2 of London Collections: Men is typically the busiest of the whole long weekend and AW16 was no exception, here are some personal highlights from a packed day of shows and presentations.
Charged with the unenviable 9.30 Saturday morning slot, E.Tautz nevertheless offered us some warming nostalgia to counteract the leaden skies outside on The Strand with a collection inspired by Patrick Grant’s youthful experiences growing up and going out in Edinburgh. Reflecting that city’s sombre elegance, the colour palette was largely shades of charcoal and sandstone. Wide-legged pleated trousers were layered with bombers featuring oversized epaulettes and capacious double-breasted coats. These soft, roomy shapes emphasised the youthful form of the models and in a sense, the indolent innocence of youth itself.
Agi & Sam
Gone are the days when an Agi & Sam collection meant cacophonous print and … Read More »
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 … Read More »
While the habitués of Charles Jeffrey’s club night, Loverboy, twirled away onstage at his Fashion East presentation yesterday, I managed to find a quiet corner with the designer to discuss how fashion and nightlife coexist in his world.
CC: So tell me about Loverboy…
CJ: The club started as my birthday party last year, and it was just a really fun way for me to play. But then it turned into a way to fund my Masters [Charles has an MA in Menswear from St. Martins] the money that was coming in through the door was actually paying for my rent and my fabrics. I nearly dropped out of the Masters because of the money. For me it was a project that allowed me to be super free, creatively I was working with a lot of my friends who … Read More »
This morning, James Long presented his collection for next spring/summer in London Collections: Men’s most capacious venues, The Old Sorting Office. The show notes talked about James finding inspiration in people who seem “natural” in their clothing, free spirits for whom blending in is rarely an option. Moments after the boys trooped backstage in their bohemian layers, I grabbed a few minutes with James to discuss his inspirations further.
What were your inspirations for this collection?
JL: It was very much about Brighton and the pavilion, originally owned by the Prince Regent, which was squatted for ten years, so it was all about that decadence. The original interior designers had an idea of India, an idea of China, it wasn’t real, they hadn’t been to these places so it was kind of an imaginary idea of what those places … Read More »
Yesterday, Lou Dalton presented her latest collection for London Collections: Men. Moments after the models had filed back into the changing room, to the sounds of Joe Smooth’s classic House anthem Promised Land, an emotional and exhausted Lou talked us through the origins of this collection, from the significance of the musical soundtrack to her own recollections of the era that inspired it.
How aware were you of other designers who have used this period of Britain’s dance music history as a source of inspiration?
LD: I am aware of other designers, who have used a similar aesthetic, and how each of us approaches it, but I have a certain handwriting; construction is one of my strengths, detail and utilitarian are things I try to hone in on every season. This is a time I lived through, I remember … Read More »
The second day of LCM got off to a poignant start with Lou Dalton’s homage to the hedonism and freedom of her own musically-enhanced youth. However, with typically incisive vision, rather than recreating the styles of the late 80s, and early 90s, Lou brought things bang up to date with a completely current spin on utilitarian clothing featuring the lightest of tech fabrics (at times transparent), warped checks and vivid orange and blues. Backstage, an exhausted and emotional Lou talked us through the process and inspiration for this light-hearted collection (read my Q&A with her here).
Astrid Andersen has become known for a very specific look and a very specific demographic, but beside the uncompromising stance of her streetwear-focused brand exists some … Read More »
A decade ago Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy and Topman came together to create London’s first support scheme for new menswear design. The list of talent nurtured by the initiative since then is nothing less than a roll call of some of the most discussed and critically acclaimed designers of this generation: from J.W. Anderson and Christopher Shannon to James Long, Martine Rose, Matthew Miller, Shaun Samson, Agi & Sam, Astrid Andersen and Craig Green.
What’s more, the judging panel (featuring leading journalists and editors including Tim Blanks and Ben Reardon, alongside Gordon Richardson of Topman and Lulu Kennedy herself) has lost none of it’s flair for identifying genuinely exciting new voices in fashion.
For SS16, the panel has selected just two designers: Liam Hodges, known for his lyrical celebration of working class heroes, from market stall traders to Morris Men and Rory … Read More »
It’s been a bit quiet here of late, as I’ve been publishing over at STREETS, the recently-planted digital flag for the new bi-annual print publication we’re preparing for, (in classic print style), a September Issue. More news on THAT soon.
Meanwhile, back on my personal radar, here is the release of Jonathan Saunders’ eyewear collection for SS15. Back when I reviewed the full collection for The Guardian at LC:M, I’d already picked out the eyewear as a highlight, adding to the appeal of the ready-to-wear collection’s soft candy colours and clean, modern lines. The glasses have similarly bold, modern outlines, in solid colours, unique patterns and shiny metals. I find that I wear sunglasses for most of the year, to combat low-lying winter sun as much as full-on … Read More »
So, the fourth and longest ever London Collections: Men just ended and the fashion set already have their eyes trained on Florence, Milan and Paris (those that aren’t scouring the Internet for pics and opinions of Galliano’s return at Maison Margiela, that is). It’s a sad fact that after months of hard work on the part of designers, a collection either makes the headlines or it doesn’t, and even then, interest is fleeting as there is always another show, another city, another designer to focus on, especially in these super-fast days of Instagram gratification. I’m therefore cautious to be seen to be drawing too much of a definite line under anything, as there are still fuller stories to be told, images to be savoured and opinions to be reassessed and considered. But, from a very personal perspective here are my … Read More »
Day two at London Collections: Men has been quite phenomenal, picking up the pace with shows spanning morning to late evening and showcasing the range of menswear talent in London. As this is a highlights piece, I’ve decided to try and limit myself to one image per designer, a bit challenging to be honest, as I’ve seen so many beautiful things today.
As a fashion commentator, there is a risk of covering the same designers over and over, particularly when you get to know them and their their work intimately. Lou Dalton is a mainstay across all my fashion writing, a touchstone for what I refer to when people ask me what defines good menswear in London currently, and I make no apology for that. This morning’s show was one of her best ever, ramped up by some incredible fabrics … Read More »