Tag: London Fashion Week February 2012
Backstage at E.Tautz yesterday I was struck by the sense of calm and orderliness. Models in hair clips were being given final instructions on pace and demeanor, outbreaks of Estuary English accent adding grit to the vision the Toni & Guy team had perfected, as though one could suddenly hear the voices of the powdered, coiffed cast of a silent-era military epic. One had a sense of Patrick Grant as captain at the helm of a tight, sleek and exceptionally well groomed company of men, with none of the sense of panic or chaos one imagines backstage.
From the pre-show notes I was already aware that the collection was inspired by the work of Richard Serra, and took other reference points from military cloaks. Freemason’s Hall was the perfect setting for the very dramatic collection, … Read More »
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.
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.