Tag: Menswear Day
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.
“I don’t NEED to know what the suits are made of”, commented one female (presumed) journalist on the stairs above The Lincoln Room, deep within The Savoy Hotel, “Well I do, replied her colleague, “I have to write about this stuff!”. Given you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that as men we really do care about what we wear, and whilst certain quarters of the fashion press still think of men’s fashion needs in the third person, with men to be passively shopped for and “kept on trend”, luckily the greater part of the audience for the E.Tautz presentation on Wednesday looked to be much more likeminded, sharing an expectation that we were about to see beautiful menswear and to be educated about it by Patrick Grant.
J.W Anderson, The Fear of Naturalism, mens AW 11 collection
The 9am slot is notoriously difficult, fashion people not being known for a love of morning appointments but J.W. Anderson drop kicked us into the day with a show simmering with subversive elements.
As seats filled, the audio atmospherics popped and fizzed like a forest at dawn, the sound of a legion of insects about to invade. A swirl of cold wintry sound and ‘Eisbaer’, an anthem of the early 80s Neue Deutsche Welle by Swiss band Grauzone, kicked in. Transferring us instantly to the free zone of 1980s Kreuzberg squats, and a time when people reveled in the opportunity to tear things up and start again.
In the notes for this collection Anderson stated that his intention was to. Androgynous insect boys strode out in slim fitting but multi-layered combinations, their overall silhouttes resembling stick insects or mantes. Hair was uniformly short and rigidly groomed, a very Berlin combination of regulation and punk attitude.
Lou Dalton must have drawn the short straw to have the 9am slot for her menswear show today, but good fortune was definitely on her side in what turned out to be a really cohesive collection full of wearable pieces featuring lots of rich details. Taking the nomadic lifestyle of the Romany people as a theme, this allowed for a mix of utilitarian functionality mixed with a roguish magpie’s eye for combination and colourful details.