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Last week I caught up with menswear designer Kit Neale in his studio. Originally known for his prints, as a designer Kit’s range is becoming known for perfectly proportioned casual wear such as jean jackets and bombers, and last season brought surprise in the form of beautiful jacquard fabrics alongside…


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For the two previous seasons of LCM I’ve had the pleasure of dropping into the Kit Neale studio to get an insight into the brand’s inspirations as designers and to see the collection come together, becoming addicted in the process to the Kit Neale pop-art-coloured view of the world. Conflicting…


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Last season I met up with Kit Neale, in his studio off Kingsland Road in central East London, to discuss his then upcoming collection for Fashion East, one of London’s menswear’s best regarded platforms for emerging fashion talent. Known for his punchy prints, which have incorporated seafood and allotment vegetables amongst…


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As anticipation starts to build for the second London Collections: Men in January, I will be speaking to some of the talent that makes London menswear so exciting, bringing you designer and industry insider insights from behind the collections. Here I speak to Kit Neale, about his Michael Clark fixation,…


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The trend for loud printed trousers emerging on the street and in presentations, is being tipped in the fashion media as being the next big trend to break. As ever with fashion, there has been a snowball effect with this one, albeit a very colourful snowball. And given the seasonal nature…


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There are collaborations, and there are collaborations. Whilst the recent Marni x H&M link up was a rare example of high fashion working successfully with a global mega chain (mostly to do with rigorous quality control I imagine), many such collaborations end up as high end badly translated via cheap materials. It’s always a pleasure therefore to see the latest Joe Casely-Hayford collection in their ongoing relationship with John Lewis.

John Lewis holds a special place in British hearts as a vanguard of good service and quality products (if a little conservative) whilst Joe Casely-Hayford, stands for design excellence and beautiful materials, harking back to a time when fashion was less talked about but was no less cherished by those in the know. Result? Beautifully cut pieces in impressive fabrics, at accessible prices. What I love most about this partnership is Joe’s playful take on John Lewis’s traditionalism. It’s like the best pieces from the John Lewis stockroom have been disassembled and put back together with a touch of Savile Row precision and an eye for British materials. In previous collections, quilting, layering and waxed fabrics have been the stand-out approaches.

In this collection the double-breasted shorts suit and the bold, African-inspired Liberty-print shirt capture the spirit for me. Shorts suits regularly appear on the high street, but I’ve yet to find one that’s well made enough to not look awkward. In Joe’s hands the fabrication looks substantial. A shorts suit needs to have the same presence as a regular suit, but with the lower part of the trousers missing. Too often from the high street its a pair of casual shorts with a hastily-assembled jacket in a flimsy material. And regarding the shirts, surely I don’t need to say too much about print right now? The fusion here of Liberty heritage with a very African sense of pattern speaks volumes about the Casely-Hayford genius for mixing it up. Can I suggest when you next visit John Lewis you merge a trip to the kitchenware department to buy the muffin tin of your dreams with a generous look at the Joe Casely-Hayford for John Lewis collection? It’s redefining what high street collaborations are all about.


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