I was wandering every romantic nook and cranny of Paris to look for love (j/k) when London Men’s Fashion Week, otherwise known as LCM, started. As a consequence, I didn’t manage to stay up-to-date with all the shows. Once I returned, you know what one of the first things I did was? THIS and it couldn’t have been a better choice. Its awesomeness cured approximately 40% of the jetlag, lethargy and withdrawal I’ve been dealing with.
After years being on back burner in spite of its rich menswear traditions and heritage, London is slowly but steadily making its way on to the menswear fashion map. Compared to Milan and Paris, London obviously has fewer industry heavyweights except for Alexander McQueen, Burberry (which uprooted from Milan starting this season) and Tom Ford (which doesn’t do runaway show). However, what it lacks in the number of household names, it more than makes up for in young and fresh points of view from local, up-and-coming talents. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t aware of the existence of many brands when I viewed the show schedule except for maybe a handful of familiar names like Christopher Kane, Pringle of Scotland or J W Anderson. But sometimes being less well-known certainly helps because it piques my interests. More often than not, I was pleasantly surprised at how creative and original those new designers are. That’s the aspect of London Men Fashion Week that I always appreciate. Without further ado, here are some snippets from my favorite shows.
Alexander McQueen: Another mind-blowing collection from Sarah Burton and her team. I have a feeling that the creativity and energy there are endless. This is a classic case of me feeling a very strong urge to jump right into the screen and touch each and every piece in the collection for its fabrics and details. Alexander McQueen must be very, very proud.
Rag & Bone: Don’t you just love the fact that clothes from Rag & Bone are always infinitely wearable? This collection is of course no exception. Marcus Wainwright and David Neville said that they experimented with new fabrics this season, and it shows. I’d love to see in person how the fabric of the suit in look #3 feels like. Jonathan Saunders: I have been digging Jonathan Saunders’ aesthetics ever since he started doing menswear in 2012. Besides the ever-evolving uses of prints and unconventional hues that he’s known for, I love Jonathan’s designs for the simple fact that it’s still super user-friendly. You don’t get that combustible combination everyday. Christopher Kane: Christopher stuck with his signature digital prints in a bolder and more eye-catching manner, which resulted in a particularly strong collection, in my opinion. Along with Jonathan Saunders, Christopher is my perennial favorite in the cohort of young London designers because I feel like they don’t get lost in the creative process and only churn out over-the-top and unapproachable designs. Their ability to marry aesthetic to utilitarian value in their designs is quite admirable. Christopher Shannon: Another case of me wanting to jump into the screen and touch the fabrics. Plus, the socks with sandals trend, what do you think? Yay or Nay? Pringle of Scotland: Clean, modern and easy to wear.
J W Anderson: Androgynous dressing isn’t a novel thing in fashion. Designers have been doing it in womenswear for as long as we remember. When it comes to menswear though, I feel like designers are a lot more reserved. Not J W Anderson though. If you look into his past collection, you’d find him put men in ruffle dresses, leather dresses, and even knee-high ruffle leather boots. So, I’m under the impression that he took the shock factor down a notch this season, though it remains one of the most unusual collections that London offered this time around. I have to admit that though the question of who would actually buy this did pop up in my mind, I really appreciate the fact that he keeps pushing the envelope on how menswear should look like. Lee Roach: Classic colors and quirky details make for a beautiful collection!
Meadham Kirchhoff: Another original collection London delivered this season. Richard Nicoll: I love the color palette of this collection. I really do. James Long: After I viewed his collection and got so impressed, I had to run a quick check on James Long because the truth is I had no knowledge whatsoever of where he comes from or what his story is. According to his profile on British Fashion Council, James’ strong suit lies in “Leather, knits and accessories. Strong, bold, directional menswear.” Judging by that, he’s certainly delivered.
Images via Style