Day 2 of LC:M featured the A/W ’14 collections of London-based designers such as Alexander McQueen, JW Anderson and Kay Kwok. Below, FAULT’s Menswear Editor Kristine Kilty picks out her key looks from each of the aforementioned collections:
With the second season of London Collections Men, sweeping us off our feet in early January, there were a lot of lustful looks from the fashionistas at the AW13 collections. Especially as the snow was imminent, and the wintry clothes looked so appetizing.
Several key trends were prominent, although as usual there were the usual out-takes which probably won’t be featuring on the high street, but maybe in high end
My pick of the crop are the return of the check. Bigger and bolder than before, menswear is getting more confident! E Tautz fused grey and orange in a delightful combination of Prince of Wales check in suiting, and even used it in directional-cut coats and knits. YMC favoured a more subdued hue and used reds and greys in a safe “day jumper”. Angelo Galasso was a far more opulent take on the check with suits and jackets oozing luxury using hounds tooth and herringbone patterns alongside mink fur bow ties, and crocodile skin coats! Or if that last sentence terrified you, you can stick with the day-friendly lumberjack style shirting at Lou Dalton
Prints have always been popular with designers, and the male shopper and this is set to flourish in SS13, with AW taking this lead. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen brought back slick heritage tailoring, and fused monochrome reds with a very memorable stained glass print. Daring and dandy, for fashion seekers only! Katie Eary’s collection was based on death and decay, but far from being a moody teenage bedroom horror book fantasy, it was actually quite upbeat, with inky sports basics taking centre stage in a range of bright hues, with florals rubbing shoulders with printed hems and chunky gold accessories. Agi and Sam, mashed up patterned trousers with mis-matched shirts, Jonathan Saunders introduced tie- dye and Joseph Turvey worked the spotty look, in easy to wear separates in a dalmatian print.
Knits are always popular with the girls, and this season the boys can get their hands on the infamous ‘housewives favourite”. With newbie designers Sibling promising “fuck off knitting” you can only imagine it’s not going to be what your granny gets up to! Oversized with a capital O, and inspired by cartoon characters. Mickey Mouse mittens and giant scarves competed the show. But if clashing colours and taking up two seats on the bus is your thing, then Sibling is bound to be already on your radar. Topman Design is also offering a much safer nod to knitwear. Styled on the catwalk as a head to toe block colour look, this is bound to work better, in the real world as a nod to the knit. The sweaters independently are safe and snuggly, with Christopher Shannon also sending out a novelty Christmas sweater or two!
Another key trend is androgyny. Qasimi Homme led the field with wearable leather, inspired by film noir, the collection focused on updating traditional menswear classics, such as cropped suit jackets, and military coats by incorporating oversize drop shoulders. Detailing was central to the collection with the introduction of contrast leather and detachable pony collars on shirting which is a subtle and extremely wearable way to work a leather look. JW Anderson is the label to look for if you are slightly more experimental . Clinical and some might say, carnal separates worn with knee high boots might be a bit much for the traditional. But if your body is a blank canvas, and you like to let your clothes do the talking, this is definitely a designer to look at.
Bringing fashion back to reality with a bump, and a collective sigh of relief! I am personally pleased to announce that the bomber is back. Cropped, above the waist jackets in a variety of hues, with Astrid Andersen, Christopher Raeburn and James Long marshaling the mini overcoat. Layered over everything from suits to sweat pants, it is set to be the new Aviator, probably combined with some space age shades- or is that just the stylist in me coming out?
By Sara Darling
2 minute Q&A:
Images sourced from Style.com, Vogue.com, and Fashion156.
From an insiders point of view, menswear day at London Fashion week is much more relaxed, the pace has slowed down considerably, and the fashpack allow themselves to wear what they would normally and chill, without fear of being papped (or not papped if their outfit isn’t ‘funky’ enough!) It also brings alot of commercial interest from the big buyers/editors, who can pretty much get to all the shows as they don’t overlap and are in fairly sensible locations!
With 25 designers showing, and particular attention paid to developing the rising talent, the cross section of menswear is getting more diverse each season.
This season’s menswear day opened with James Long, a recipient of the first NEWGEN MEN talent support scheme.
His show took us on a summer expedition into the jungle; With his use of leopard spots and snakeskin in his collection of woven tops and shorts. Natural linens and cotton yarns with added sparkle mean that this will also keep you cool in the city. Easy to wear and very practical.
Elsewhere, Topman Design put pyjama suits on the map for the men, showing in the Royal Opera House with the likes of Rick Edwards, Alex Zane and the boys from Dirty Sexy Things, crowding in to the full to the rafters show;, The show opened with 40s inspired double breasted suits and soon moved onto paisley and more exotic styling in the shape of loose bottoms and an array of clutch bags!
Christopher Shannon showed us that tassels could bring a whole new lease of life to the humble shirt; His collection as a whole was quite utilitarian, but by adding tartan and appliquéd sweaters into the mix, this broadened the range and the shirts, bomber jackets and brogues kept is ideal for summer in the city.
For a more preppy collection, look no further than Hardy Amies, who showed a classy collection of shorts suits, for a sophisticated palette. With the colour range including dusty pink, reds and turquoise, this is definitely reminiscent of romance, and was inspired by Venice and churches.
J W Anderson kept things edgy with molecular prints from the school science lab. The geometric prints were worn with woven leather overlays. Paisley also made an appearance on shorts suits and sleeveless tops and ankle skimming trousers were a main stay.
The fantastically talented Katie Eary has been collaborating with Kayne West, as the models swaggered down the catwalk at the off schedule venue. Highlights were the tangerine two piece suits, two tone white and metallic trousers and the panther prints. Not for the faint hearted, but definitely fit for a rap star. And from my seat opposite Mr West, he seemed to agree.
Closing the main stage at Somerset House, was KTZ who sent out a mens (and womens) tribal/bondage inspired collection, entitled “It began in Africa” which featured lots of leather, strapping, baseball caps and tattoo prints; Fitting into the niche of the boy who likes to show his body, KTZ are leaders of the edgy pack.
No menswear day would be complete without an appearance of Kate Moss on the FROW, and this time she chose to accompany husband Jamie Hince to the final show of Fashion Week at James Small- His collection included floral shorts and shirts and a selection of transparent shirts and t shirts. Very rock n roll.
Menswear day at LFW certainly does offer something for everyone and long live the celebration of the diversity that fashion offers.