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.