FAULT Event Report: PFW London Mens Showrooms SS13


Interviews by Kat Rutherford, Designer Picks by Arndt Stobba and Photos by Sarah T Skinner

The swirling hype around Haute Couture this Spring Summer 2013 undoubtedly defines the fashion mood in Paris during the week of défilés and soirées. But far from the podiums of Concorde and Invalides, those searching for refreshment amongst the dominating womenswear collections were offered a glimpse of another, markedly less Parisian option.

Tucked away behind Bastille, in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, FAULT rendezvoused with the best and brightest of London’s Menswear designers at the Menswear Showrooms for SS13.
Organised by the British Fashion Council, this event imports the best feelings of London Men’s creativity and warmth to the Parisian capital for a number of days, to tap into the Parisian buyers market that remains so important today.

Featuring a wide range of the youngest and freshest young designers to break out from the British capital, the event aims to court the interest of some of the swarm of international buyers who descend into the French foray each season.

But why the need to travel to the continent to showcase effectively? Is this something that could ever change? What’s more, is the future looking rosy for London Menswear, taking account of current market conditions and changing market tastes? We asked a number of our British representatives for their insight…

FAULT: How is your Paris showroom experience going so far?
T Lipop: We are here today to really try and expand our market internationally. being a small and recently established enterprise from the UK we have a lot of ground to conquer; and Paris is integral in attracting the kind of clients who could take us to another level.

FAULT: What do you think it is about Paris that makes fashion buyers continue to flock here above all other cities?
Christopher Shannon Representative: Paris is still really important for sales just because it always has been. It’s kind of a cycle that sustains itself- people come to Paris because they know that everyone else will be there… and this keeps its market status pretty high.

Martine Rose: This is the way it has been forever; but that doesn’t mean things can’t change with new initiatives. Britain has a great history of well supporting its young designers in their conception, with everything from Vauxhall Fashion Showcase to Fashion East and New Gen…





FAULT: So with this kind of showcase the British Fashion Council are helping you to flourish at the next stage of your development?

Shaun Samson: The amount of support I’ve been given since before I even graduated has been really humbling. The current fashion system in place in the UK is something that makes me really glad to be based there, they take care of their designers.

Martine Rose: The new London Collections for Menswear initiative is really exciting- hopefully it can change the way that buyers see our capital and we can attract them there!

FAULT: What are some of your biggest markets around the globe? Why do you think you’re popular there?

Christopher Shannon Rep: Actually, the East, places such as China and Japan, because they love the traditional British aesthetic and the cultural history that comes with that.

Baartman and Seigel: The Japanese are a key market for us, they really appreciate material quality. They are also unafraid to invest in unusual and directional fashion choices, and concept clothing! They are always welcome to come and discuss our concepts with us in more detail…

FAULT: To what extent do you design with the buyer and your current strong markets in mind?

Baartman and Seigel: Of course, our design is influenced to an extent by the people we know to already appreciate it…

Christopher Raeburn Representative: We really don’t have a very particular demographic, in fact our design ethic is more governed by practicality and quality. Luckily we find that many men appreciate these traits! We also appeal to the wider ethical conscience of our audience; little waste, all off cuts are put to use (stuffing the adorable office toy owls, for example).

E. Tautz: Our demographic sustains our design, and vice versa; we design clothes for ‘the English man living an interesting life’. So traditionally the men who wear and buy our pieces do so as they work hard to support the ways in which our customers spend their time.


Agi and Sam

FAULT: Isn’t it true that sometimes you can be surprised by demand from unexpected types of client? Is this why we now see traditional menswear designers branching into womens’ garments?

James Long: Yeah, it’s a great compliment when you see the potential to create a womenswear range based on appreciation for your existing collections. Some of my designs were pretty androgynous before and you’d have both sexes wearing certain pieces, but now we’ve managed to establish that the demand exists for women as well as men, I can create separate collections for them that so far have been very well received.

E. Tautz: As a consequence of the girlfriends of our existing clients constantly lusting after their shirts, we have also just launched a women’s’ shirt collection. They maintain all the quality of our menswear and bring E. Tautz further reach.

FAULT: How are your designs affected by the fact that you are based in Britain? Can you see much national influence on your brand?

William Richard Green: I love Britain and it tends to come out very strongly in different manifestations each collection. It’s very important for me as a source of inspiration; from collaborating with other well-known brands like Walsh shoes and Brady bags, to the beloved tracksuit bottoms that I redesign in luxe… you can’t get away from its influence on my brand.
This is something that I hope buyers appreciate.

Christopher Raeburn Rep: Each collection is designed with the practical element in mind; this is something that is very British both in our character and in our pursuits. We have a signature Raeburn cut of coats which reappears every season and is made for trekking, hiking, being outside and free… we see these are important aspects of British culture.

William Richard Green

…and here are a few of our top picks of the season (ch-ch-check them out…)

Lee Roach

Lee Roach found inspiration in Felix Gonzalez-Torres artwork and made his S/S 2013 collection for those who like it simple yet stylish and always with a new twist. Stepping away from unnecessary complication, each collection is an evolutionary step forward from the previous. Always forward-thinking – a true Londoner!

William Richard Green

Green likes it quintessentially British, and we’re talking about the modern, genuine Britain! He found inspiration for his S/S 2013 collection in football hooligans and the culture of East London’s Muslim community. With lots of layering, an extra portion of comfort and plenty of track bottoms, his intention was to create a collection of comfortable sportswear – luxury sportswear, so you can get away with wearing it any time!

Shaun Samson

Oversized, comfortable… a bit of sparkle, a bit of unisex. Shaun Samson’s S/S 2013 combines a number of key ingredients to success without making it tacky. The needlepunch technique, a very time consuming way of melding two different fabrics together, is his signature. Samson did a brilliant job at combining a very contemporary look with astonishinbg craftsmanship!

E Tautz

A collection made for ‘an Englishman living an interesting life’, the vision for next summer at E. Tautz was filled with inspiration from kaftans and Moroccan desert travellers. Keeping up with the 21st century, this classic sportswear tailoring house offers a vivid and colourful wardrobe for everyone who can’t wait to escape to yet another adventure.