James Long showed a much bolder statement with his Spring / Summer '13 collection than previously seen, with wide-legged shorts in dark tweeds and leather and white shirting with geometric embellishment. The models were striking, with slicked back hair and black lensed shades and had a hint of The Matrix about them. Long's signature knitwear was less shaggy this season, and graphic shapes were woven into monochrome sweaters adding to the tough aesthetic. There were also leather man-clutches, which are becoming more and more frequent on the catwalks each season - these James Long creations could tempt me out of my anti-clutch mood that I have been in for some time. Maybe.
Another streetwear collection came from Katie Eary, who gave her trademark luxurious touch to the genre. Described by Eary as 'California skate', the print-laden collection featured a rich colour palette of gold, purple and aquamarine and created a glamorous contrast between her's and other designer's streetwear collections this season. Prints were aquatic and kaleiodoscopic, featuring octopus tentacles, serene water and schools of fish. Aquarium chic never looked so good, or existed before. One of the two.
Every season, the MAN roster design talent seems to get stronger and stronger, and the tried and tested trio of Shaun Samson, Astrid Andersen and Agi & Sam have truly outdone themselves this time around. One of my most anticipated shows season to season, this crop of London designers are doing our city proud. Shaun Samson's signature oversized streetwear was emblazoned with giant kittens, and lurex knitwear and super-long silver embellished shorts which provided an exciting take on the genre. Slouchy two pieces in red and blue check were drenched in 90's references but brought up to date with sheer hoodys and silver sandals, which were teamed with white socks. Yes people, sandals and socks are back - you can thank Shaun Samson for that.
Agi & Sam once again showed a plethora of print, this time with nostalgic references from tropical florals, to the models' 70s moustaches. Prints were coordinated, with suiting in matching floral prints, or macs with contrast sleeves teamed with floral shorts. Suiting was once again the focal points of the collection, with ever more extravagant prints such as pixellated harbour or beach scenes. Briefcases and sandals completed the Miami business man vibe, in a good way of course.
Astrid Andersen also showed a signature streetwear collection, fusing masculine and feminine elements to create a special mixture. This juxtaposition has become her calling card, and it is a testament to her talent that she can combine sheer embroidered lace and nylon tracksuits and still create a super-masculine collection. Fur was also used to great effect on basketball vests, and super-shiny wet look hoodys and sweat pants came in chartreuse and crimson, again toying with the masculine/feminine relationship in her aesthetic.
Image Source: LONDON COLLECTIONS; GQ.