Monday, 14 January 2013

London Collections: Men Day 2 Highlights

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The second day of LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN was a mixed bag in my opinion, whilst some designers showed some boundary-pushing collections, others were rather bland. My three favourite collections, however are featured below.

This collection from CHRISTOPHER SHANNON was slightly more toned down than his previous offerings, and seemed to be aimed less specifically at the East London market. That being said, Shannon's design aesthetic was firmly stamped on the collection - key pieces included leather tailed shirts and hybrid parkas - still very Christopher Shannon but slightly less streetwear-inspired. I also loved the half-and-half comic prints on knitwear and his use of colour blocking.

An ode to minimalism, you would be forgiven for brushing past MARGARET HOWELL's AW'13 collection due to the print-heavy avant garde shows this LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN. But there is always something so effortlessly stylish about Howell's clothing and I would easily wear most of the looks from this show. The beret (also seen from YMC this season) is a welcome addition and is surprisingly cool when teamed with Howell's wonderfully simple creations, but it will remain to be seen whether this trend will take off next Autumn.

JONATHAN SAUNDERS' collection was reassuringly colourful for autumn / winter, with orange and cobalt blues being teamed well with more muted tones of navy and mustard. There was also a large focus on print, with all-over prints on tees and shirts, as well as colour blocking and panelling used on outerwear. His use of acid bright ombres was also admirable and panels of patent leather made for an interesting play on texture. Some very covetable pieces from this collection indeed.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

London Collections: Men Day 1 Highlights

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So the second LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN finished this week, and with it came a lot of very exciting menswear for AW'13. I was unfortunately unable to attend as it nicely coincides with our busiest time at work, so I spent this week completely nocturnal re-merchandising our store through the nights. It's a glamorous life... But enough about that, here are my highlights from Day 1 of LCM.

MEADHAM KIRCHOFF showed some surprisingly simple and staple pieces of menswear, including breton stripes and plaid shirts - however the boys mixed these in with their more trademark 'kitschness' for the true Meadham Kirchoff vibe. Shirts and coats came with elaborate embellishment while Victorian lace and cut-out shirting gave the collection a modern-day Oliver Twist feeling, which was aided by the bin bags surrounding the models. Homeless chic if you will.

The FASHION EAST menswear installations contained some of the most exciting designers that are working in London in my opinion - the juxtaposition of classic British tailoring brands coming from Saville Row and the new generation of avant garde designers is what is really driving London's fashion voice right now. Within FASHION EAST, particlar favourites of mine were JOSEPH TURVEY who showed a fusion of streetwear and casual tailoring emblazoned with dalmation prints (the models were even holding real dalmation puppies, which is never a bad thing); BOBBY ABLEY whose space-inspired streetwear collection incorporated metallics and clever layering for an air of futurism; and KIT NEALE who once again showed a print-focused collection, this time taking inspiration from British pubs and the greasy spoon caffs.

Finally, RICHARD NICOLL showed a minimal and sleek collection with a hint of futurism that is both modern and wearable. Head to toe prints and tonal outfitting in a cool colour palette gave scope for a play on texture and silhouette, with sleek fabrics complimented by more rugged knits and outerwear. Nicoll colour-graded his looks from greys to cool blues then to a finale of intense orange from clothing down to the accessories. I need to get my hands on an orange fisherman beanie asap...


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