So London Collections: Men is here again and it was a rather exciting first day of the SS15 calendar. Keep reading for my show reviews from day one.
Since Summer 2012, London Collections has gone from being the ‘fast becoming event of the season’ to the ‘it’ event of the menswear calendar – and this year that statement was cemented with the arrivals of more menswear heavyweights in the form of Moschino and DKNY, more on them later.
First on the agenda was Lou Dalton. I’m a huge fan of Lou Dalton, her collections offer a masterful blend of wearable items with a wild twist that keeps them on the side of trend-setting fashion. This season the message was a lot more subdued than previous collections, but it didn’t disappoint. With a strong focus on tailoring, Lou’s strength and background, we were presented with a collection of slick suits in bright whites and pale pink jacquard. There were hints of motorcycle references in the biker-style jackets with zip detailing. The collection progressed into navys and greys with deeper reds in technical coats and dual-tone knitwear pieces. Overall the collection was pure class and a clear conveyance of Lou Dalton’s vision and direction her brand is heading.
Richard Nicoll’s SS15 offering was a bag full of effortless styles that carried his synonymous aesthetic or sporting style with a technical finish. Colour was intriguing, with browns outshone by bold yellows while metallic silvers complemented pale blues. The outerwear was particular strong with sharply cut jackets offering an easy-route into the brand’s style.
The collection of BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund winner Christopher Shannon was an eagerly awaited show – and it didn’t disappoint. Bold and brash with a hit of sexy, the models walked the runway with knotted Miley/Gwen/Bjork-inspired hair. Firmly placed in the sportswear circles, the collections featured jersey in every from, sweatshirts, shorts and trousers, all imbued with bold hand-designed graphic prints. Techincal coats provided a strong outerwear offering with technical shirting featuring colour-framed cutouts, showcasing the body beneath. Shannon dedicated the show to his mentor, the late Louise Wilson.
Agi & Sam are becoming quite the fashion duo; with a collaboration with Topman already under their belt, they are fast climbing the fashion ranks of success. For spring/summer 15 Agi & Sam headed east to create a Japanese-inspired collection. The impetus of the collection’s design narrative was the concept of the traditional suit not keeping up with modern times. While not outright rejecting the notion of a formal suit, the pair highlighted how the classic suit was not suitable for modern activities – you couldn’t ride to work in a slim-fit suit and you wouldn’t make a move from boardroom to bar in your staple pinstripe. So the collection moves to create a modern suit for modern means. This is wear the Japenese influence comes in with iconic silouhettes and features including Kimono-inspired outerwear and necklines, plus socks in (UGG) sandals, all with an unstructured nature. There was a heavy presence of pleating too, while it feminised many looks, and didn’t work as strongly on the large maxi trousers, the pleated back to bomber jackets was fresh and wearable – offering breathability and lightness.
My last stop of the day was Gieves & Hawkes and it was probably my favourite of the day. With three royal warrants to it’s name Gieves & Hawkes has quite the heritage behind it. The presentation was held in the White Cube gallery, a crisp and almost clinical setting for such a traditional brand – but it worked to their advantage. As the brand begins to expand with global domination on it’s mind, the collections has modernised and developed into a larger lifestyle brand. While classic suiting, impeccably tailored I should add, remains its bread and butter, the addition or more relaxed blazers, suede footwear and accessories gives the collection a rounded feel. The models stood on plinths around the space across two floors showcasing thirty-five looks. It was a brilliant set up, the genius lighting, plus the obviously stunning models made for am intimidating sight, but one that was utterly impressive. It made the clothes look like works of art, and the models, like Grecian statues. This collection goes to the top of my list of brands to invest in for next season.
Even on day one there were lots of trends starting to appear – one, as you can see was the colour white. Looks like SS15 is going to be a white out!
Bring on Day Two!