This weekend saw the arrival of London Collections: Men a weekend dedicated to British menswear. The good and the great from the fashion industry were in attendance including some unexpected faces such as the Prince of Wales who opened the presentations on the Friday. The question is however, what impact has the weekend had on the menswear fashion industry?
It won't be news to anyone's ears that the menswear industry has flourished over the past few months. Success stories such as that of James Long, Joseph Turvey and Martine Rose are testament to this fact. London Collections: Men has given the industry an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the work of these designers and provide a much needed platform for emerging talent in this field. Previously menswear collections were annexed to the final day of London Fashion Week (Men's day) but now they get the breathing space they deserve. London flair, a need to own something unique and of high quality and bespoke British tailoring combined with a fashion forward attitude enabled LCM to be a huge success, even stirring up interest from abroad.
The highlights of the weekend are hard to define. The plethora of talented designers who exhibited their collections, showcased collections rich in creativity and panache. My favourites however have to be Oliver Spencer's Mondrian inspired collection, James Long's directional leather pieces, Sibling's Lord of the Flies meets Brick Lane collection and of course the collection from T.Lipop. These collections showed the right proportions of creativity, wearability and a futuristic outlook. Take a look at the collections for yourself...
Oliver Spencer's Collection fused modern art with modern times. Bright, electric blues, burnt oranges and desert sand coloured browns were prevalent throughout the collection providing an exciting, vibrant colour palette. Classic cuts and smart tailoring balanced nicely with the modern theme and colour scheme allowing the collection to be worn by men of all ages. In true Oliver Spencer fashion, the models wearing the collection at The Hospital Club were a diverse range of men, differing in age, style, size and manner which added to the already appealing charm of the collection. This show proved to be a popular one at London Collections: Men this year with the front row populated with fashion's great such as: Alexa Chung, Dylan Jones and David Gandy.
James Long's SS13 collection was a dark mix of fabrics, textures and varying shades of black. Wool, embellishments leather and freshly pressed cotton all featured heavily throughout the collection, tailored in a sharp and geometrical way making it suitable for the warmer summer months. A harsh, sinister feeling permeated through the thick layers of fabric, emphasised further by the heavy use of dark colours. This feeling was central to the whole collection showing just how powerful and masculine menswear can be.
Sibling's collection was a quirky mix between the edgy coolness of Brick Lane and the competitive, animalistic nature of Lord of the Flies. Sportswear got a British makeover with varsity jackets taking on the resemblance of a tailored pea coat and sports jumpers emblazoned with images of rats (a common sighting for those travelling on the London underground). Instead of trainers, models wore sturdy, smart shoes similar to those usually worn with suits. These juxtapositions created a truly memorable collection and one which I am very excited to see being worn next spring!