A shares her excitement over some of the brands showing at London Collections: Men this week.I don't believe I'm the only one among us who feels like London Collections: Men has crept up on us from behind Christmas and New Year, and left us flustered with both surprise and excitement. In it's fourth edition now, this is the event that kicks off the menswear season, globally. If you're like me, you will have your own list of ones to watch, but if not, and menswear is still uncharted territory for you, then do have a gander at our guide to menswear and past posts to ease you in gently. Now to business. Here's my pick of the shows, day by day, blow by blow.
Admittedly, day one has already happened, but these are the shows I wished I could've been at;
John Smedley is a heritage British brand, founded in 1748 and produces the most beautiful, high-quality knitwear, made here in the UK. I'm always excited to see what they've done, especially with their dual focus on design and quality. This season's is a brighter, lighter collection that last AW, with bold, geometric patterns adorning the superfine Merino knitwear.
Topman Design is always one of my favourite shows to watch. Their place in the fashion calendar now firmly established, this high street giant can be relied upon for exciting shows. Topman Design was showstopping. In what I can only imagine is a nod to the Great British Weather we are being subjected to of late; the models walked the show whilst being heavily rained upon. The collection itself was much darker than last year's offering and displayed slight Heidi Slimane-esque gothic leanings. Texture and proportion was played with in a slightly deconstructed fashion, to an interesting, but thoroughly wearable end.
Jonathan Saunders has held a special place in my heart for years. Having first come to my attention with his collection for Topshop a few years back, his clean, fresh approach to print has inspired me since. This collection is a symphony of autumnal shades, in an array of subtle geometrics. Classic shape tailored pieces are paired with sportswear basics. I am sold.
I shall also be perusing the collections on show at Fashion East where new design talent is showcased, and is always a surefire bet for cutting edge design.
Day Two is now drawing to a close and the designers will be mopping their brows, and guests will likely be sipping champers or getting an early night ready for another grueling round of shows tomorrow.
JW Anderson is a source of constant surprise and inspiration, not only for the clothes he designs but how he styles them. His mash up approach to both menswear and womenswear continues to create unexpected silhouettes and ensembles. This season did not disappoint. The collection was bursting at the seams with broken boundaries, questioned conventions and blurred lines. I am yet to decide which bits I love and which I loath.
Casely-Hayford - this father son duo is doing exciting things. Both with rich and varied backgrounds in fashion, they formed Casely-Hayford in 2009, and since have produced collections that are a wonderful fusion of sportswear and tailoring. I am looking forward to seeing photos of the show, especially with this appetite-whetting piece from Dazed Digital revealing the inspiration behind this collection.
Day Three yet beckons, and with a stellar line up. I will be rushing home after work to catch up on all the happenings, but these three shows will have my particular attention.
Agi & Sam are on my list of ones to watch - they produce gorgeous collection after gorgeous collection. Last season's standout pieces were clean, crisp, bright, and played cleverly with print placement and colour. I can't wait to see what AW14-15 brings.
Sibling are a perennial favourite here at R~A~J~E. We love their devil may care approach to fashion, especially their kooky knitwear, and wait with baited breath to see what they send down the catwalk this season. Last season was West Side Story meets 80's graphic cartoon styling. We're not sure how they'll top it.
Burberry Prorsum. Another R~A~J~E favourite, this British heritage brand has had a fantastic few years. Under the guidance and inspiration of dream-team Christopher Bailey and Angela Arhendts (now at Apple), this brand has been through a brand revival nothing short of miraculous. Last season's show brought us understated elegance with a hint of cartoon colour, and we loved it. We are confident this year will see the next exciting step in the Burberry evolution.
Quite apart from all the presentations on schedule, there is a raft of collections being shown off schedule, including the lovely Domingo Rodriguez, that I shall definitely be checking out.
I trust you are now equally as excited about London Collections: Men as I am (imaging a small child at a birthday party who's eaten all the sherbert). For more information on the shows, head to the official website. And check back later this week, when I'll be looking at the trends emerging from the collections.
Over and out.