London Collections:Men – Highlights – Autumn/Winter 2015

 

We start this season’s round up of all matters of a Sartorial nature in London and what better place to get the ball rolling than at an honest to goodness PUB QUIZ !!! OK with a rather stylish twist to it, in that it’s compare was Hacienda DJing Legend Mr Elliot Eastwick and it was organised by  the Savile Row Tailoring trailblazers that are Cad & The Dandy, only in London.

TOPMAN DESIGN

TOPMAN DESIGN

Bright and breezy, otherwise known as flipping freezing, start to the day, but a warm reception was waiting at the TOPMAN Design show which was piled high with Northern Soul references, like being at a Wigan Pier Weekender. There was nods to The Bay City Rollers, Mark Boland right the way through to James Hunt and any show that finishes with Crazy Horses by The Osmonds  is a winner in my books.

I was spoilt for choice on the first day of LC:M with a number of fave brands showing their wares but high points had to be David Keyte’s Universal Works, offering us a conceptual performance, which can go either way for me. But it didn’t disappoint, working on the principle upon which the brand is founded, the idea of Passing on, not in an deathly kinda way but how clothing can be passed on from being old to young and in doing so can be reinvented and reinvigorated.

One of my overall highlights of the entire schedule has to be the Barbour Presentation, which showcased the second season of their wonderful collaboration with the Japan company White Mountaineering, best summed

Barbour

Barbour

up by the unique, Thank God, Mr Richard Gray, of The Sunday Times STYLE;

I guess this collab is Tokyo cool meets Prince Charles or something like that. I spoke to Aiwaze San the designer of White Mountaineering, who told me the wax you see, which makes a Barbour jacket waterproof, was the Gortex of its day. And, in fact, it works as well as any new scientific development. Including Gortex. I look forward to the day the Royal Family wear White Mountaineering.

Hackett

Hackett

Then what a way to finish off the first day then to head over to one of London’s hidden architectural gems, No 2 Temple Place for a spot of dinner and to look at some exquisite attire by none other than Hackett, entitled, ‘Sheep, Shape and London Fashion’, this capsule collection paid homage to the prestigious longstanding textile mills of Britain. The 12 looks were an amalgamation of different checks and patterns in the finest British wools.

The second day started off with a great breathe of fresh air in the shape of the LC:M Exhibition, this never fails to impress me and I always fall head of heals for at least one brand this season my head couldn’t help being turned by the wonderful Gloverall and then the cashmere delights of ESK, this just has to be British craftsmanship at its best. And from one great example to another with Mr Nigel Calbourn who is never swayed by the short lived trends of Fashions but driven by inspirational stories of real people in history and vintage military, outdoor and work wear pieces.

Over then to Fraser Moss and YMC and once again I search the counsel of the ever wise Ms Sarah Gilfillan, contributor of this wonderful publication and founder of ;

 “I’ve always loved their simple understated look, and I particularly liked the clever layering and outerwear. The mixture of taloring with sportswear inspired pieces like the drawstring trousers takes me right back to the 90’s when they first started .I find their collections are minimal enough in design to appeal to the everyday man but they always have a subtle point of difference so they’re never boring. I have no doubt I’ll be buying many of these items with my clients next season and I can’t wait!”

Hardy Amies

Hardy Amies

Moving on to a brand which, to quote Messers Daft Punk and Williams, “Like a Phoenix from the ashes” WOW I can quite simply sum the Hardy Amies collection as, Beautiful clothes, where you find yourself wanting piece after piece.

Christopher Raeburn

Christopher Raeburn

Much like Mr Christopher Raeburn, who like Nigel Cabourn draws greatly on the great outdoors and nature in all its beauty for their inspiration and once again he does fail to impress. This season utilising Royal Navy rafts as his material of choice.

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Belstaff

Now stay with me here, but I had my reservations when I headed towards an underground car park, not a million miles away from The House of Commons. Surely I must have taken a wrong turn, it wouldn’t have been the first time and this can hardly be classed as a glamorous setting for a stylish presentation for a brand like Belstaff ? Well, as I see Fashion Royalty like Ms Suzy Menkes, Mr Edward Enniful and Ms Caroline Rush spilling out of it, I can’t be wrong. Belstaff, took its inspiration from the ‘Ton-Up Boys’ of the 1950s. Heavily into their rock‘n’roll and motorcycles, these ‘greasers’ would rendezvous at cafés and attempt to ‘do a ton’ (exceed speeds of 100mph) on their custom-made bikes, both fearless and reckless in their stylish pursuit.

Casely-Hayford

Casely-Hayford

Moving into the straits now we had a blinder of a show from Father and Son duo Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford.  Set to a sound track of Bjork and Bowie a tribe of Stylish Outsiders did the honours for u. Mixing Oranges and Pinks seamlessly with Blacks and Navy to create a riveting colour palette.

E.Tautz

E.Tautz

Opening to a surmon by his Holiness Pope John Paul II isn’t the most obvious start to an E.Tautz show but give Patrick Grant his dues it certainly got the audience’s attention in what Grant called his most personal collection so far, for the Savile Row house. Every coat and piece of outerwear he sent out was one you lushes and craved for already, no brights or pastels for Grant this season only monochrome in his highly wearable colour spectrum.

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Now here’s the battle of the big boys of LC:M, the Texan and the Yorkshire lad, up first we have Tom Ford who showed us a much more causal side to him, which I have to say I’d really not expected to see which included jeans and trainers, I lie to you not ! Then we have Christopher Bailey in the Burberry Check corner, offering us Classical Bohemian in ponchos, florals and paisley, fresh off a hazy trip back in time to India.

Well, there you have it for another season next stop Milan, ding, ding !



London Collections:Men – Show Review – Spring/Summer 2015 – Part II

So after yesterday’s instalment of LC:M for Spring Summer 2015 we conclude it with highlights from such illustrious brand as Burberry, Tom Ford and MOSCHINO !

As in past seasons, I like, for both of our sakes, to ask the opinion of leading figures within this industry, in fact the third largest in the country, if statistics are to be believed, and this season is no different. Let’s start with Mr David Heyes, leading freelance Fashion Writer, who had to say the following regarding Christopher Bailey’s Burberry show.

“Christopher Bailey has got the Burberry formula down to a fine art. Put up a tent in the middle of one of London’s Royal parks, have your fingers crossed for sun, but don’t be too disappointed if it pours down – this is Britain’s heritage rainwear brand after all – and send of out loads of quite nice coats whatever the season. Spring/summer 2015 stuck to the script (no rain, just iPhone melting sunshine) but added a few surprises by way of off-beat colour – think poisonous greens and purples – and a mix of rich fabrics such as tonic suiting, plush velvet and superfine ‘ombre’ knits. Oh and some pretty cool rainbow hued trainers. The take away ideas for next season? Denim jackets buttoned to the top as a key layer under coats, duffle coats and cardigans yet again (surely timed to coincide with the new Paddington Bear movie?) and cute typographical prints that went someway to explain the show’s ‘Book covers and Bruce Chatwin’ title. What best to leave back in Burberry HQ? Those floppy felt hats of course.”

So from a British Power House to a Italian one, who we welcome with open arms, Moschino, and we asked the opinion of one of the rising stars of the publishing industry, in Ms Mandy Pang, grooming Editor of none other then Shortlist Magazine.

“Jeremy Scott has brought back the best of Moschino and the 90’s with bold logos and branding. His take on “counterfeits” of other major designer brands such a Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Armani as inspiration for the prints and designs were fun, in your face and made the whole show very tongue in cheek. The incorporation of power cut suits, netted vest tops, oversized print, a generous splattering of pop colour and a nod to popular cultural references meant that the collection also stayed true to it’s Moschino identity. It’s loud branding at it’s best!”

Keeping on that international tip and welcoming another new face to LC:M is Tiger of Sweden, we caught up with Neil Thornton, leading menswear blogger with T, informed us .

“If there’s one thing that Tiger of Sweden do, and do very well, it’s the skinny suit. They totally own it and they know. For SS15, Tiger of Sweden showcase their best and most signature styles with seasonal updates. While not groundbreaking, which I don’t think it ever intends to be, Tiger of Sweden’s offering is slick and undeniably cool. Their staple palette of blacks and greys, that show the trends that will crossover into mainstream fashion, were interspersed with rust hues and leaf prints as well as the now synonymous baseball jerseys while trouser lengths stayed above the ankle. The collection is effortless and above all, totally wearable.”

Back to a Brit, well a Scotsman, in the form of Patrick Grant for his Savile Row Brand E.Tautz, for this I sort the opinion of  UK’s leading men the world of Blogging, Simon Glazin of  who described the show as.

“I did actually love the school boy stripes from E Tautz and the big belt buckles on the trousers. It was clearly inspired by the 70s but without just throwing in flared trousers and psychedelic prints and we saw denim introduced for the first time which was fresh, minimal and wearable.”

Now last up but by no means least, is the Texan who every man in the know wants to be and every woman has a secret crush on Mr Tom Ford, for this man I had to turn to one of the biggest names in British men’s blogging, Marcus Jaye of   Jaye summed up Tom’s Spring 2015 offering as.

“The big news from Tom Ford was the introduction of jeans. Made in USA, all 3 styles are fitted and made the whole look much younger.”

London Collections:Men Show Review Autumn/Winter 2014 Pt II

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

So after yesterday’s plethora of delights that enthralled us,  what do we have for you today. Well, we can quite safely say COLOUR is the major  trend for Autumn, but you could retort with, so what’s new ? What’s new is that we have seen pretty much every colour of the Rainbow from the darker more somber tones as een in TOPMAN Design and the monochromes of Agi & Sam to the racier hues of Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders and of course Christopher Kane, who offered a box of delights to keep any man happy no matter his taste from sober to total intoxication. Kane has expanded his collection to include a more formal element right the way through to his signature patterns and knits in amazing and engaging tones.

Hackett

Hackett

Next stop was the Freemasons Hall in Holborn for the Hackett Show, some what of a British institution holding it’s show within another British institution. The Freemason’s was a spectacular venue for the staging of this grand hotel themed setting. It was like a game of Guess Who, with leading men under the guise of the Explorer, The Graduate, the CEO and travel photographer, to name a few. In short everything was right about this show, in trying to select a picture to illustrate this show, it was so difficult as I liked one shot, then another and another.

E.Tautz

E.Tautz

As always I like to gauge the opinion of learned colleagues, up first this season, is himself, Gary Kingsnorth, who described Patrick Grant’s E.Tautz as, “The highlight of LC:M was E.Tautz for me, a collection that was strong and contemporary.Inspired by the artwork of William Hogarth that was brought bang up date was a compelling collection to watch on the catwalk .”
Kent & Curwen

Kent & Curwen

Another house of tradition with its roots firmly entrenched in formalwear, but somewhat commencing a transformation, since the appointment of  new Creative Director, by golly there all at it, Simon Spurr is Kent & Curwen. He bought us a range inspired by Naval dress uniform, where he has reinterpretation and juxtaposition of iconic pieces.
Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

So  from one brand ringing in the changes to the ultimate brand who have completely turned themselves around, Burberry. Christopher Bailey for Burberry Prorsum, used London again as inspiration, in the second season of showing at LC:M he embraced the London Autumnal weather and used Leaf prints on Scarf, shirts and coats. Plus, if anyone can make that other very British of garment, the string vest cool again surely it has to be Bailey ?

Christopher Shannon

Christopher Shannon

The second of our contributing opinion formers comes from one of the pioneers in men’s style blogging, Marcus Jaye, otherwise known as  who felt, “Think my favourite show was Christopher Shannon. Really took it to the next level with ideas and the finish. Kept his sportswear look that he is known for, but gave others, who aren’t necessarily into that look , something like the fag packet knits or the bomber jackets.”

A.Sauvage

A.Sauvage

And finally, we come all too quickly to the end of another LC:M  and what better way to finish this review of the best of the best then with Mr Adrien Sauvage. Who presented his envious and effortlessly cool take on style from rocking formalwear to rock inspired casual wear.

London Collections:MEN Autumn/Winter 2013 part II

(shot by Surgery TV a new fashion TV channel by Surgery PR)

Ok, before we start this morning I’ve a bit of a rant to get off my chest and I think it probably best put in the quote I’ve given to couple of publications, when asked to give my opinion on some of the more out there menswear shows we’ve seen this week during LC:M ;

“For Menswear designers today it’s increasingly difficult to obtain Media coverage so they know that, if they do wild and wacky pieces or collections they will achieve this. Very little has been spoken in the mainstream press about Agi & Sam who also were part of the MAN show, which included Craig Green and his, how can I put this, original face protection. This duo presented a great balance of directional and wearable clothing. Additionally, Oliver Spencer, Hackett, E.Tautz, Nutters of Savile Row or Matthew Miller, who all offered stand out collections that, virtually, any man could wear and look stylish and yet they receive very little column inches. It’s far easier to write negative articles about how crazy and mad Mens Fashion is even though the Fashion industry is worth £21bn to the UK economy.”
Jonathan Saunders AW13

Jonathan Saunders AW13

OK end of rant, but I just find it sooooooo boring and lazy when people rip into Menswear, normally journalists who have very little experience of it and belittle and humiliate it when it’s a multi-million pound industry that is essential to the global economy and keeps millions of households in jobs every year alone.

Right then eyes down for round two and first on the agenda is Mr Jonathan Saunders, more known for his womenswear, this Scot is making real headway now with his Menswear. He drew his inspiration from the worlds of Op art, classicism and the Thin White Duke-era David Bowie, rather apt and maybe a good luck omen as it was Bowie’s birthday on this day. It was pleasant to see a collection which was so full of colour. My particular favourite piece was this harrington jacket in a gradation of colour like the sky at night when flying.
Richard James AW13

Richard James AW13

Over then to the re-furbished Cafe Royal for the Richard James Show who celebrates 21 years in the biz in 2013 and as you would expect showcased exceptional suiting and great re-working of the classic tuxedo in iridescent tones. According to the press release is was inspired by a unique fixture of London living that abounds with a curious, colourful life of its own. OK must have missed that but it was a great show.

Our next port of call was a Presentation called The English Gentleman at the Spencer House, which featured a mix of models dressed by Savile Row’s finest tailors. Forty different outfits were shown, spread through seven of the splendid rooms of London’s preeminent private palace. This essentially was a chance for Savile Row to, quite rightly, show off to the foreign press and just reiterate just how good at tailoring the UK is.
A mad dash ensued chasing round to attend a number of shows and presentations until the main event of the night, Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton brought McQueen’s unique style of Gothic drama back to the UK and not since the Demeter carried Count Dracula to these shores have we seen such mystic. The models general demeanour was that of a rather demonic Max Headroom and the collection carried many of Burton’s trademark pagoda shoulder.This is something that won’t  be to everyone’s likings, but there is no mistaking the sheer theatre of this collection.
Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 19.03.38The end of the Fashion world is nigh, well at least for London anyway before, its Milan’s turn to take on the baton. The subject of yesterday’s Post Christopher Raeburn started the final day of LC:M. Actor Russell Tovey, DJ/Presenter and face of Burton Menswear Reggie Yates (plus stylist Brother Cobi) Ohhh and we mustn’t forget Style Ambassador Dave Gandy all sat front row. Raeburn, invited us into his ethical world of outdoor  pursuits, recycled and masculine menswear, with my personal favourites being his deconstructed checked parka with matching duffel bag.
E.Tautz AW13

E.Tautz AW13

A hop, skip and a jump over to join Patrick Grant at E.Tautz, here he offered his usual top class formal attire, where he perfectly blends the timeless traditions of Savile Row, yet manages to always deliver a bang up to date range. E.Tautz is one of those shows where you catch yourself thinking, want that, and that ohh and that. Keep it up sir.

Katie Eary AW13

Katie Eary AW13

Up next can only be described as an assault on your senses, almost a styling mugging, one could say. Kate Eary, managed to mash-up colours, patterns, prints and trends all without making look like some street wear dogs dinner. Everything from the styling to the music all worked in Eary’s favour. If you were feeling anyway jaded before you certainly felt lifted after that.

Lastly, what is starting to become LC:M’s equivalent of those memorable collaborations from the Brit Awards, like Dizzee and Florence, Justin and Kylie or Mick and Sam. Last year we saw Timothy Everest hook up with Superdry. This season we see the legendary Nutters of Savile Row team up with casual wear brand Peter Werth. These unusual bed partners came together while working on the wardrobe for the forthcoming film “Northern Soul”. The collection paid tribute to the archive of Tommy Nutter, oversized lapels, roped shoulders and wide leg trousers but mixed this with modern tailored sportswear so as to prevent it looking like a 70’s themed party. All these elements came together as a fitting an rip roaring finale to AW13’s LC:M, leaving just one question, how do you top that ?