London Collections: Men SS14 Shows Review Part II

One could say how do you follow yesterday’s post
regarding the first half of SS14’s London Collection:Men
(sorry still don’t like the name), well the answer is simple with
the likes of Alexander McQueen, Oliver Spencer, Burberry and
Paul Smith. And so lets not waste any more of either of our time
and get underway with one of the aforementioned style giants,
in the form of the house of McQueen. Like yesterday, as I said,
rather then me churner on giving my twopence on every John,
Dick & Agi, I’ll let the leaders of the Style pack give it
to you. This time round Lee Holden, leading Menswear
gives us his take on the
Alexander McQueen Menswear show….
“It was great all black and white. Lots of surface
texture. Overlaid lace on suits. Brocade in black and white.
Edwardian silhouette. Long line jackets. Loads of parallel silk
shorts with cinchers on the sides of the knees”.

So from the royalty of McQueen we head to the equally regal
Oliver Spencer, with the PR’s on the
door whispering of a surprise and with Jesse Metcalfe, Dermot
O’Leary and David Gandy (of course) sat FROW the show can begin.
But who’s that walking to the Decks strategically placed in the
centre of the catwalk ???? None other then blicking, Luther
himself, Idris Elba !!!!! The show gets underway with as always a
character filled show, including Wretch 32 modelling. The
inspiration for this season’s collection was the early graffiti
work of the 1980’s Neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat,
with a colour palette of Faded Red, Amber and Sky Blue, anchored by

Then its the schlep over to the banks of the River Thams and
Old Billingsgate Market, for the
Hackett show. All things 1960’s proved
to inspire Jeremy Hackett for this Collection, particularly the
work of iconic photographer Terry ‘ONeill, who has shot the Autumn
13 campaign for the brand. Plus the French illustrator RenĂ© Gruau’s
work, but the standout point for the show has to be the full 38
piece Orchestra of the London Philharmonic supplying the score for
the show ! The Clothes, like Gieves offered us a holiday wardrobe
this more Rivera style, with lightweight summer tweeds, dog tooth
checks, turtlenecks and playful patterns and colours.

Into the straights now for the final furlong of LC:M and onto the great man
himself Sir Paul Smith and all I can
say is what an honour to have him personally take me through the
collection himself. He explained to me his Best of
range and the unique suits that only Paul Smith
could do, in simply the most amazing fabrics that he worked on very
closely with the Yorkshire mill Joseph Clissold & Son.
While we were talking he was telling me about how they had re-make
some vintage pieces from the Paul Smith Archive for Matt Smith’s
Doctor Who costume, but he wouldn’t be drawn on who he would like
to see filling those shoes, maybe its him !

So feeling slightly dizzy with going back and fourth around London, we head back to
LC:M HQ in Covent Garden to view the wares of Marks
& Spencer’s Made in Britain collection
. SS14
will be the second season for this range and its hard to see how
they can build on the preview which they gave us of the Autumn
collection, to hit stores in September. Well they blooming well
did, my favourite pieces were the umbrellas which took all my will
power now to try and snaffle one for this inclement “summer”. The
bags not only looked but felt well beyond their retail price and
the Scottish Cashmere in the Modtro tailoring inspired by their
Leeds Archive was inspired.

The designer of the next show was the
subject of last season’s profile, Mr Christopher
, still gains inspiration from nature and the
great outdoors, though this season he explores the notion of
protection, focusing on the men of the Long Range Desert Group. A
reconnaissance and raiding unit from World War II who experienced
the extreme conditions of the desert environment. Raeburn brings an
element of modernity to tailoring for his latest range, as
sportswear is blended with the former.

Another Christopher up next
but this time its Shannon rather then Raeburn and it’s the turn of
the inimitable Mr Richard Gray, Associate Fashion
Director of the Sunday Times Style
to give his
unique take on Christopher Shannon’s

“This is the next level, la!
I’ve got middle-aged man-tits and grey riah and wanted it ALL. Will
have it all. That doesn’t mean it’s for old lads, it just means
it’s opened up to more people.
1. The colour – did a lil sex-wee over
2. Collars in
colour – recalcitrant teen in court, circa 1974. Want to be
3. The Junior
Gaultier-y branding and stars. SOLD!”

OK then, that brings us so nicely to not only the penultimate show of the review but what has to be
the most exciting and awaited, as Christopher Bailey brings
Burberry Prorsum home to the UK to
show its SS14 Menswear collection and lets just say it didn’t
disappoint. I have to admit, I am a Johnny come later fan of the
work of Bailey and I’d sit through numerous Burberry shows in Milan
and listen to Journalists and Stylists tell me about how great the
show was and I’d think I don’t get it. Then akin to St Paul on the
Road to Damascus, I had an epiphany moment and haven’t looked back.
This collection was a cracker, of course inspired by David Hockney
and like Hockney the use of colour, whether is be with the watches,
sunglasses or any garment was genius. Keep up the good work Bailey
and heres to seeing you back in London again in January.

And so it is the end of the third London Collections:Men, getting bigger and
better each time, a bit like my blisters and who may we see on the
schedule for next season ???? Vivienne Westwood maybe, Neil
Barrett, possibly maybe ever a count of our international cousins,
who would be very welcome in the cold that will be January 14 ! But
hold you horses, we have one more show and for us at
Clothes Make the Man, a blinder of a
designer and the subject of this season’s profile. Mr
Patrick Grant for
Patrick takes us on a journey in and
around the many ethic cultures that call London home and make it
such a cosmopolitan hotbed. From the Bangladeshi community of East
London to A Japanese man who reads his book wearing a traditional
robe as Grant cycles past in King Edwards Park. All groups
retaining parts of their over clothing identity but encompassing
parts of their new home, normally height duty coats to combat the
environment of the UK. Grant managed to bring in all of these
factors and make them work as part of one solid collection.