Since its inception in 2012, London Collections: Men has undoubtedly begun to attract more and more worldwide attention, from buyers and press alike. Its schedule comprises international designers, London-based fashion houses, as well as the more traditional British tailoring brands. With the quality, inventivety and creativity of the shows raising the bar higher and higher, Schön! was keen to discover another season of brilliant menswear designs.
London brand YMC launched this season’s three day menswear stint, showcasing light cotton designs and bucket hats as you’ve never seen them before. Sheer rubber macs provided ample opportunity to enter into a game of textures and textiles. Patterns were reminiscent of ‘60s prints, thus introducing a slight vintage feel to a collection built up, predominantly, of modern fabrics with technical blends.
TOPMAN Design brought us ahead to a ‘70s inspired collection, with bold floral prints and flares which celebrated all things hip of the London of the mods & rockers. With a palette of vivid yellow, the collection seemed to announce good things for next summer.
From the yellow hues of the TOPMAN show, Astrid Andersen brought acid oranges and pinks to the runway with her army of urban, sumo-wrestler inspired, warriors. Amidst signature AA lettering and pop prints, sportswear pieces were reconfigured, offering a fresh and innovative take on menswear, all whilst blurring gender lines along the way.
Matthew Miller also pushed barriers, but headed inwards, with a collection aptly titled Introversion. Constructing complex patchwork pieces, and reworking the very structure of garments, Miller brought the focus of the collection back into the seams and the build of the garments. Christopher Raeburn equally reconstructed bomber-style jackets by incorporating complex lace systems reminiscent of aviation gear.
Presenting his menswear collection in the vast empty upper floors of the former Sorting Office, Jonathan Saunders infused the industrial space with light, and a animated the venue with a colour palette which drifted from deep tones of blue, to a warmer tones of muted oranges. Similar industrial undertones were seen in the Richard Nicoll collection, with metallic pieces and layered rubber overcoats. Paper-thin textiles introduced a voluminous side to the garments, cleverly playing with a crumpled effect.
Christopher Shannon, on the other hand, delved into ‘90s inspired prints, with graphic pieces emblazoned with imperatives encouraging us to ‘think.’ Cut-out squares let glimpses of skin shine out from underneath the geometrically-constructed pieces, giving the collection an ever-so-slightly, but all so delectable, voyeuristic feel.
Combining tailoring tricks with a subtle layering of textiles, Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton, the design duo behind Agi & Sam, presented an understated collection. A particular highlight were the pleated pieces, mainly in the form of trousers, which added visual depth to a collection that shone through its focus on volumes.
DKNY Men brought an urban conclusion to a day of shows, with designs which were both functional and parred-down. Cutting bold figures, models displayed loose fitting gear, fit for a city life, with a highlight being the sheer rubber overcoat. With its dramatic presentation, DKNY brought the first day of LC:M to a close, handing on the relay to KTZ to open the second installment of shows the next day.
Words / Patrick Clark
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