As London hands on the menswear relay to Florence, Schön! takes a closer look at the best shows of the concluding days of London Collections: Men. From young designers who established themselves and have honed their craft in the city, such as James Long and Xander Zhou, to international fashion houses, of the likes of Moschino and Tom Ford, who are more recent additions to the LC:M schedule, London brought together a wealth of designs and creations over the course of the three days.
Schön!’s very own cover boy, Sebastian Sauve, opened the Kokon To Zai show sporting a white Greek-style cuirass. Clad in the house’s signature graphic black & white prints, an army of Spartan warriors paraded, displaying an imaginative take on that all-pervasive Hellenistic imagery which we’ve grown accustomed to.
Kit Neale expanded on previous collections with bold prints, focusing this season on jovial aviation motifs. Blending a wide variety of fabrics and textures, James Long, on the other hand, layered his silhouettes with a wealth of patches, sheer and technical fabrics, putting torn pieces and intricately constructed mesh tops side by side.
Wide sleeves and trouser legs cut bold silhouettes at E.Tautz, where models clad in full denim walked the runway. With loose fits and sculptural volumes, Patrick Grant introduced a touch of flamboyance to his rainwear pieces, offering a modern vision of the urban man.
Sibling made heads turn, or should that be spin (to a Dead or Alive soundtrack), with a collection of uniforms for the anti-cultural crowds. Raging against convention, the pieces oozed a rebellious feel, but turned down threadbare denim and lacerated jeans for beautifully crafted knit leggings, kilt-like pieces and knitted wool mohaws. If the revolution looks as good as this, count us in.
Xander Zhou propelled his audience into other galaxies with his show, where conventional forms of gender and sexuality were disregarded, and were replaced with intergalactic space wear. PVC valves and nylon gauze introduced an otherworldly element to the pieces, offering a complex reinterpretation of conventional menswear silhouettes.
Established in the 17th Century, Ede & Ravenscroft is the oldest firm of tailors in the world. Suppliers of ceremonial garb to graduates and the judiciary, they surprised us with a contemporary take on the summer wardrobe, including wonderful wide legged but light weight trousers and hints of botanical prints.
Meanwhile, on Savile Row, we were greeted by a colour coded display of Brogues in every conceivable hue and many style variations, while the master of quintessentially British style, Sir Paul Smith, talked us through his latest shoe collection.
The always charming Mr Tom Ford talked us through a collection inspired by the Wild West. Fringed jackets and deliciously sexy denim were given the Tom Ford touch with the finest fabrics, luxe linings and his usual attention to detail.
Chester Barrie took us on a trip to the Riviera with a collection inspired by resort dressing. Dubbing itself as ‘Tailors of the Unexpected’, the brand best known for formalwear showed us how to do casual but chic as models lounged on deck chairs and enticed us to participate in a round of Jenga.
Baartmans and Siegel is a go-to label for the smart but urban young man. This season it didn’t disappoint. A collection of utilitarian inspired garments in inky blues and khaki greens was accentuated by the coolest eyewear in collaboration with Fanoptics and fashion forward footwear in partnership with Kickers.
La Cordé treated us to preppy school boy stripes and crisp tailoring in navy and white with accents of mustard yellow. We were fortunate enough to meet the designers at the fabulous after-party at The Soho Hotel and will be keeping a close eye on this promising new brand from China.