So this is it. London is once again at the focus of The World’s attention. This time though it’s not sporting personalities or politician’s spending money where they shouldn’t be. It’s the epicenter for new and experienced talent within men’s fashion to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections. Yes my fellow readers its Men’s Fashion Week, also known as London Collections.
Over a three-day period, London becomes a men’s fashion paradise. With over 130 designers staging their designs, but what can we expect from this whirlwind of style? Each day is a hybrid of old and new talent expressing their works through runways and static presentations (either on live models or mannequins) in three locations scattered over the capital.
Over the next few days, I will be picking my highlights from the shows and picking out some key looks to give you a heads up for Autumn/Winter 2014. So where to start?
The Savile Row tailor, Hardy Amies once said: “A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forget all about them.” Now in 2014, his legacy lives on in his new collection. The static presentation of 12 models epitomised the modern mans carefree tastes.
Amies’ Autumn/Winter looks consisted of single button and double-breasted suits with windowpane print in sapphire blues and steel greys, trench and pea coats in slate greys and ivory whites, polo and round neck jumpers in burnt orange and off-white and the man bag embossed in a minute geometric print in rich earthy brown and tar-like blacks. The outfits were finished with classic brogues, moccasins and monk strap shoes.
A personal favorite from the capsule collection is a sapphire blue windowpane suit, teamed with a classic white shirt and grey tie. Protecting this blue suit is an electric blue trench coat, a wonderful spin on the beloved trench. At the bottom, finishing this look off some monk strap shoes and a black leather holdall. Perfect for the British winters.
Topman, the jewel in the nation’s High Street, and now they’re taking inspiration from the North of England for their latest collection. Design Director, Gordon Richardson talking about the collection said: “This was my romantic notion of tough northern (England) boys going to work in shipyards of old … They would just have been like that, they would have worn donkey jackets, pea coats, they would have braved the elements.”
The show took place at Topman’s show space on New Oxford Street. Encased in the dark room was the rectangular runway with the after math of a rainstorm on it, creating an instant atmosphere for onlookers. The onlookers in attendance were Tinie Tempah, model David Gandy (he’s recently been in the Marks & Spencers Christmas advert as the Mad Hatter) and Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw.
As the show began, a John Cooper Clark poem echoed through the black space talking of fashion and encapsulating what the show was about. The first model calmly walked down the runway in a black duffle coat with leather pockets, slackened suit trousers and brogues. This dark colour pallet ran through the show with flecks of dusky blues, pale greys, bright orange a ‘la traditional fishing jackets and hints of purple and khaki. The show was not just a colourful sensory over load for the eyes, it was textural aswell.
With heavy-duty woollen trench coats, thick chunky knitted jumpers to the waist with a high turtle neck (which reminded me of something Sibling did in Autumn/Winter 2013), patent duffle coats, cropped suit jackets, but at the heart of this collection was edgy tailoring. This is something that Topman have increasingly become synonymous for over the past few years.
As the show drew to a close and the final model walked off behind the runway, the house lights went down. As the lights came back on, a fine cloud of water doused the runway, the models did their final lap of honour moving through the mist, showing the collection one final time.
In my opinion this is one of the strongest collections Topman have produced. It not only encapsulates the brands modern twist on classic looks, but it is also something that the male High Street shopper can look forward to wearing without breaking the bank.
WHAT ELSE CAUGHT MY EYE
As I viewed the shows through various social media providers and through the London Collections website, a few other pieces and designers caught my attention. Astrid Andersen with her take on sports luxe using the bomber jacket (a must have piece for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter), jogging bottoms with monochromatic colour blocking. John Smedley’s colour pallet of reds, oranges, blues and greys echoed through nearly every designer of day one of London Collections. Smedley used this pallet in geometric patterns and bold striped jumpers, plain-cuffed sweatpants teamed with plain black shoes.
My first impression of day one is that black with flecks of hot and cold colours peeking through is going to be a strong colour for Winter season. Thick chunky knits are a go-go and tailoring teamed with a turtleneck jumper is in.
What day two will bring, I will wait with bated breath.