I’m going to make a confession: as a fashion editor, I’d rather live in London. Yes, I know it is crowded, filthy, and so expensive that I’d have to sell either my soul or my body to afford rent but really, it’s the dream. Why not Paris or New York? London Collections: Men fashion week.
Held between January 9 and 12, the Autumn/Winter 2015 edition of London Collections: Men continued the bi-annual tradition of showcasing the best of British and international menswear muscle. It’s no secret that I think the best menswear of the moment is coming out of the UK — excluding, perhaps, South Korea and Japan. Central Saint Martins has become a stylish Hogwarts of sorts, producing a new generation of British design magicians that are equally referential of the Isles’ rich history while fearlessly thumbing their noses at conventional rules of gender, material, and shape. Talents such as Craig Green, Christopher Shannon, and 2014 British Fashion Award Winner for Best Menswear Designer, J.W. Anderson, serve as the flag-bearers of this new creative wave, churning out catwalk shows at London Collections: Men that are in tune with pop art, the underground music scene, and sharp, architectural lines. Even the models, ranging from pale, green-eyed gingers to broad-shouldered, angular Afro-Brits, somehow feel symbolic of the evolution of the city that surrounds them. Can you really get more British?
Meanwhile, more steadfast brands like Alexander McQueen, Burberry, and Maison Margiela continue to remain relevant under the watchful eyes of Sarah Burton, Christopher Bailey, and the ever-controversial John Galliano, respectively. This is the first show from Galliano in four years following a drunken anti-semitic rant that led to his firing from Dior, a stint in rehab, and re-emergence as a clear-headed creative genius, presenting a haute-couture womenswear collection at LCM. In many ways, his story parallels with that of London’s fashion scene. While long associated with seedy, sloppy, late-night parties, the city has awoken from its decades-long sartorial hangover and demands to be taken seriously. London knows it has a track record – it’s part of its story and appeal. It’s an old dog that learned new tricks.
The major menswear trends spotted at London Collections: Men on the catwalks of main players Burberry and Topman Design revolved around a distinctly 1970s aesthetic including bright shades of orange and yellow, brown, gingham, psychedelic patterns, wool pinstripe, and suede. Other key styles seen at LCM included fun furs, monochromatic black and white, statement scarves (think oversized knits, funky patterns, and punchy colours), and trousers with a more relaxed fit. From designers of the more avant-garde, technical persuasion, you’ll notice plenty of straps, geometric colour-blocking, cut-out, and more unusual menswear materials like patent leather.
Check out our favourite looks from London Collections: Men autumn/winter 2014 below.
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