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Oh dear. I am jealous of London-based designers; what could appear as a fashion sacrilege, precisely mixing high-end & sophisticated menswear designers with Topshop consumers, has – again – been achieved with brio and success. Because London has understood more than any other city (listen, Italian and French maestros…) that fashion weeks are cultural – and then popular – amplifiers.
Considering that, it’s not a surprise to realize that Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw has been appointed ambassador for the menswear catwalk showcase, while the the Museum of London is hosting an interesting exhibition called The Anatomy of a Suit.
So what do I keep from the first days of #londoncollectionsmen ?
First, Gieves & Hawkes revolutionary global positioning that its creative director – Jason Basmajian – sums up in FT:
“I love the country colour palette worn in the city,” he says, “to me it’s quite urban.”
The brand reboots the vision of tailoring, and it’s a good news to attract emerging market to the art of good shapes and good cuts…
We can’t forget the daring collection by Lou Dalton; it’s not only because we love everything that Open Ceremony spots (they’re stocking her label, just to say…), but her working-class roots were one more time transformed and diffused in her creation. She shares with us the story of a boy who worked on her grandmother’s farm in Shropshire. A guy with hands-in approach who apparently had probably a roaring life after work.
The other interesting trend is the growing place of the Chinese and Asian scene in London. Xander Zhou and “his highness” collection plays with the imagery of young graduates with a touch of what might called Scandinavian / Korean blackness. A deconstruction of traditional shapes which will appeal to a lot of consumers…
I’m not going to talk about James Long , as you already know our fascination for him. Same story for Saunders, and there’s already plenty of articles about his collection; read Alex Fury‘s thoughts, it’s really worth it.
Finally, my candy-crush is for Astrid Andersen; it’s not really a sportswear collection, nor a non wearable piece of art…it’s more something we might call cool fashion, aka clothes you can wear casually, but with a glimpse of original tailoring. A bit like if Nike had finally met Jonathan Saunders, so to say.
London, well done, I love you.