London Fashion Week Men AW18
By 55's Fashion Editor Sara Darling
Every January just as I am getting over the excess of Christmas I know I am in for a double treat as January brings not doom and gloom but a whole new season of clothes and lots of pretty boys to look at.
Even though London Fashion Week Mens has had a rebrand (now known affectionately as LFWM) it seemed to have had a bit of its stuffing knocked out of it as the big players were nowhere to be seen. But there was still plenty of what London does best- twisted tailoring and lots of personality.
Burberry shows a joint mens and womens collection in February, and there was no sign of the Savile Row tailoring, Chester Barrie, Richard James, Agi and Sam and Harrys of London were noticeably missing. But it did have authentic Northern Soul dancing, Craig Green’s sculptural human kite, and dancing on ice, so I guess that’s just fashion progress!
Choosing key looks, is me choosing my favourites, so these are the trends that I am hoping any man worth any fashion kudos will be dipping into next AW.
Real men will be wearing knits, shearling, corduroy and velvet!!! The leaders of the pack are JW Anderson, who went oversized gran knit- chic! Using crochet for backpacks and overcoats with crochet sleeves; Astrid Andersen indulged in street knits, fusing Argyle patterns with classic polo shirts (metallic robe optional). And if you fancy stocking up for any extracurricular outdoors activities, take note of winter woolies specialists, Band of Outsiders, whose models ice danced at Somerset House.
Vivienne Westwood, E Tautz and Oliver Spencer are the go to names for cord, keep it dainty and not not jumbo- there is no need to reference your cheesy raver days! But of course, Westwood has added a punk twist.
Oliver Spencer as usual showed on his celebrity friends and my jey picks are the snazzy velvet bombers- perfect for bringing a dash of dandy to your daywear. Velvet took main stage at Casely-Hayford too- if you are in the market for patterned velvet trousers or shirts, you will make a statement at the Christmas party in these. Even designers on the edgier scale, Liam Hodges and Alex Mullins introduced a splash of the luxe fabric in their collections,
Streetwear is always going to be big for boys. Matthew Miller and YMC do their own version for grown up boys ranging from burnt orange to darker hues. And Maharishi added African-inspired print to his military looks, whilst Tinie Tempah's second collection for What We Wear, is perfect for men who like to glow. In day glow!
Craig Green has been on the tip of the fash pack tongue for several season’s now, and his latest collection consisted of highly technical fabrics and sportswear looks, including denim pants, worker-wear jackets and ribbed windbreakers.
Christopher Raeburn is a man who knows his customer, and although his collections are always highly wearable, this season was mostly bright orange. Inspired by the sea rescue service, this ultimately became a lot more street- unless you count the lobster mittens, which might be too Shoreditch for some.
With more emerging talent showcasing, Daniel W Fletcher is one to watch. This season, he celebrated what it means to be young, male and British. Concentrating on classic schoolboy staples of the seventies like the Mackintosh, he added wrestling singlets and extra-clingy cycling shorts.
For the more flamboyant, Wales Bonner is the designer to know. Working a collection inspired by Afro-American artist Jacob Lawrence, her deconstructed sportswear and tailored suiting was simplistic, yet luxuriously beautiful.
Tourne de Transmission showcased their first ever runway show which provided laid back layers perfect for skater boys; Whereas WoodWood offered a unisex presentation, perfect for a transition into adulthood. With classic American youth culture references such as varsity jackets, double denim and slogan tops, the result was perfectly normcore.
Fashion Week wouldn't be fashion week without heritage brand Belstaff. Always decadently British, this season saw plenty of army surplus-style over coats styled with hoodies and lots of leather. The collection as a whole not just for bikers, but took inspiration from mods, punks, rockers and skins- and was a mash up of subcultures. This year is also a landmark year for the brand, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its iconic four-pocket Trialmaster jacket. Here's to another 70 years.