Baartmans and Siegel:
Baartmans and Siegel:
A combo of Dutch and English, designers Baartmans and Siegel see themselves as ‘modern traditionalists’. Their AW15 collection, presented at Victoria House, could not be described more perfectly. There were mainly shades of black and blue and the duo use geometric patterning and horizontal lines to make the coats and jackets bolder and sportier.
Now what’s not to love about anything J.W Anderson creates? This mens collection was no different, with lots of the 70’s here: The same belted brown leather coat we saw in Pre-fall womenswear, the trim shearlings, the suede coat, with the kit sleeves, the blue corduroy jacket, the funky Soul Train collar points on sinuous shirts. The big exaggerated buttons that were the collection’s jewelry was the best thing about the whole collection. The mesh squares were inspired by the stereo speakers in a car; the ceramics were an offshoot of Anderson’s love for the legendary Lucie Rie.
Margaret Howell used accent-color scarves or socks as a way to add energy to a somewhat dour palette (there was a lot of grey, navy, and white). Howell showed her staple white shirt; this season it had echoes of a tuxedo shirt, with a reinforced chest panel. The collection incorporated plenty of little exciting details, such as the white shearling peeking out at the top of the buttoning of a coat, or the ’60s width of the suit jackets. The collection was classic Margaret Howell, made up of an array of beautiful essentials and desirable fabrics, and when you’re Margaret Howell you can be consistently predictable and still please everyone.
Joseph was another incredible collection filled with the theme of knitwear -blown up to maximized proportions, a technique that for the first time had been possible to achieve on a machine. Rugby shirts were rendered in classic fabrics, the most obviously luxurious one in black napa leather. The color scheme was borrowed from the Irish-American painter Sean Scully, whose abstract panels were reinterpreted on various pieces, including a brown knitted tracksuit.
The James Long AW15 had an arts-and-crafts feel to it. Although the show mainly featured a dark-hued wardrobe of raw hems, progressive street wear, that was formfitting, it was also complimented with decorative elements. We can see in this collection trends, such as patchwork, shearling, and interesting cuts and proportions that were apparent in other shows this season. We especially love the Trucker jackets that looked like it was made up of different garments in contrasting fabrics. Denim made an appearance, and it was refreshing, as you can never go wrong with the staple.
The show opened, somewhat literally, with a knitted tasseled poncho, including a brown hat with a ribbon sporting the rainbow palette of the Andes. Such colour bursts were added almost at random to sleeves, buttonholes, and pockets left in an unfinished state, which was an interesting touch. There were also patterned, brightly coloured shirts that peeked out from underneath a beige suit or a blue-grey jacket. Menswear designers often treat any kind of functionality with the seriousness of the meaning of life, so it felt refreshing to see an attempt to just make great looking clothes.
Like everything Jeremy Scott does, this collection had a playful cartoonish feel to it, as Scott was reinterpreting the conventional butch midwinter menswear attire. “I think of it as a very GQ archetype, and I wanted to take it on because it is something I have never played with,” he said, adding, “I always over exaggerate”. Scott presented an array of garments that be build up for a perfect winter wardrobe: Cardigans, sweaters, fake fur, Lurex, zebra and leopard prints, and even printed denim (that’s new). “I always try and push,” Scott explained. “I think, What else is out there? And there is a ton that is missing from menswear that is still plausible but pushes the boundaries.” And push boundaries he did.
The key theme to Alexander McQueen’s collection was uniforms. There was the obvious military association in army green and air force blue, epaulets and army pockets, and the diamante medals that decorated the show’s finale. Leave it to Sarah Burton to acknowledge one of the most important moments in history, The centenary of World War I, which has been a subject of conversation for the past few months. It was also palpable in the small touches of the clothes; the recreation of the poppies that are worn on Remembrance day, and the English rose was manipulated to look like the Scottish rose. She also showcased clothes that can easily be worn; Businessman pinstripes, abstract houndstooth, and pieces with words like “truth”, “valor”, and “honor” printed on them. It’s not easy to create a collection that pays tribute to a moment in history in such a strong way, and also be commercially successful, but it seems that Burton has found the right recipe. McQueen would be proud.
Dunhills latest collection was based around strong personalities. Think Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and David Hockney. In a way the person imagined in creative director John Ray’s head is more important than the clothes themselves. “The clothes are almost secondary”, he said. The collection was leaning towards casual, with loose paints that were rolled up, and pieces that felt put together in a spontaneous moment. “The dressing is random, haphazard, but these artists all had the sophisticated touch. There’s just the thing added that makes it work,” he explains. We love how he brought the artists to life in the knitwear that was printed with a brushstroke effect.
Marjan Pejoski designs for KTZ may not be for everyone, but there is certainly a cult-following, and who can blame them? There was always a spiritual reference in the clothes but reinterpreted to fit our modern day (for previous collections, designer used his pilgrimage to the Inuit tribe in search for ancient wisdom as inspiration). There was a reference to Nick Knight’s 1982 Skinhead collection: mid-calf boots, utilitarian clothes, stitched-on references. Mosaic was a big theme, appearing in the small portraits of political leaders Mao Zedong and Karl Marx, as well as full colorful mosaic print outfit. In the past few years, revolution has been a big part of our daily news feed, and it seems as though Pejoski was acknowledging that.
Gieves & Hawkes:
Instead of old-school, Jason Basmajian, creative director of Gieves & Hawkes, presented in-the-present cool. This was a dark, bravely muted collection of grays and black whose loudest moments were excursions into berry and some plutocrat-lavish crocodile accessories. Black shearlings, a black pony-skin topcoat, black double-breasteds, and quietly mismatched black and gray checks were worn with fine-spun knitwear. Radically, there wasn’t a single white shirt. Leather sneakers and lug-soled shoes were just as dark as the clothes above them, and even the hardware on Basmajian’s accessories was matte gunmetal.