LC:M HIGHLIGHTS – THE AVANT-GARDE

By Jo Phillips

For our final round-up from London Collections: Men we take a look at the more progressive designers who graced the catwalk this season. It’s not about trends here, oh no. Here is the place of discovery, of inspiration and of the truly unique. In many ways this is what .Cent is all about and these designers are our dialogue in fashion.

J.W. Anderson

JWAJ.W. Anderson Autumn/Winter 14 Looks

Platform shoes, pleats and frills? We must be in the wonderfully unconventional mind of J.W. Anderson. The Northern Irish designer continues to push the boundaries of gender and design with his incredibly bold and androgynous collection. Bright colours, statement prints and far from traditional fits for menswear made this collection stand out for us as he opened the second day of LC:M in style. Genius.

Xander Zhou

XZXander Zhou Autumn/Winter 14 Looks

Taking influence from ceremonial gowns, tradition meets futurism in this collection of oversized outerwear and bold separates. 3D textures such as the cashmere-bobble coats felt like a recreation from some vintage sci-fi saga, as did the all-over metallic gold ensemble. Bold reds were also present here and the asymmetric looks – such as the statement blue example above – had an almost utopian sportswear feel about them.

Kay Kwok

Kay Kwok AW14Kay Kwok Autumn/Winter 14 Looks

We’re travelling even further into the future with Chinese designer Kay Kwok who presented a collection that had the vibes of a post-apocalyptic galaxy and was certainly the most extra-terrestrial of the menswear shows. Bold prints and oversized separates were seen amongst fitted uniform-like pieces and metallic patterns so this was certainly not the collection for your average man. Whilst a lot of the show-pieces aren’t the most wearable, we can’t wait to get it in front of our creative camera later in the year.

MAN – Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor AW14 at MAN Look 9, photo by CatwalkingMAN Show – Alan Taylor Autumn/Winter 14

Tailoring was given a complete turn-around with Alan Taylor’s contemporary approach. The subtle neon fleck in the fabric from the above suit gives the muted tweed an incredible bounce and the relaxed fit adds to the modern edge. The collection also featured bold abstract prints and even brighter colour with pink separates and more neon yellow touches.

MAN – Bobby Abley

Bobby Abley AW14 at MAN Look 5, photo by CatwalkingMAN Show – Bobby Abley Autumn/Winter 14

Bobby Abley hit the mean catwalks of London at LC:M with what can only be described as urban streetwear warriors. Even in candy-floss pink you’d think twice about messing with one of these lads. With a sportswear vibe and not-so-subtle nod to the world of Disney, Abley has created some sort of scarily childish character – and we love it. The barbed wire print in the collection just adds to the dark humour.

MAN – Craig Green

Craig Green AW14 at MAN Look 17, photo by CatwalkingMAN Show – Craig Green Autumn/Winter 14

More statement prints were seen at Craig Green’s show styled with exotic ceremonial gowns and then contrasted with utilitarian fittings and accessories. There were no installation pieces this season, instead the clothes spoke for themselves with their oversized and draped form reminiscent of traditional Japanese apparel. An element of navy and black was also present as was the odd deconstructed knit and even an ensemble crafted from woven polypropylene [the same stuff used for mail sacks].