London Collection’s Men’s: Day 2

By Jo Phillips

The second day of London Collection’s: Men’s was exhilarating. Young designers took it by storm and showcased a lot of talent as well as bravery in the fabrics they chose, music they played, and trends they presented. There was a lot of pink, lust worthy outerwear,  and all the shows had a youthful vibe to them.

 

Lee Roach:

This collection, a collaboration between Roach and artistic duo, The Butchers, was the perfect mix of art and fashion. Filippo Maria Bianchi and Giorgio Gremigni provided the light installation that made everyone’s heart race before the collection even made its appearance. The music, created by Alex Delano, completed the modern, architectural clothes perfectly. There were a lot of grays, silver, and black, so it was surprising to see bursts of citrus colors like orange and yellow. The best thing about the clothes? That the outwear is reversible, a theme that Roach was exploring along with the artists he collaborated with, so you’re getting two for the price of one! Roach said: “The idea is that when each person puts [a garment] on, it becomes a completely different thing—they wear the collection, it is not the other way”.

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Lou Dalton: 

The perfect word to describe this collection would be modest. Dalton didn’t make fashion-forward, outrageous clothes. Instead, she experimented with fabric. The whole collection was inspired by an old photograph of Lou Dalton’s father dressed in a boiler suit. There was a sentimental, story-telling theme that stitched the whole collection together. Against all the shows, this one stood out as the most functional. The layering was done beautifully, and contrast between the peach and the green was lovely.

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Several:

Deserted boats, rugged men, and beautiful fabrics. Those were the main features of this Several collection. There was a sense of quality over quantity, as there were few pieces on show, but each one more desirable than the one before.  Downstairs, viewers had the chance to touch the fabrics firsthand to feel how soft they are. The garments, with all the details they had, were the perfect balance of function and fashion, especially the outerwear.

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Maharashi:

There was a tough, utilitarian-theme underlying this whole collection, in both subtle and obvious ways. Everything had a “warrior” quality to it, some pieces more than others, so there was something for every man. There were many shows that challenged menswear conventions, but this one didn’t, as it was extremely strong in its masculinity. The tones used were black, khakis, and beige. The leather in particular looks exquisite.

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Astrid Anderson:

There was a a palpably strong contrast in this Astrid Anderson collection; the designer mixed together exaggerated sportswear elements along with hyper-feminine fabrics. Think oversized grey hoodie with pink lace peeking out from underneath. The men who came down the runway, although they wore a lot of pink, looked like Samurai wrestlers. Anderson, who consults for Nike, featured what appeared to be a reinterpretation of the famous Air Max. The music complimented the clothes perfectly, as everyone bobbed their heads to the hip-hop beat. One thing’s for sure, it’ll take a confident man to wear pink lace.

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Shaun Samson: 

Although Samson stated that this collection represents him growing up, the collection felt very young, and in a good way. Various elements were mixed together; tartan, print, slogans, but somehow it made for an interesting and wearable mix. Words like “Delusional Radical Bliss” printed over the clothes, although vague, seemed to sum up the grungy, cool collection pretty well.

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Ede & Ravenscroft: 

Ede & Ravenscroft was established in 1689, making it the oldest tailoring company in London, and this collection did not disappoint. The presentation was simple and unfussy, the focus was all on the clothes and the beautiful models who carried them, and the tailoring was immaculately perfect. The collection presented a full-functional wardrobe, with outfits that range from casual to evening-appropriate, and timeless looks that felt ageless and all-encompasing.

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Hentsch Man:

The Hentsch Man presentation was an interesting change of pace. The moment you walk in, you get caught up in an all-incompasing atmosphere, and even the smell of alcohol was intoxicating. The models seem relaxed, and looked as if they had dressed themselves the night before and slept in their clothes, which was the intention. The clothes themselves were fun, wearable, and slightly rebellious with the clashing colors that could be mix and matched.

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Agi & Sam:

The Agi & Sam show was a much-needed change of pace. The clothes had a playful, handmade, childlike feel to them. The most memorable feature? The lego-masks the models sported down the runway which really brought the clothes together, even making the all-black outfits quirky. It’ll be interesting to see who’s brave enough to wear the brushstroke coats, bold prints, or a mix of the two.

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Soulland:

If we had to pick a favorite, or at least 3, Soulland would definitely be on that list. The green screens made for a striking backdrop against the edgy clothes. However, once you download the Soulland app (genius idea btw), you get transported into another sci-fi digitally-enduced world. There were so many effects to play around with. Everyone was going mad and the audience joined in the fun outside by taking a picture themselves with a cool digital backdrop. However, all this didn’t take attention away from the clothes. Each look was distinctly strong and could stand alone. Together, the outfits made for an interesting mix. We particularly love the patchwork jeans, scarves, and pink-hoodie-grey-suit combo.

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Hardy Amies:

Mehmet Ali, creative director of Hardy Amies, was more concerned with designing perfect rather than fashion-forward clothes. This was apparent in the collection which featured beautiful suites in various shades of blue, fur trimmed jackets, and coats in gorgeous shades like mustard and Yves-Klien blue.  In 1964 Hardy Amies wrote ABC of Men’s Fashion, so for Ali, there are big shoes to fill and he did it wonderfully.

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Olivier Spencer:

There was a little something for everyone this season at Olivier Spencer. There were looks that felt muted, understated, and simple such as the gray pants and tweed pieces, and looks that were quite bold, like the full-printed coat-and-pants combo. The fact that the models were of different ages illustrated the fact that this collection was made with everyone in mind. The finale with live music playing on the runway made it memorable.

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Mathew Miller:

Although the theme for Miller’s latest AW15 collection was destruction, the clothes actually turned out to be quite beautiful and polished. The word Resistant was printed and hung on various looks. The fabrics used were unique, as Miller collaborated with Kvadrat, one of Europe’s top textile companies. He deconstructed the clothes and reconstructed them which gave them a raw vibe, but only if you look closely. “It’s the texture of life,” said Miller. “When you rub or scar it, it becomes something beautiful.”

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Christopher Raeburn:

Raeburn spent a lot of time, as well as money, on Royal Navy Life Rafts to create the basis for this collection. “They are unused but past their sell-by date, and they are amazing things,” said Raeburn, adding, “Bright orange, they come in these incredible capsules with everything still inside them: rations, flares, everything—everything you could wish for. We built the narrative of the collection about that.” That being said, the collection felt new, and completely different than anything we’ve seen before. We especially love the prints of The Great White Shark that was swimming throughout the whole collection. Primary colors were big this season and Raeburn jumped on the bandwagon and presented pillar box red, vivid blue, and bright orange. We especially love the inflatable vests that can be worn in more ways than one.

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Sibling:

Everyone was smiling at Sibling, and is it a wonder why? The men sported pink hair, strutted down the runway wearing bright pink, and proudly carried gigantic knitted-teddy bears as accessories. It was the perfect way to end a long, energy-consuming day of shows, as it filled the audience with so much joy and excitement, and that the fact that most of the clothes are not wearable is not even relevant. However, the technical craftsmanship of some of the sweaters is marvelous.

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