Still waters run deep or so the saying goes, but we do wonder sometimes if still waters can also mean stagnant waters? This was a question posed at London Fashion Week men’s ss19 presentations?
With London losing a few of the names that lifted its profile so high (Craig Green JW Anderson, Burberry Grace Wales Bonner) because these names choose to leave the schedule, many wondered what London would have to say for itself this season. Mainly it was the newbies that took centre stage as opposed to some of the brands that have been showing for a quite a few seasons and have a relatively established brand.
What strikes as we ponder the following days after is that those showing the sports lux silhouette which has swept the global fashion industry for several seasons and which started in London has as yet not moved forward. Tracksuits and sportswear may well be great sellers but are not enough to show development within the exclusive nature of high-end fashion . Surely designer fashion, after all, is about luxury, experiments, ideas, playfulness, fabrication, make, and engaging thought processes hopefully alongside saleability? Are we are not looking to fashion to disrupt…?
There were of course messages a-plenty; anti-consumerism at Rottingdean Bazaar with the show being made up of costumes all hired for costume stores, questions about our future, because if there is nothing controversial then it simply wouldn’t be London, would it? In a time when saleability is extremely hard, it’s quite understandable so many commercial ‘same on same’ collections were shown, yet this is a time where more than ever we expect fashion to perform and it’s most extreme. It’s when times are tough we want to see new ideas; we want danger, we want fresh new thinking, new ways forward… We Want Change! After all is brands like Gucci can show and make a financial success of extreme fashion then London of all places should lead the way surely?
Having said that some of the newest designers showed interesting ideas and collections with a few of the really established brand also doing the same. A cold wall, Xander Zhou Liam Hodges and is a menswear designer based in London. Often influenced by uniforms all showed collections that seemed to give an insight to a dystopian future except it felt not like the future but the present; from gender-neutral to Trans-humanism these questions were laid bare on the catwalk. There was also a sense yet again of protection and warfare, with corsets in many forms across several shows as well as padded clothes.
Charles Jeffery presented his best collection to date with items easily picked out from his emotive presentation that were well designed sellable and good ideas, his knitwear is always exciting and beautiful. Oliver Spencer created a 3D interactive runway experience in collaboration with Wolfgang Buttress which carried on from a collaborative shop installation. The collection was one of his best, his signature is not about being the coolest kid on the block but is about totally wearable clothes, but this season saw a looser relaxed ease about his work, with details worthy of a catwalk, like his take on the seersucker fabric but done in a prince of wales check in both black and burgundy.
There was as ever that shot of humour at Liam Hodges with what looked like a tongue in check take on the film fear and loathing in Las Vegas including drawn on moustaches and glasses leopard print socks and bad 70’s mullet hair complete with a plastic lobster bib (this was also the invite)
Alongside the sports lux there was still plenty of relaxed drapery tailoring and shots of colours like daffodil yellows, with staples of greys taupe’s olives and black There was great knitwear as well as a proliferation of traditionally womenswear fabrication and techniques used on men, think chiffons water-fall frills leg of mutton sleeves and that kind of 70’s style silk prints synonymous with 1970’s Gucci chain scarves
A couple of inspiring names to keep an eye on then? Stefan Cooke who was the first of three to show at Man show and Bianca Saunders who continued to examine black male identity masculinity, and culture. Lastly and not least there were just SO many man bags and as one journalist said after my commenting on the plethora of them…well what is a spare hand for if not a bag…
Words Jo Phillips Review Rebecca McNelly -Tilford
Kiko Kostadinov showcases their collection within China exchange. Making a clear focus on headpieces with coins another metallic detail in the hair complimenting the embroidered and very detailed suits within the collection. a young talent that is progressing well which was evident in the collection
Per Gotesson With a sofa as the set design and net curtains, Per Gotesson put on a show that questioned modernity and masculinity Using smashed pottery, oversized denim, and super wide trousers to create unique silhouettes, another designer using pink in menswear.
Oliver Spencer showcased a beautiful collection with flowers at the heart. As a beginning of the show, we saw a mini fashion film about nature, which complimented the collection has a whole. We love the more wearable take this year and always love Oliver Spencer’s selection of models.
Sharon Waucho spring summer collection was held within the beautiful Saint Cyprian’s Church. The collection included as much women’s as it did menswear. Introducing embroidery, fringing and sheer shirts.
The MAN; always a highlights, showcased3 designers at once: Stefan Cooke, Rottingdean Bazaar and Art School. The standout was Stefan Cooke who showed tartan-print two-pieces fitting jeans attached to ostrich feathers at the waist, chain mail vests were layered over shirts with Piero half collars. One of the more interesting takes o masculinity this season
Christopher Raeburn showcase another a meaningful collection, making you think this mantra of Reduce Remade and Recycle. This year we saw paint splat garments, as well as using puffer material and quilting. Alongside clear material and using the colour red to make the collection cohesive.
For spring summer 2019 Alex Mullins Collaborated with Dr Martens. Brown and beige seem to be the main colour palette of this collection, using a pop of bright colours to add detail. The collection itself consisted of tropical shirts, circle bags and looks with cut-out details.
St James was a perfect example of British summer time. We love the bold pop of yellow as well as accessorising with hats, sunglasses and of course. Umbrellas. Wouldn’t be British summer time without one.
Matthew Miller contrasted his all-black collection with neon yellow and silver. Using trunks as accessories, showcasing womenswear alongside men in this edgy collection.
GQ China Presents
The GQ show 2 designers in 1 show: Private Policy and Staff Only. Private Policy showcased crazy hairstyles, from spikes to wet look, almost all multicoloured. Clashing athleisure wear with sequins. Staff Only showcased a pastel colour palette, we love the oversize collars and the fake snake accessories.
Pronounce created a very colourful showcase, using multiple colours via knitwear. Using knitted flowers and accessories to drag down the catwalk. This show complimented menswear and women’s together in one.
The future in the eyes of Charles Jeffrey. Alongside mad editorial styles, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy presented some beautiful tailoring and knitwear this season. Jeffrey always uses his show time to really put on a performance.
Monday held post to the Westminster MA Fashion design students show. Within the show, there was 8 designers: Robyn Lynch Maureen Kelly-Pain Christine Shangqian Xu Roman Hoering Priya Ahluwalia James Bush Louise Yinghan Liu Robert Newman This was one of the most exciting shows this season; new designs and love to get a fresh take on the future of fashion.
Blindness showcased traditionally feminine styles and fabrics like ruffles, lace chiffon and fishnet. Using dark and pastel colours to contrast a compliment each to create the collection.
Lou Dalton presented her perfect summer 19 collection in her now seen regular intimate way. Using hey as the set-design, countryside-style against tie-dye denim and striped shorts made for a beautiful effortless sexy and sellable collection with just the right balance of ‘edge’.
Liam Hodges created a feast for the eyes. Which tied in perfectly with his title for his collection ‘come and enjoy’. The collection itself took hoodies, trousers another traditional menswear pieces in an urban and artistic, each detail of the show added to the overall final look. Treats for the eyes in his take on Americana and PWT we saw things his humour ever present including burnt pink legs painted on one of the models
Phoebe English presented a very wearable collection this year. Including mustard yellow pieces with the accessories for men making handbags more unisex then they ever have been before.
A Cold Wall
One of the clear best of the shows of the season. Using show space-time to put on a full performance which presented a sense of the dystopian and included synthetic materials, deconstructed pieces PVC draw strings, net elements, detachable pieces. Again a show with a sense of social comment and a sense of protection needed.
Berthold used pink and black as the main colours for other collection. Showcasing shorts, headpieces and accessories. Mismatched fabrics used to create the overall look, as well as the beautiful styling.
What We Wear Combining sportswear and fashion in the two best ways. Taking traditional football silhouette and combine them with amazing fabrics and prints. Including fluffy kits, surely a build up to the world cup was in mind!
Taking traditional menswear silhouettes and combine them with contemporary styling and fabrics, to create an overall collision of menswear design. The collection titled ‘Superimposition’ was showcased within a multimedia art/fashion installation.
Colour, colour and more colour was the SS19 show from Michkio Koshino. With floral shoes, crazy hair and fun styling approach this collection truly was eye-catching. This collection also saw her collaboration with Istituto Marangoni London, who are celebrating 15 years. ‘Transporting us to a Hawaiian paradise, Michiko’s latest collection celebrates tropical flavours and neon hues.’
Barbour showcased another timeless collection. This time around using primary colours, on the darker and deeper side of the colour wheel. The SS19 presentation used neon lights.. in complementary to the collection colours, so highlight and show off the details of this mixed platform collection. This year is also the first to see Barbour footwear.
With a kaleidoscope of colours as the background, mimicking the fabric and textiles used within the show. This collection for SS19 was another collection that showcased as much womenswear as it did men, blurring the line of who can wear what. Taking finely tailored pieces in a simple light colour and combining it with oversized patterns this collection was a key staple in the Crutchley archive.
For Bethany Williams’ Spring Summer Collection presentation, was not only a display of the beautiful collection, but also a fashion film was showcased. The collection titled ‘Woman of change’ Bethany’s’ film aimed through it the idea of moving away from seasonal collections to create collections that are more socially and environmentally concious
Bianca Saunders SS19 collection ‘Gestures’ showcased beautifully designed garments, in an almost all white colour palette. With all models being of colour, Bianca continues to explore black male identity in British Culture. ‘‘Gestures’ is an in-depth and emotional examination of the movements that come via the feeling of comfort in your own space, clothing, and the subsequent revelations of the wearer’s identity illustrated through them.’