LONDON FASHION WEEK MEN’S AW17 REPORT
FUTURE OFFERINGS FROM OUR FAVOURITE BRANDS AND DESIGNERS
The season when London Collections: Men (LCM) became London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) was the tenth edition of the London menswear showcase. Since its inception as a one day display of menswear at the end of London Fashion Week, LFWM has grown to be recognised as one of the most exciting platforms for menswear in the world. We will admit that we miss the first few years of LCM when the shows were much more civilised, but the event has grown tremendously and the rename is in place to recognise its equal importance to womenswear and to better engage with a consumer audience. As usual we dropped by a few shows and presentations to get a first look at the autumn/winter 2017 offerings from our favourite brands and designers.
The Mods were back in town for Ben Sherman’s newest collection (pictured above) and it seemed perfectly apt to set up the runway at the back of the Vinyl Factory. It certainly felt like a modern collection from the British-born brand but with a Sixties vintage vibe reflected in the roll neck knits, cropped boxy jackets, rolled up raw denim jeans and baker boy hats. Most items featuring a military edge in navy, green and grey and casual pieces styled up with more formal suiting or jackets. Finishing the runway with all models wearing khaki green parkas adorned with various quotes including ‘Original since 1963’, it was clear that Ben Sherman wish to stick to their British roots for AW17.
Chester Barrie’s Autumn/Winer 2017 collection blends opulence, elegance and sophistication to create a collection that lends an air of authority and brings a sense of style to gentlemen who know the value of a good dressing. Occasionwear celebrates the ultra-classic by adding a contemporary sophistication to tuxedos and smoking jackets. Velvets in chocolate, navy and coal black are fashioned into modern smoking jackets with rich, deep Mogador shawl collars in complementary tones. This is dresswear for when it matters most; for the Red Carpet, society balls and glamorous weddings.
With its wild, almost obscene collage of techniques, the work of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi is the perfect counterpart for Sibling, whose knitwear like his work has always been a collision of colour and pattern. This season, the duo take inspiration from Barcelona’s Park Güell, where Gaudi’s trencadis technique (otherwise known as his iconic mosaics) is most in evidence.
Kent & Curwen
This collection is a reflection of how the past shapes the present, and the present interprets the past to create a modern contemporary wardrobe that speaks across generations. This season, the presentation took place at the Oxo Tower Wharf Bargehouse on Southbank. Oversized portraits sat alongside key pieces from the collection, which were displayed in traditional glass vitrines. In adjacent rooms, a series of film installations brought the garments to life.
Astrid Andersen looks back through the ages for her Autumn/Winter 2017 menswear collection searching for periods of masculine opulence - something that is missing in the way men dress today. Over recent centuries this gradual decline in abundance and lavishness within men’s fashion inspired Astrid to revisit this commitment to exploration, elaboration and exaggeration. The tracksuit has become the archetype for the way we dress today. But for it to rightly claim it’s place in the history of fashion, creative processes need to be applied – it must be elevated.
Inspired by pared-back modern day menswear, Oliver Spencer has created a collection with a ‘Velvethead’ twist, referencing the cultural roots of music and fashion. The tough colour palette of autumnal, burnt orange and forest green is enhanced with contrasting tones of powder blue, blush pink and grey. Blackwatch Plaid and clean wide horizontal zig-zag stripes play a role. They are softened by deconstructed and washed fabrics including soft velvet, corduroy and wool with contrasting leather.
On a dull grey day Lou Dalton certainly brightened things up with her colourful collection. Lou chose to present her AW17 clothing in the newly re-developed £500million St James’ Market just off Piccadilly Circus. High up against the white walls of an empty office space, her collection seemed miles away from the bustling city streets down below. Visitors could easily walk around the presentation and inspect her relaxed bobble-textured knitwear and loosely tailored denim. Block colours were kept calm and warm in tan, grey and cream. However, a dash of bright colour was thrown into the mix by her collaboration with artist John Booth who aimed to shine a light on her hometown of Shropshire. From speaking to Dalton after the presentation, she explained she wanted to get right down to the core of her brand and represent her true identity. This was cleverly shown by Russel Tovey pealing back the layers in a dramatic rewind, in a short film projected against an adjacent white wall.
A line written by performance poet Hector Aponysus for Dystopia Lives, “Looking for a vocation in the decline of civilization” sums up the state we find ourselves in. The incubation of Dystopia Lives saw Liam come together with Aponysus for a process Liam calls “the benefits of looking at where things are at but through different lenses”. The point to connect to the now and create bars of poetry that can be used to emphasise the collection’s intent. Style is always an attempt to find yourself and your people. Today the only maps that seem to make sense of our present reality come from dystopian fiction, illuminatingly the genre is rich with strong aesthetics.
Bobby Abley x Power Rangers, a collection inspired by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Premiering in 1993, it is one of the longest running and most-watched kids action series in television history. With a mix of iconic imagery and nostalgia, Saban’s Power Rangers provides the perfect inspiration to Bobby Abley’s signature blending of playful imagery with cutting edge, contemporary design. Putting his stamp on a piece of pop-culture history, the bright palette of the Rangers’ colourful costumes dominates the collection contrasted by neutral tan tones. Channeling the Power Rangers’ roots in martial arts, trailing straps in bright colours are tied around the wrist and waist as a nod to martial arts belts, and the Rangers’ dinosaur alter egos inspire stencil-like prints set against a “BA” monogram.
We are young, but we are no longer children. We have grown up. We have come to understand ourselves. First by looking at others, because it was easier than looking at ourselves. That journey provided Xander Zhou with a frame of reference. It taught them about their identity in relation to others. It taught them about their position in the world, and the position of Asia in the world.
An exploration of the Koshino family name’s ancient warrior beginnings in the deep bamboo forests of Japan, the AW17 collection sees an innovative evolution of the label’s house style. References to the Koshino military roots can be seen in the practical workwear cuts and prints of the collection, all combined with Michiko’s now signature use of manmade fabrics. The iconic inflatables have been subtly reinvented - playfully nodding to nature with their exaggerated animalistic silhouettes, while new helmets hark back to the fighter theme.
This season Simon brings together an eclectic mix of winter botanicals and vibrant, unusual prints and motifs. Inspired by the famous Durovs, a legendary circus family in 1930’s Soviet Russia, their posters promised an escape from every day hardship into a magical world of fantasy and human performance. Their graphic illustrations have a style all of their own, which has been reflected in the collection, with shirts ranging from theatrical circus trapeze and elephant prints, to busy patterns of hot air balloons and sausage dogs.
Private White V.C.
Converting to androgyny for AW17, Creative Director Nick Ashley sought inspiration from Private White V.C.’s female customers for this season’s collection. Using fabrics and cloths Private White V.C. has developed and adopted itself, the collection will include double cloth, double face cloth and will briefly flirt with ripstop Ventile. The star of the collection this season is the Family Coat, a style that will suit the whole family and one they can all fit into, in keeping with the brand’s luxurious fabrics in a woven cashmere blend which features a military stripe on the inside.