London Fashion Week Mens | Autumn / Winter 2019 Round Up Day 1
Let’s set the scene… Saturday morning in East London, Brick Lane, well Truman Brewery to be precise and why are we here? Because it’s London Fashion Week Mens darling! The perfect setting to display forthcoming collections for Autumn / Winter 2019, pretty much all in one location. Great! It’s January so yes, it’s absolutely freezing but the air is fresh and filled with anticipation for the reveal of fashion’s finest, for yet another season.
Synergy is ripe and the trending message is clear… sustainability is necessary otherwise we will all die! Diversity on the catwalk was in full effect, models were casted to resemble real people with an even balance of women, as well as men participating across majority of the shows. Hopefully the women’s shows next month, will embody this same spirit.
We kicked things off at the Bobby Abley show, showcasing a childhood inspired narrative, through the world of Pokémon. Our eyes, captivated by a bright selection of colour; fiery oranges of Charmander, soft lilac of Mewtwo, powdery blues of Squirtle and that energetic sunshine yellow of Pikachu. The characters themselves appear as motifs throughout, creating fun palettes for characteristic streetwear. Fluorescent colours made an appearance within the collection also, in the form of cardigans and jumpers, all hand knitted by Abley’s family members, in his hometown of Scarborough. Balaclavas, scarves and baby blankets were also incorporated as one-off pieces, hand knitted by Abley’s mother. Highlight for us, the appearance of Pikachu, closing out the final look.
Heading over to the DiscoveryLAB, we were presented with, Saul Nash’s collection STATICMOTION: A Conversation Part II. A reprise and update of the designers 2018 graduate Royal College of Art collection, showcasing a view on performance, performativity and masculinities. A beautiful display of the sensitivity of the modern male, articulating intangible feelings and qualities of self-liberation, Nash finds through dance. Three-way stretch nylons and Kaihara denim are transfigured into buoyant forms, with knitted compression pieces to give a dynamic natural contrast. Embroidery, intarsia ribbing, bonding, and mesh linings are apparent hand finished details. Earthy taupes and organic yellows go hand-in-hand with dove blue and a diffuse white, that lends a cool and elemental clarity. Nash also debuts unique multifunctional hats and scarves, which allow for multiple methods of wearing, rendered in nylon and denim.
It was a roadblock affair for the Band of Outsiders presentation, perhaps because of the mulled Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum on offer. Creative Director Angelo Van Mol, took to Damien Chazelle’s recent movie ‘First Man,’ (starring Ryan Gosling) for inspiration. Focusing not on the moon landing itself, more so the people experiencing the event via their TV screens in their own homes. The collection resembles the feeling of the end of the 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s. An era of protest, empowerment and the challenging of ideologies, leading to a more open-minded society. People wanted to break barriers, especially their style therefore, the choice of colours and fabrics embodies this historic time in society. Warm hues such as spice orange, burgundy and olive browns are balanced with camel, navy and black.
For this season, Band of Outsiders took an important step of their own with the introduction of womenswear for the first time under Van Mol’s creative direction. Distinctively influenced by the era’s aesthetic, the collection brings together pony skin and heritage check wools to give life to blazer and mini skirt co-ords. Corduroy suits and placement print chiffon dresses sit alongside classic blue and also brown denims, finished with plain, stripped and printed cotton shirting.
If there were to be a modern day Black Panther movement, they would be wearing pieces from Edward Crutchley’s autumn / winter 2019 collection. One of my personal favourite collections from the season, as it embodies pure excellence and power. The kind of collection you wear because you are a boss, one that’s truly about your business. A collection to turn to when it’s time to slay effortlessly and in ultimate class and style. This season’s collection draws on the iconography of work. A sartorial, no-frills attitude meets brassy textiles. A maleficent, magnificent Grace Jones in ‘A View to a Kill (1985), alongside Wesley Snipes as his character Eric Brooks/Blade (1998). Homage is paid to the no-nonsense tailoring of the mid 1980’s; contrasting buttons on shirts, pinstripes, box pleats and traditionally constructed jacket cuffs, peeled open. The attitude is activated and it’s exploring dressing for the occasion. A new deconstructed snakeskin print is a nod to power dressing and it’s damn right sexy.
Pop’s of colour return with the almighty ICEBERG collection, displaying a palette of brightness with the use of greens, reds, yellows and blues calmed by navy and black canvases. Creative Director James Long brings the Italian Alps to the forefront for autumn / winter 2019. Logo ski flag shapes in ‘danger zone’ primaries, are puzzled together with black to form sweaters. A blizzard of crazy puzzle graphics slice across a classic twirl shirt, layered over sleek polo necks and glossy parkas. A new punk-grunge ICEBERG graffiti logo peaks across knit hoodies and zip jackets. Be it on the slopes or in the streets, long length red puffas, high-vis acid green looks and slashed logo sweaters will have you noticed and highly visible.
Deep purple is introduced as a new colour for ICEBERG men, with velour tracksuits and ski jackets. For the ICEBERG woman, new tailored pieces in technical fabrics with logo go-faster stripes and slalom inspired stripes, in red and white on navy relaxed trousers and green and red on the oversized, free-flowing dresses and knitted ponchos. Tone on tone bandana style print jeans, both high-waisted and as a loose fit, along with a matching shirt for men. The ICEBERG characters also make a minimal comeback, in the form of punk-ski Mickey on oversized knits. What isn’t there too love? A collection amassed with bursts of colour, fun-loving designs and overall comfort, complemented with that standout style.
We finished things off with the Liam Hodges show, sighting his autumn / winter collection entitled: Mutations In The 4th Dimension. The Ellesse collaborated collection reworks the brands ski-wear, using prints of salt crystals taken via a powerful microscope. The tracksuits draw from the projection of a tesseract, a four dimensional cube that exists within the mathematics however, can only be rendered in 2D. A pretty monotone palette, with splashes of pastel and also camo colours. “The Martians are coming to save the earth,” a statement displayed on a white tee, layered over a fluorescent yellow collared and cuffed shirt, with off white and beige stripes on the arms. A small collection however, every piece carries its own individuality. Having fun, discovery and the path to self-knowledge are born from diving in head first and taking those chances. Our standout piece from the collection, could almost be three designs in one. With three layers from the outside in, a traditional camo framed jacket and matching trouser, followed by a black PVC layer and finished with a nylon tracksuit style middle. Pretty impressive and vividly embodies the struggle within the 4th dimension.
A long day which thankfully, has now come to an end. However, it’s not all over just yet so be sure to read all about LFWM: Day 2!