The brother to London Fashion Week, which is exclusively for menswear, has just finished its third run in the capital. Known as the epicentre for menswear innovation in the World, London Collections: Men has been bigger and better than ever. But what can aspiring male fashionistas take from the Spring/Summer 2014 shows?
Well, there are a number of trends pushing through next year. The resurrection of sportswear is still going strong, with it featured at the Lou Dalton show who kept it rebellious and very English with a strong attention to detail (seams and zippers!). Bobby Abley also used sportswear, with a kooky match up of cartoon swallows and teddies on the fabrics as well as the models faces, indicating possible future high street prints. Richard Nicoll continued to pursue his signature theme of sportswear and fabric technology. Key pieces were a T-shirt and shorts combo in a silky python jacquard.
Another obvious trend in menswear is tailoring. This classic element of men’s fashion has been highly experimented with since the launch of LCM two season ago, and the renaissance of the tailored look has exploded, especially with movies such as Gangster Squad and The Great Gatsby bringing 20s and 50s back to our attentions. Alan Taylor experimented with his collection by dissecting the tailoring with sheer panels, and using great fabrics sourced from Irish mills. And of course Savile Row legends, such as Hardy Amies, brought their presentations of summer tailoring.
Some of the standout pieces included Craig Green’s now-trademark ‘shields’ updated with abstract tie-dye prints. Jonathan Saunders, shown in the techy London Film Museum, displayed sharp wool and nylon tailoring, accessorised with Saunders’s first range of ties and a collection of briefcases designed with Smythson. High street favourite Topman Design, a big player at LCM, based their latest collection around the embroidered-silk Western shirt. Styled with sunglasses and metallic belts, its been labelled as ‘techno cowboy’. J W Anderson rocked his androgynous looks with silk halter neck tops that were the talk of the collection, and he pushes boundaries once again (men in halter necks, i know).
Celebrities have flocked to these shows more than ever before, with Jesse Metclaffe, David Haye, Wretch 32, Will Young, Mark Ronson, Reggie Yates, David Gandy, and even Samuel L Jackson were all spotted on the front row. Some celebs even lent a hand at modeling, with Oliver Spencer using Wretch 32 along with Esquire’s own Teo van den Broeke at his show.
The Final day brought us arguably the biggest show of the event from Burberry; and with it some pretty big named-spectators including Serena Williams, Douglas Booth and Tinie Tempah. Crowds were treated to a huge open-sided tent surrounded by lawn and trees that felt more like it was in the middle of the countryside than central London. The British fashion powerhouse unveiled their ‘Back Home in London’ collection that had vibes of a retro, preppy collection that nodded to Alan Bennett and David Hockney with boldly coloured cropped macs, crisp shirts and narrow ties and drawstring leather PE bags. It’s estimated that the Male Fashion Industry is worth £10 billion to London’s economy. As the Men’s Fashion Week continues to surge in popularity, this is certain to increase its importance in the fashion world.