The boys are back in town earlier than usual for the inaugural London Collections: Men, the UK’s dedicated showcase for our wealth of experienced and emerging menswear designers.
Every show, presentation and event will be worth a look for one reason or another but this is our, in some cases, very sneak preview of the 10 spring 13 collections we can’t wait to clap eyes on.
A designer and self-taught tailor, Oliver Spencer is celebrating his eponymous brand’s 10th year in 2012, with his laid-back casual-meets-tailoring approach proving a winning formula. “My inspirations for spring 13 have come from the modern use of colour, also referencing early 20th-century furniture with industrial design,” he says, highlighting architect Ben Nicholson and colour blocking as two of his biggest inspirations. “The key items are a parka, a pleated trouser and button jackets, and for spring 13 it’s all about colour.”
- Friday June 15, 15:00, The Sorting Office, New Oxford Street, WC1
Pringle of Scotland
Under Alistair Carr’s stewardship, Pringle of Scotland has been reinvigorated from purveyor of golf jumpers and socks to one of London’s key heritage-meets-modernity players. In his final collection for the brand, as you’d expect “argyle recurs throughout in a series of classic, rescaled and reworked variations”, says Carr (pictured). The designer also cites “adventurous pursuits”, “easy luxury” and “clean tailoring” as influences.
- Sunday June 17, 13:00, BFC Show Space, The Hospital Club, WC2
Richard Nicoll’s debut menswear collection is a “natural” extension of his womenswear aesthetic, says the designer. Blues, greens and jacquards are seen in an elegant sportswear-inspired collection of fine cotton jersey, shirting, blousons and bomber jackets. “I did a BA in menswear so I have a natural propensity towards menswear,” says Nicoll. “I’m basing the collection on myself and what I’d like to wear.”
- Sunday June 17, 11.30, The ICA, SW1
Did you know that Benjamin Kirchhoff and Edward Meadham started off focusing on menswear when the duo first graduated, before subsequently going into womenswear when they set up Meadham Kirchhoff in 2006? Fast-forward six years and the designers are presenting their first full menswear collection which, according to Kirchhoff, was always part of the plan. “It [menswear] never really went away, it was just on the back burner until the time seemed right,” he says.
- Sunday June 17, 12:00, Carlton Gardens, SW1
“This season we’ve really tried to push our ‘Remade’ philosophy,” says Newgen-sponsored Raeburn of his spring 13 collection. True to form, the designer’s use of technical fabrics (some reclaimed) and construction shines through once again, with the centrepiece taking the form of five intricate, beautiful ‘ghost’ garments created from one half of an opaque military parachute (illustration pictured) which integrates “the original detailing and seaming to keep the garments completely authentic”. Add that to a secret off-site location packed with Raeburn surprises and we’ve got ourselves an unmissable show.
- Sunday June 17, 18:00, venue tbc
Master of print Jonathan Saunders has given a tuneful theme to his second full menswear collection. “My spring 13 collection is a play on classicism and is inspired by David Bowie’s ‘plastic soul’ period. Expect to see pop art prints and a focus on soft tailoring and knitwear,” he says. Saunders has expanded the offer for spring 13 to include ties, swimwear and outerwear. “I create pieces that I would wear myself,” he adds. We can certainly see this collection going platinum.
- Saturday 16 June, 14:00, BFC Show Space, WC2
Agi & Sam
It wouldn’t take Magnum PI to deduce that Agi & Sam are big news. Last season’s LFW catwalk debut had everyone buzzing about the duo’s smartly tailored,print-covered creations. “This season’s inspirations are taken from nostalgic times of going to your grandma’s house in the 1980s and being made to watch rubbish detective programmes,” says Sam Cotton (above right), one half of the duo. “The collection is a bit more relaxed, a tighter colour scheme and a lot more considered.”
Key pieces include leather biker jackets, 1980s-style shirts and printed socks. Don’t miss it.
- Saturday June 16, 11:00, part of the MAN show, Topman Venue, WC1
Another of London’s leading up-and-comers, Matthew Miller’s melding of traditional menswear and all that is technological has kept Drapers intrigued. “The collection is a philosophical take on the irony of luxury that references brutalism and construction,” says Miller. “For spring 13, oversized overcoats are key and rucksacks make a real statement. The aluminium ones are super-lightweight and incredibly tough.” If autumn 12 was anything to go by, this show promises to be a big hit.
- Saturday June 16, 17:00, BFC Show Space, The Hospital Club, WC2
Martine Rose is a London designer who has been on the radar for a while, but MAN and Newgen Men sponsorship over the past few seasons has seen her shirt-focused capsule range expand into a fully fledged collection. Rose says her spring 13 range is a development of last season’s, still focusing on shirts and bomber jackets but pushing new fabrics more than ever before. Inspired by sculpture, key items include “neoprene pieces, denim with embroidery and shirts of course”. We can’t wait.
- Friday June 15, 14:00, BFC Show Space, The Hospital Club,
Having graduated from the London College of Fashion’s MA menswear course in February 2012 and been immediately tapped up by Vauxhall Fashion Scout to show his collection just weeks later at London Fashion Week, Joseph Turvey has quickly emerged as one to watch.
“David Attenborough is the main focus of spring 13,” he says. “Watching old footage of him wearing classic tailored pieces next to exotic plants and animals created such a vivid image in my mind.” Expect all-over prints and sartorial summer suits given the Turvey twist.
- Designer Gallery, Hospital Club, WC2H