By the time you read this, Milan Men’s Fashion Week will be kicking off, with the menswear buyers and press having already taken in Pitti Uomo and the inaugural London Collections: Men (LCM).
It’s about time our capital went toe-to-toe with the big weeks in Italy and France but with LCM having just ended, it’s time to take stock of how it went.
Overall it was a great start. The shows, presentations and exhibitions were buzzy but without the hysteria of London Fashion Week’s womenswear shows, and a positivity was in the air, especially when the sun came out over the weekend. The designers who had toiled at double the usual pace to get their collections together in time made a good fist of blending creativity and commerciality, the latter an element London has been accused of ignoring in the past.
In the exhibitions, designers were mostly pleased with the turnout: more than one said it was refreshing to see so many international buyers in town, with representatives from the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Opening Ceremony and Lane Crawford. Trends were fresh if not radical, sports luxe and print seem to have come through strongly, and shows like Meadham Kirchhoff’s sort-of-debut menswear presentation and Sibling’s knit-wit-fuelled offer could only really be found in London.
It’s that mix of Savile Row finery and edgy boundary pushing that makes London so unique, but to truly stand shoulder to bespoke suit-covered shoulder with the more established men’s weeks, LCM must step up its game next time around. In my interview with the BFC’s Menswear Committee chairman Dylan Jones last week, I asked him about attracting some bigger names. It was encouraging to hear him say that although “we’re not going to achieve everything in season one, there’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen”. Watch out Milan and Paris…