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Men's Day

The pressure was on for the one-day event to go out with a bang before it becomes part of a three-day affair in June.

JW Anderson kicked the day off with a sporty blend of bomber jackets and clean quilted shapes. While some individual pieces were strong, the overall mix of checks, bikers and cockerel and pineapple motifs came over as a tad confused, rather than eclectic. Martine Rose’s examination of the MA-1 flight jacket was a well-executed exercise in precision, if a little restrictive. Man, the Topman showcase held at the Royal Opera House, had some hot London prospects. Among them, Agi & Sam’s mix of sophistication and playfulness and the duo’s use of colour and print on menswear classics gave rise to a chorus of approving noises. Christopher Shannon cited the 1995 film La Haine and European dress codes as references as he showed a branding-heavy, darker sports-laced collection. Topman design director Gordon Richardson was clearly in a similar mood, as the brand’s collection was dense with blacks and charcoals, with reworked biker jackets and tailoring looking sharp. Lou Dalton portrayed a wartime love story in which great tailoring and luxurious finishes and fabrics played a major part. James Long’s textural interplay was just the thing to hammer home the well-developed nature of London’s menswear designers, the intricate knits and inside-out jackets proving particularly successful. At the Freemasons’ Hall, E Tautz’s collection, although clearly beautifully made, lacked a little punch, despite the belting red checked duffle coat at the end. Upgrading to the main tent at Somerset House for autumn, it was good to see that Oliver Spencer didn’t dispense with his trademark quirky model casting, as his rugged yet refined brand of proper menswear is sure to be big with buyers. At Somerset House’s final show, Matthew Miller presented a collection which, in a funny way, summed up the whole mood of menswear day – tailored coats and suits alongside sporty shapes and details, while print underlined the bold and fun feel. Bring on the three-day London Collections: Men event in June…

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