The first day of the spring 18 edition of London Fashion Week Mens kicked off with a handful of catwalk debuts and collaboration launches from some of the city’s newest names, including Edward Crutchley, Liam Hodges and Bodybound.
Opulent historicism from Edward Crutchley
Edward Crutchley ss18
Heady Tudor and mediaeval references and opulent printed fabrics made for a sumptuous and striking debut catwalk collection from Edward Crutchley. Silhouettes were oversized and there was a courtly grandeur in puffed chests and exaggerated shoulders that were echoed in the theatrical crinolines that appeared on both men and women. There was a sensual femininity throughout the collection, despite the regal references, and fluid fabrics, loose shaping and even corsetry gave a soft elegance.
Speaking to Drapers after the show, Crutchley said “I was mixing together everything that I love. There were a lot of historical references from a lot of different periods, but I wanted them to feel very modern. It was about taking them and celebrating them.”
Star pieces included the satin bubbled bomber jackets, the long shirt dress, the pyjama shirting and soft tailoring.
Liam Hodges’ collection keep getting bigger, bolder and better
Liam Hodges ss18
For spring 18, designer Liam Hodges evolved and refined many of his workwear-meets-sportswear signatures, such as his trademark patchwork updated with a new bleach pattern on jersey tops and matching tracksuit trousers.
Newness came via the brand’s expanded denim offering: “It’s the first time we’ve done proper washed denim, and all the graphics are laser bleached onto the denim,” said the designer backstage, discussing the wide-leg jeans with images and slogans such as “Noise” bleached up the legs and over the crotch.
Graphic slogans – a trend carrying over from autumn 17 and cropping up in a number of collections on day one – were also tagged on jackets and jumpers, while a screaming bear motif stood out on graphic knits.
Having been “in the pipeline for quite some time”, the collection also debuted Hodge’s collaboration with Italian sportswear brand Fila, which included dual-branded sneakers and reworked takes on classic panelled polo shirts.
Topman Design’s modern, tailored Romantics
Topman said its design team “likes to reference the past in order to influence the future”, and for its spring 18 “Modern Romantics” collection, this meant nods to the attitude of the 1980s.
There was a focus on tailoring – the decade’s power shoulders appeared on wide-shouldered, double-breasted white blazers, while a standout shrunken, tightly fitted, cropped, six-button double-breasted jacket paired with voluminous pleat-front trousers brought a romantic dandy feel.
A striped, shawl-collar, belted, robe-like tailored jacket and contrasting-colour wide-leg trousers added a more relaxed look alongside retro sporty tracksuits featuring chopped up graphic collages, while more cropped tailored jackets appeared with pointed boxy shoulders and patch pockets alongside a shimmering metallic silver biker jacket.
Xander Zhou means business
Xander Zhou ss18
Xander Zhou showed a polished collection of corporate suiting and utilitarian workwear with a 1980s sci-fi twist for spring 18. These were office uniforms for Zhou Corporation.
Dominant items from the 45 retro-futuristic looks included sleek 1980s boxy tailored blazers, high-waisted tailored trousers and satin ties – often in off-kilter colour combinations. There were deconstructed oversized trench coats – some with cape-like backs – workwear overshirts and lab jackets. Sporty, functional, over-the-head jackets and button-up collared work shirts with cut-out chest panels were highlights.
Tourne de Transmisson’s urban tailoring
Tourne de Transmission ss18
In a day of debuts, Tourne de Transmission showed a striking evolution of its urban aesthetic. The monochrome collection was minimalist and clean, but influenced by military and workwear. There was a dystopian feel to the collection, which was accented by bold neon orange ties and tags, adding to the utilitarian vibe – a trend that already appears set to continue strongly into spring 18. Opening looks featured soft deconstructed tailoring, where a relaxed, cropped, wide-leg suit was a standout look. Other prime items included lightweight macs and anoraks in beige and black, and an oversized laundry bag in eye-watering neon orange.
Yellow utility at Berthold
Military influences set the tone for Berthold spring 18 collection – also its first catwalk collection. The show opened with a series of army-style, oversized looks, and utility references appeared throughout the collection. Shapes were oversized, but rigid – think long sleeves and maxi-coats. Raincoats and anoraks were highlights, and appeared both as billowing trenches and short, hooded jackets, playfully paired with mini-shorts. Bold lemon yellow also made an impact, appearing on anoraks and billowing trousers. Other notable items included the yellow, blue and red oversized bomber, and a high-necked, sleeveless tunic.
Bodybound protest embroidery
In a collection entitled “We Shall Not Wilt”, LFWM newcomers Bodybound created a collection that harked back to the 1960s in style, technique and textile. Denim played a major role – it formed the backbone of the collection and was patterned with an intricate barbed wire stripe. Jackets in neutral tones and classic shapes, such as bombers, were reworked with dominating panels of intricate floral embroidery. These were the highlight of the collection, and had strong commercial appeal. The patterned blue tones and denims gave a fresh, accessible twist to classic styles.
Oliver Spencer’s summer statement
Oliver Spencer ss18
Relaxed, lightweight summer tailoring and sophisticated separates formed the core Oliver Spencer’s collection, which focused on several motifs. Checks, making a super-casual statement on co-ordinating shorts and shirts, appeared throughout, alongside a dusky blush pink, which is fast cementing itself as a key colour in menswear. Bomber jackets were also popular in the collection, elevated into a smart casual staple in heavy fabrics. Suiting had a relaxed, soft feel, as short suits highlighted the brand’s casual interpretation of tailoring. Highlights were the soft pink co-ordinating jacket and trouser, as well as a lightweight denim coat.