A mix of new menswear names, emerging brands and established talents shone on a sunny day two of London Fashion Week Mens.
E Tautz relaxes into spring 18
There was a relaxed functionality to Patrick Grant’s spring 18 E Tautz collection, and a continuation of a slouchy, roomy silhouette brought a casual air to the brand’s signature tailored pieces.
“The original inspiration was a load of photos of Jeremy Irons modelling in the 1980s – loads of pictures of him looking very nonchalant and cool,” said Grant backstage after the show.
“There’s lots of functional bits of workwear in there too,” he said. Grant drew attention to the workwear-inspired pockets that appeared everywhere: on loose trousers and short, roomy sport shorts topped with long, light blazers; as large patch pockets covering the chest of boxy shirts and striped safari shirt-jackets; and as double pockets on jackets – “one for hand warming”.
Blousons were equally relaxed – sloping shoulders draped over the body, and lapels were drapey and asymmetrical.
“The silhouette is luxurious, it’s full, there’s a lot of fabric in these clothes. After 10 years of being tucked in and constricted, it just feels nice to wear clothes that move and feel lovely to wear,” said Grant.
Blood Brother go to infinity and beyond
Blood Brother creative directors Nicholas Biela and James Waller said this collection was them avoiding the woes of our modern times through the escapism of the excesses of the past and the pleasures of the future. The result was their biggest, bravest, and most accomplished collection to date. It took the pair’s classic styles and signature pieces, but evolved them in a way that felt fresh, and will keep their growing number of stockists happy – one buyer Drapers spoke to said they already couldn’t wait to get this new collection into store.
Highlights included a silky bomber jacket and spread collar shirt splashed with old images of a Lamborghini Diablo supercar in electric blue, oversized T-shirts in check or sturdy denim overlaid with ironic digital graphics and graphic word pieces, such as “Save me” emblazoned over a long-line shirt and “Vacation” elevating T-shirts.
Mock crocodile leather played into the theme of excess – it covered a trench coat, a cropped jacket and matching trousers. Fringing trimmed signature suede jackets, while tailoring also made its way into the collection – a trend to watch as more casual-focused street-influenced brands move in this direction.
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s make a statement with first solo show
As a fully graduated member of talent incubator scheme Fashion East, Charles Jeffrey and his Loverboy brigade took over the British Fashion Council show space for its first solo catwalk show.
Jeffrey’s spring 18 outing was as wonderfully wacky as ever – there was not a single person not smiling and dancing along with the production, which was directed by the Theo Adams Company and designed by Gary Card. But the collection had a sleeker, more polished feel – giving it that lux lustre while somehow managing to keep true to its DIY roots.
Backstage, Jeffrey said this collection focused on the idea that “the past is a different country that everyone can visit”, and cross-referenced eras and cultural movements in typically creative style.
The colourful collage knits were wearable standouts, alongside eye catching slogan T-shirts, signature dandyish tailoring and buckle-strapped trousers, cropped boxy denim jackets and a flurry of gender-blurring dresses and show-stopping gowns.
Qasimi’s luxe desert vibes
Luxurious, warm desert tones of copper and sand made up the palette of Qasimi’s spring collection, which combined utility references with opulent textures to give a sophisticated aesthetic. Shapes were loose and flowy, but stayed true to the overall theme of military. Cargo trousers and loose parkas added structure, but appeared in luxurious satins that elevated them above the usual casual feel. Star items in the collection included the ruched parkas in copper and mossy green, as well as a burgundy and navy striped shirt.
Dark deconstruction from Matthew Miller
Matthew Miller’s spring 18 collection continued his characteristic themes of deconstructed outlines, darkness and dystopia. Garments were repurposed – shirts bound as skirts and coats worn as capes – and within the garments themselves, structural aspects were rearranged and replaced. The outerwear, a collaboration with coat brand Hancock, showcased crisp outlines in heavy fabrics, while accents such as a trench belt appeared as a detail strapped down the back of the coat, giving a point of difference. The Hancock collaboration was a highlight, as were the satin bomber jackets in lilac and black with protruding pockets, which appeared for both men and women: part police vest, part elegant cover-up. The trainers – crisply white with a paint-daubed MM along the side were also central to the collection.
A desert road trip from Cottweiler
Cottweiler took a trip to the desert with its spring 18 collection, which was inspired by the optimism and escapism of “off-grid desert communities” and its signature contrast between the natural and the synthetic. This came through in designs that were part camping holiday, part wilderness, and a palette and fabrics that suggested an outdoorsy, pieced-together vibe. Focal-point items included a pair of fringed oatmeal-coloured trousers, as well as the tracksuit jackets in black and bright green. The lizard motif that ran through the collection was most prominent on a graphic T-shirt, but also appeared creeping along the side of a bumbag.
Lou Dalton’s sunny 1990s stripes
Beachy stripes and casual 1990s silhouettes made for an insouciant and relaxed spring 18 offering from Lou Dalton. Pale blue was the dominant colour – it acted as a neutral for Dalton’s signature stripes. Notable looks included the long striped socks paired with crisp white trainers, which were matched to co-ordinating striped jumpers, as well as a cool blue striped shirt and matching shorts.
Fashion East’s Man catwalk:
An exploration of denim, Per Gotesson’s collection featured oversized, wide-legged trousers and loose shirting, alongside sweeping coats and structured jackets. Pink was dominant in the colour palette, in both fuchsia and soft blush, used on an oversized trench coat and a voluminous jumpsuit.
In a riotous celebration of a show, designers Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt created a theatrical celebratory atmosphere on the catwalk. While some elements were fantastical, the tailoring and patterns were sharp and precise. Standout items included a flock patterned ballgown, as well as a plaid short suit and a cinched-waist maxi trench coat.
This experimental collection saw everyday objects – everything from pennies to pasta – recreated in lightweight polyuerathene foam, and incorporated into slouchy tracksuit separates or even glued to the bodies of the models. Highlights from the tongue-in-cheek collection were a jumper with a photo frame within, as well as a sweater covered in pennies that created an almost polkadot pattern.