Harvey Nichols’ men’s contemporary buyer Benn McGregor shares his views on day one of LFWM, including his standout shows and key trends to watch.
Why do you attend LFWM?
LFWM is the starting point for our season and so it sets us up with a feel for the zeitgeist of the coming season. The atmosphere is always good as it’s the first time for everyone - from buyers to designers - reconnect and discuss the coming plans of the season. It’s a great way to start.
What did you think of today at LFWM?
A lot of the shows today seem to have a concerned view of a dystopian future. I think the current socio-political uncertainty we are seeing unfold across the globe is infiltrating the vision of each designer, even in the smallest of ways; it’s almost impossible to ignore. From fractured Björk soundtracks, to dancing mud warriors. I’m not sure what the designers are imagining, but the future according to them looks terrifying.
Which shows stood out?
Liam Hodges’ show was fantastic and had a superb, paranoid and frenetic soundtrack with a dictatorial voice-over that has really stuck with me. The clothes had a utilitarian overtone with washed neon elements that clashed and balanced the collection.
Xander Zhou was a window into 2084 with avant-garde takes on what looked like businessmen preparing for both financial and physical warfare.
I also enjoyed the spectacle that was Charles Jeffrey Loverboy at the MAN show. Utterly bonkers and again, was rather confrontational and delivered in an untraditional format with ten foot papier-mâché monsters chasing dolled-up dandies down the runway whilst female mud-warriors stomped around and snarled and barked at the front row. Like I say, terrifying.
Closing the first day was Craig Green, who continued to nod to a post-apocalyptic landscape with what looked like nuclear-windproof parkas, but the collection was elegantly offset with an element of escapism by showcasing his eastern-inspired “magic” carpet like embroidered pieces. Fantastically detailed, but not without a sense of political irony maybe as this also bought us back to conjuring images of travel, migration and civil unrest.
What trends stood out today?
It’s been a vibrant start. There’s a lot of faded and sun-bleached neons, lots of late 1980s and early 1990s acid house and early rave references still lingering. Pink is still the colour to have, but considered-colour-clashing seems to be the way to go.