All the highlights from the third day of London Fashion Week Men’s, from classic London at Kent & Curwen to the new stars such as Martine Rose and Alex Mullins.
Martine Rose takes us back to the great outdoors
Martine Rose ss18
For spring 18, a heavily pregnant Martine Rose looked to the great outdoors for inspiration, presenting her latest collection in a far-flung indoor climbing gym in Tottenham Hale, and offering her take on all things athleisure.
“It’s all about making the ordinary extraordinary,” she said backstage after the show, referring to the climbers’, golfers’ and ramblers’ wardrobes she reimagined. “I was looking at the Toronto underground music scene of the 1980s and 1990s, and while I was doing that I got really inspired by their outdoor lifestyle, so then I started looking at all sorts of outdoor activities.”
Stars of the retro-inflected collection were the technical fleecy jackets, panelled anoraks, ski sweaters with embroidered logos, multi-pocket leather gilets and knee-length cargo shorts. These came with big-shouldered corporate blazers, oversized shirts worn over cycling legging shorts, and loose tailored trousers featuring Rose’s now-signature triple waist band design and belts with branded oversized buckles.
Everything was familiar and played on the 1980s vibe of last season’s show, but the designer’s twisted colour palettes, tweaked silhouettes, updated shapes and off-kilter mix and match made these mundane wardrobe staples feel fresh and very new.
“Jezza was a massive inspiration,” the designer added backstage – meaning Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his wardrobe of functional sportswear and suiting. “As a designer I am massively influenced by my surroundings and what’s happening, so it would be silly to ignore we’re in the middle of a really important time.”
After a hiatus from the London fashion schedule until last season’s pivotal collection, it’s safe to say this is also an important time for Martine Rose.
Christopher Raeburn flies from the street to the desert
Christopher Raeburn ss18
“This season’s inspiration came from an amazing book called The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz – travelling everywhere from Siberia, the Gobi desert, the Himalayas, through to India. So it was all about being lightweight, about layering,” said Christopher Raeburn of his spring 18 collection.
This meant his men and women were prepared for the testing sun and winds of the desert, bringing a light, airy and summery feel via flyaway or sheer fabrics to pieces that were at the same time protective, technical and functional.
Nodding to the brand’s Remade ethos, a patchwork of different fabrics was a focus of the collection, but the sharp angular mix of different patterns, fabrics and colours created a graphic play on pattern that had a sleek sports-meets-streetwear feel. Branded ribbon taping emblazoned with Raeburn’s four ’R’s – remade, reduced, recycled, Raeburn, and a collaboration with footwear brand Palladium on sneaker boots – added to this sportswear look.
“I also worked with an amazing company called Exkite, so lots of the hits of colour were actually from old kite-surfing kites,” said Raeburn of the reused bright orange technical and lightweight fabrics that made up flyaway jackets and light coats in punchy shades. Tulle and netting added to the collection’s light and airy feel, worn in sheer layers or cut into pieces, as with the sleeves of jackets.
The aroma of Alex Mullins
Alex Mullins ss18
Alex Mullins said the original inspiration for his latest catwalk collection came from 1990s perfume ads and the way they attempt to evoke the mood of something you cannot see, which resulted in blurred silhouettes and hazy floral prints. A highlight of day three, the collection Mullins put on show was certainly his strongest to date.
“In films, when they try to show a smell it wafts through the air and sort of melts away – that’s how I wanted the silhouettes to feel,” he told Drapers after the show, referring to the asymmetrical shapes and off-kilter updates to classic items. Denim jackets had one shoulder sloping and a long sleeve drooping, shirts were buttoned up in twists around the body, waist bands stretched up to the ribcage and hems of jeans wiggled down the leg.
Trompe l’oeil cotton and silk items were digitally printed with photographs of key items from past collections – “I also thought about the idea of when you smell a scent, it brings back memories,” Mullins said.
Other highlights included louche double-breasted tailoring – a notable trend of the season and done in linen for the first time by Mullins – wide-leg denim trousers and boxy shirts blooming in florals.
Head boy chic at Kent & Curwen
Kent and Curwen ss18
Preppy, public school striped blazers, sweeping longline trench coats and rose-emblazoned vintage sports separates made for a collection brimming with old-school all-English charm with a dash of dandy modernity. The warm palette gave an almost sepia overtone to the collection, which, while playing heavily on typically scholastic motifs of stripes, blazers and school scarves, kept a sense of the modern with logo sweatshirts and relaxed outerwear. A short red bomber jacket, and a pale blue-grey sweater with a rose logo took centre stage, and the oversized cricket jumpers were also a highlight.
Astrid Andersen’s hot house
Astrid Andersen ss18
This season, Astrid Andersen added a light and airy feel to her luxe sportswear for spring. Delicate florals and sweeping birds flew across fluid silks and under metallic lace in classic basketball silhouettes, playing with the masculine and feminine in typical Andersen style. Crushed velvet also appeared prominently, in tracksuit trousers, varsity jackets and vests. Standout items included the panelled silk shorts, varsity jackets, which appeared in numerous print incarnations and new, more formal shirting shapes – worked in the same fabrics as her tracksuits to “allow both them both to sit, and be worn, together,” she said.
Kiko Kostadinov goes dark and dangerous
Kiko Kostadinov SS18
Kiko Kostadinov’s spring collection took its influences from the dark and dangerous side of human nature – director David Lynch was listed as an inspiration. Streetwear-inspired, uniform-like pieces were streamlined and clean cut, creating a lean outline, while tones of oxblood, greys and acid yellow created a surreal, distorted elegance. Footwear was created in collaboration with Asics, which is the first designer collaboration for the Japanese brand. These trainers were certainly an item of note in the collection, as were the cubist, high-neck jackets and jumpers and burgundy wool short suits.
Maison Mihara’s street punk
Maison Mihara Yasuhiro SS18
Clashing slogan details, chain embellishment, punk references and sweeping volume were the dominant notes at Maison Mihara. Streetwear was a focus, and hoodies and tracksuits were dotted throughout the collection, while punk references appeared in the use of plaid, ripped denim and mesh detailing. Wide-leg jeans are emerging as a popular statement piece at LFWM, and they appeared at Mihara as well, this time adorned with chain detailing.
John Lawrence Sullivan’s sci-fi power suiting
John Lawrence Sullivan SS18
John Lawrence Sullivan created a dramatic catwalk statement for spring 18. Colours were bold and shapes oversized in designs that reference 1980s-style sci-fi chic and post punk. Super-wide-leg tailored trousers appeared in suits and paired with casual separates such as hoodies and T-shirts. The tailored looks were particularly strong in both men’s and women’s wear: wide-shouldered blazers, longline waistcoats and trench coats. A rosy blush pink suit was a star item, as were a fiery violet bomber jacket and a distressed red leather trench.