The variety of the city’s design talent was on show on the third day of London Fashion Week Mens, as headline names showed alongside emerging talents.
There was a childlike and homespun aspect to JW Anderson’s autumn 17 collection, which alongside its exaggerated, droopy silhouettes and oversized sleeve lengths, contained a strong number of desirable and wearable winners that are sure to bring the brand, and his stockists, success.
Grandma’s colourful crochet was the key takeaway, used as cosy sleeves that elevated everyday items such as knitted jumpers, shirts and lovely wool overcoats, or as statement pockets on cardigans and patches on classic nylon bomber jackets.
Scribbled prints looked like children’s felt tip-covered colouring books, used boldly on tabard-length shirts and polos, while the chubby shearling coats also stood out as appealing outerwear options.
Although her autumn 17 catwalk show was not part of the official fashion schedule, Martine Rose hosted one of the buzziest and busiest of shows of the week. Her unusual choice of venue, in the Seven Sisters Market in north-east London, did not deter the pack of influential buyers who crowded at her show.
Rose said she set out to “transform” classic garments from a man’s wardrobe for autumn 17, resulting in a standout collection of twisted norms, new shapes and delightfully odd colour combinations.
Power-dressing suiting and techy sportswear were the key contrasting motifs. Smart tailored crombie coats came with sleeves cut to drape down the arm alongside mac coats with cutaway back panels. A notable blazer featured wide protruding shoulders along with classic Martine Rose oversized trousers – super-wide, floor sweeping and gathered at the waist.
The sporty aspect appeared as boxy sleeveless quilted jackets and lightweight panelled jackets that had a retro vibe but came with zipped shoulder slits.
A number of London designers have instilled a protective air to their collections, creating clothes to save the wearer from the perils of the great outdoors, or maybe something more sinister.
Christopher Raeburn tapped into this with his signature “remade” ethos, whereby he takes apart and recycles old garments and builds new creations from them. For autumn 17, old bomb disposal uniforms were turned into khaki jackets decorated with functional straps and fastenings – you don’t get much more protected than that.
Elsewhere, reused fleece was cut into camo appliques adorning a toggled duffle coat and wool biker, with pops of neon yellow giving it a fresh look (as well as being a colour trend to watch).
A trio of collaborations were also debuted – with functional fashion accessories brand Eastpak for a three-piece range of bags – limited to 100 pieces per style, with Clarks on high top boots and London denim brand Blackhorse Lane Atelier on organic denim jeans.
Sibling dubbed the theme of its autumn collection “mental mosaic”, and with heavy hitting looks in lurex, fine knits, brocades and sequins, this ethos was felt in more than simply the patterning of the designs and gave a characteristically joyous offering. While clashing patterns of polka dots, pixel patterning and zebra stripes could have appeared overwhelming, Sibling’s catwalk oozed a cool, playful sophistication, brought about by the uniform colour palette of red, navy and white. Riviera ruffles added a lively bounce to knitwear, with some items bordering on flamenco-style flounces. High neck, Elizabethan ruffs for men and women, as well as a ruffled hat the duo describe as “fit for Babs Windsor at a wedding” added a London charm to the otherwise exotic range, with references including the east end’s pearly kings and queens. Traditional knitting techniques came to the foreground, with diamond pattern tunics and check knit culottes evoking a similar childlike texture as JW Anderson’s crochet elements. Vital and intricate, Sibling have successfully transitioned from knitwear brand to a quirky yet commercial favourite.
Cosy, grown-up chic separates were the key story at Joseph for autumn. Thick plaid suiting in clean cut, slightly oversized styles were given a playful spin in bright colours - a blue and white set was particularly charming. Knitwear was also strong, with schoolboy sleeveless pullovers in fair isle patterning, and snug woollen cardigans with knitted animals giving a quirky personality to the garments. Also appearing at Margaret Howell, the sleeveless pullover seems to be leaving its grandfather stereotype behind and becoming a key item for autumn. Sweeping floor length coats in fuzzy greys and thick luxurious shearlings provided a paired back counterpoint to these more playful items. The overall tone was refined and sophisticated, with the dashes of quirky character providing a youthful twinkle.
An ethereal strength, characterised by the fusion of bold shapes and heavy fabrics, with intricate detail and fluid patterning, made Ximon Lee’s collection an exploration of contrasts. Marbled, oil-slick brocades were presented in swirling split frock coats, which moved with a stiff elegance. Intricate pearl detailing appeared throughout the designs, on dark sheer shirts and leather harnesses, juxtaposing the elegant with the extreme. Another clear opposition within the range was that of modesty and exposure, looks covering every inch of the body featured subtle slits on the shoulder to reveal a glimpse of skin, while other looks showcased completely sheer separates. Alongside these came harnesses, like deconstructed bodices, crafted out of rich leather and embellished in great detail, then loosely draped over the body. A mellifluous darkness pervaded the looks, which was both unique and appealing.
KTZ has become known for its daring steetwear, and this season continued with its urban focus with nods to sportswear and military detailing. Lace up detailing was core to this collection, with spine like corseted laces acting as a backbone through the looks. The laces themselves were almost shoelace in texture, which leant a sporty feel to the items, especially when appearing in bright white - mimicking trainer laces. Graphic slogans were splashed across items which ranged in fabrics from leather and fur to velvet - giving a luxe, ostentatious feel with a darkly futuristic undertone. Blade Runner-esque leather trousers showed this particularly. In the all black looks, the lacing gave a military feel, part police combat gear, part samurai warrior, with the utilitarian theme coming through particularly strongly in the boxy pocketed jackets. In staying true to its brash, unique designs and signature styling, this latest offering is certain to appeal to KTZ’s core fans.
For one of the smallest presentations of LFWM, Chalayan’s autumn 17 presentation made a clear, directional impact. A fusion of sportswear and formalwear, the looks showcased a blend of luxurious, classic textures such as woollens and knits cut together with oversized streetwear silhouettes and unexpected details. Cropped trousers were slit just below the back of the knee, almost creating a stirrup. Bomber jackets were subtly oversized, presented in fleecy wool and with distinct clean layering creating a more dynamic take on the classic item. Colours were strictly navy, grey and neutral meaning the structural experimentation with outlines felt wearable and commercial. Shirts and suiting were given contemporary relevance, with undone chefs shirts paired with cropped leg tie waist trousers. While much of the range was structured and crisp, detail elements added a more dishevelled tone to the pieces, with pulled threads in bunches on denim.
Dystopia-chic is emerging as a trend from LFWM for autumn, and Berthold’s collection continued this further via extreme high necks pulled across the face, sweeping block colour robes and boxy shaping. Materials were crisp and cut with sharp lines and oversized details, but held an almost flimsy fragility - meaning each item, while highly structured, moved relatively fluidly when each model stalked down the runway. Layering was key within the styling of the looks, short sleeves were layered under cropped sleeve jackets, and sweeping tunics were paired with longline trenches. White, dark purple and black were the dominant colours, giving a bruised yet futuristic tone to the offering. Stand out items included the near translucent rain mac and hoodie, as well as the bright white denim jacket.