A round-up of key shows from the first day of the spring 16 edition of London Collections: Men.
The opening slot of London Collections: Men was given to Topman Design, the more directional and premium line from the high street retailer. This season took inspiration from the musical movement of northern soul, blended with elements of punk and surfer style for a young, rebellious look. Sleeveless denim and leather jackets came covered in patches and studs, while chinos were made into super-wide-leg pleat-front flares. Suiting came relaxed and unlined, sometimes in bold deckchair stripes, contrasted with retro sportswear-style skin-tight tops littered with geometric patterns and over-the-head anoraks, all in ice cream pastel shades.
This season saw Man, a joint venture between non-profit initiative Fashion East, which supports emerging designers, and Topman turn 10. An anniversary video celebrated the various Man alumni, including the likes of JW Anderson, Christopher Shannon and Craig Green. This season’s show featured emerging designer Rory Parnell Mooney, who moved his minimalism into looser, layered looks with a more wearable element, although one that still featured racy cut-away sections and exaggerated silhouettes. The other Man designer, Liam Hodges, took his now signature patchworked look into a sporty direction this season, with the standout pieces riffing on football kit-style tops and loose shorts.
For spring 16, Christopher Shannon pushed his sports-inflected style yet further, teaming foamy short shorts with intarsia knits and polo shirts stretched into long-line, knee-grazing shapes. Another signature, shirts, came with long zips creating fly-away sections or cut-and-pasted with cutaway panels.
Emerging talent Craig Green continued his martial arts meets utility aesthetic with long, high-necked quilted jackets, wide-leg trousers and blue shirting streaming through the now familiar cut-outs in waffle-knit sweaters. The designer also acknowledged the popularity of his androgynous, avant-grade pieces among women: almost half of the runway was female, and spring 16 will be the first season that his clothes will be available in women’s sizes.
Spring 16 sees Aquascutum take inspiration from its founder John Emary and the innovative ways in which he used cloth. This is reflected in pieces such as a long, straight car coat made from silk coated with PU. The brands traditional check appears as a print on lightweight linen and piqué, while jersey, tailoring and scarves are embroidered with flowers, creating a summery mood.