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London Fashion Week Men's: day three buyer diary

Liberty menswear buyer Laura Robertshaw reveals her highlights from the third and final day of LFWM spring 19.

Laura robertshaw menswear buyer at liberty london b&w

Laura robertshaw menswear buyer at liberty london b&w

Laura Robertshaw

A third sunny day and packed schedule saw crowds descend on London Fashion Week Men’s. Charles Jeffrey’s Loverboy pulled in a particularly large audience for its outlandish designs that mixed its signature flair with more commercial elements for spring 19, while other highlights included South Korea’s Blindness, which made its London debut this season, and new name to watch Paria Farzaneh.

Here, Laura Robertshaw of London department store Liberty discusses her highlights from the final day.

Why do you come to LFWM?

Liberty has been a consistent supporter of young British talent, from Daniel W Fletcher on menswear to Richard Quinn on womenswear. It’s important for us to attend the shows to see who might be flying the flag for British menswear next. London’s main draw is it’s creativity, sometimes this can slip over into a reduction in commerciality, but those brands that keep a good balance do it really well - that’s what I’m looking for this season, a balance of both.

How was today at LFWM?

It got busy at midday, mainly due to the Charles Jeffrey show which proves his popularity. It continued to be busy all the way through to Paria Farzaneh.

What collections stood out this season?

Daniel W Fletcher’s first runway show on day one is still one of the highlights of the three days. He has really grown as a designer in such a big way over such a short period of time. The collection was well rounded, with some more ‘fashion’ pieces interspersed with some very wearable clothes. His statement shirts will no doubt fly off the shelves.

Daniel W Fletcher spring 19

Daniel W Fletcher spring 19

Daniel W Fletcher spring 19

What other brands are you looking forward to later this season?

We are looking forward to Dries Van Noten, Sunnei, Wooyoungmi, Etudes and Acne. Acne and Dries being Liberty favourites.

Are there any trends that are emerging from the collections so far?

Leather has been appearing a lot for a spring season, in the form of long line leather jackets. We have also seen a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, Blade Runner-influenced vibe from the likes of Charles Jeffrey and A Cold Wall.

On the contrary to that there has been a definite outdoorsy, exotic, safari trend seen at Qasimi, Edward Crutchley and Paria Farzaneh through oversized loose tailoring, printed flowing silks, billowing silhouettes and earthy tones.

Deconstruction and reconstructed pieces were a huge trend seen at Blindness and Alex Mullins.

With the shorter schedule do you think LFWM is still an important event for buyers?

I think it’s important to attend London for its creativity. We see the next generation of designers being given a chance to showcase their work on the big stage. Some hit the mark more than others, but overall the showing is good.

Do you have a preference for catwalk shows or presentations?

Shows are great as the energy is clearly palpable if the brand gets the music and feel right, but they can be over so quickly it can be hard to gauge the details. It’s more of a feeling than an in-depth look at the collection. Presentations allow a bit more time to get into the nitty-gritty of a collection. They both have their place and they both work for certain brands more than others.

How was the summer 18 season for you – were there any London brands that did well for you, or any trends that sold well?

We had an excellent season. 24% of our buy is British so London is very important to us and our customers. We had a great season with the likes of Oliver Spencer, Burberry, Daniel W. Fletcher and YMC. Hawaiian shirts totally sold out for us across all brands and the norm core trend continued to reign.

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy spring 19

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy spring 19

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy spring 19

Can you highlight up to three items that stood out for you from day three?

A full paisley bandana print short and shirt combo from Paria Farzaneh really caught my eye.

Charles Jeffrey’s whole collection obviously stood out but within it there was a lot of wearable, more commercial elements such as chunky knits emblazoned with LOVERBOY

The classic black trench was reconstructed at Blindness with a long checked inlay – this brand is one to watch.

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