Part One: The first of the spring 15 collections look to Las Vegas, the French Riviera and the Wild West for inspiration.
Three ranges make up the John Lewis own-label menswear offer, including Kin, its more affordable contemporary range. Here, Scandinavian styling comes into play across minimal silhouettes such as a streamlined mac or lightweight bomber. Key colours are blues, greys and deep reds, as well as some pastels. The more classic John Lewis range is inspired by South America, with linen sb suiting, colourful chino shorts and transitional lightweight knits. Finally, John Lewis & Co, the most trend-focused range, has a botanical, Asian-inspired theme. Floral prints feature on shirts and blazers, indigo-dyed jersey adds colour and an emphasis on texture sees wool and linen used.
“This season we’re looking at a realistic, functional and practical undertone throughout the collection,” says Warehouse head of design Toni Morden. This is the obvious starting point to the range, which features a unified palette of neutrals and khaki. Natural fabrics are a major theme, with cotton, raffia and suede. Although Warehouse is known for workwear, it is moving away from suiting, Morden explains, instead using relaxed tailoring fabrics on separates such as wide-leg trousers. The Wild West is another spring theme - dipped hems, off-the-shoulder blouses and fringing make for a unique take on the trend.
Easy wearability is at the heart of Karen Millen’s spring range, which emphasises key pieces such as white shirts, a striped piqué jacket and cropped trousers. Generally, proportions are slightly longer and leaner than last season, which feels like the right development for a more mature-looking range. As seen on the catwalks, denim has become a focus with a tailored indigo denim trench coat, a denim bomber and printed or distressed jeans. Top trends are still acknowledged however, with military khaki on jumpsuits and shirt dresses, and a nod to the 1970s with the addition of fringing to the classic Karen Millen leather biker jacket.
Jaeger menswear continues its emphasis on tailoring for spring, offering sb and db suiting in natural fibres such as temperature-regulating wool. As a strong point of difference on the high street, Jaeger is pushing its Made in Britain capsule collection, which includes suits, ties and outerwear. Blue is a key colour and layering is a strong theme. Tonal knits such as merino wool crew-neck jumpers therefore work underneath suit jackets, with crisp white poplin shirts. Casual options include lightweight piqué polo shirts, mélange sweatshirts and
cotton crew-neck knits, as well as washed cotton bombers and reefer jackets.
A feeling of nostalgia defines Reiss’s menswear collection, which takes inspiration from Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. There are shawl-collar linen jackets and Cuban-collar shirts on the smarter side, as well as an Americana workwear aesthetic with checked casual jackets and trousers. Formalwear goes all Las Vegas with a standout white tuxedo jacket, and double-breasted jackets in a linen and silk blend. Printed shirts are another strong point, in geometrics or overblown florals. Blues and greys dominate the overall palette.
Phase Eight heads to the French Riviera for spring, with smart pieces including polka-dot culottes, tailored dresses in nautical stripes and tapered trousers. Silhouettes are generally quite relaxed for casualwear, with rolled-up printed trousers or billowing pastel-coloured blouses, as well as several standout unstructured, long-line jackets. These tend to nod towards the more modern trends for the season, while occasionwear plays with classic silhouettes such as 1950s-style flared skirts. Dresses come in punchier shades of green or violet, with oversized floral prints or painterly strokes. Crochet layering and appliqué also add a textural feel to more pared-back dresses in neutral tones.