Wednesday, 16 January 2013

London Collections: Men AW13

Day One

Orlebar Brown – presentation 
It may be the AW season, but here it is warm and sunny MiamiTaking inspiration from glamorous 50’s beach and night life, the bulldog shorts, tees, short sleeved shirts and jacket linings sport specially commissioned Miami illustrations as prints. A great capsule wardrobe for a winter beach holiday.


John Smedley – live presentation 
Moving on to a more typical colder AW scene is Smedley’s knitwear collection which was inspired by skiwear from their 1930-60s archives.  Amongst the jumpers and scarves we see that the thermal ecru long johns has been given a fashion makeover with bright colours, stripes and fine soft wool. A shame to cover them up.

Topman – catwalk show at Old Sorting office 
Starting with pristine white, the models look set for the arctic in fur trim parkas; wide baggy trousers tucked into chunky hiking boots and oversized leather rucksacks. This young explorer trekked on for Tibetan inspired prints in warmer creams, then down the spice trails in top to toe blazing hot orange.  Outerwear still remained warm and cosy with parkas, turtle necks and cropped pea coats but the hiking boot made way for thick hiking socks worn with the softer sandal.  Spice shades settled down to deeper red tones until his journey ended back in the city with the classic cooler navy.

Hentsch Man – live presentation at the store 
Monochrome double breasted jackets in traditional dogtooth and herringbone were given street cred teamed with black & white geometric printed sweaters and tees, plus a few tattoos (models own).  However it wasn't all black and white as burgundy added some colour to the more casual clothes.

Lee Roach – catwalk show Hospital Club
This monochrome (black, white and navy) and minimalist collection was a blend of a clinical futuristic style mixed with a touch of the 60s beatnik style. Jackets were collarless worn with plain no fuss crew neck tees or sweaters and straight leg trousers.  The only decoration was that of a strip of silver sparkle down tees and on sleeves of sweaters.  Buckle fastenings gave an eerie feel that madness or emotions could erupt any time and had to be restrained especially on the slightly padded white jackets.

A La Dispostion – live presentation held in Seven Dials
This season showed the debut of menswear standing alone from the LFW women’s show plus a separate inspiration. That inspiration came partly from the graphic novel of Black Snow, an unsuccessful alcoholic wannabe superhero who can’t control his powers, and partly from Prague and Hermetic Mysticism. Traditional fabric used are English woollens with silk and adding a twist was the quilted padded nylon used for  super wide trousers and jagged peaked superhero styled helmets plus the acrylic wire embedded into the techno fabric to keep the shape of the wide culottes

Day Two

Aitor Throup - sculptural presentation 
As though walking in to a faded black and white war movie, the colour palette for the whole presentation was in grainy monochrome. It was difficult to see the clothes from the sculptures but I suppose that was the point. Looking closely the collection was actually wearable ranging from the casual parka to a more tailored herringbone coat with hood and adorned with zips.  The large leather rucksacks in the guise on an upside down skull would turn a few heads on the streets.

YMC – Catwalk show at Old Sorting Office 
Titled Dead Inside, designer Fraser Moss looks back to when YMC was launched for inspiration, the post punk era.  Sporting berets and wearing black and grey, the models have a look of the French Resistance.  Keeping zipped they wore cardigans zipped up from the back, zipped parachute chinos, and zip front Chelsea boots. The lighter side showed intarsia sweaters with accents of baby pink, orange and light blue with trousers in plaid and in block colour jade.

RAKE – catwalk show held at the private members’ club in Jermyn Street - Tramp 
The ‘rake’ muse this season is the international playboy Gunter Sachs with his relaxed elegant style. Silk twill trousers in white (Sachs’ favourite) came also in orange, teal and emerald green inspired by Sachs’ collection of Pop Art. But not forgetting that this is an AW collection, these were worn with six-ply cashmere shawl collared cardigans, tweed jackets, pea coats and Melton overcoats. The wow factor was the turtle necks tops in soft leather.

Oliver Spencer – catwalk show at Old Sorting Office  
German art theorist Joseph Beuys and his involvement with the 1960s Fluxus Movement was the inspiration. Fluxus Movement saw the idea of art as a game for the artist to reconfigure the rules. Here Spencer reconfigures the style rules:  black and grey horizontal striped trousers similar to the stereotype prisoner outfit are matched with tailored jackets and coats. A shearling jacket is dandified into the long cutaway style with a high neck making the exposed wool reminiscent of an Elizabethan ruffle. And the suit makes a bold statement in wide colour block horizontal stripes.

Alex Mattsson – presentation 
Inspiration for this urban street wear collection was taken from the large scale immigration of the Latin Community to California in the 1940s plus the designer’s love for the Biker culture.  A vintage style chalk stripe zoot suit and 40s style baggy dungarees mixed effortlessly with modern day biker jackets, stud trimmed hoodie and baggy denim shorts. Flashes of white lighten this mainly all black and navy collection. White stitching on a black biker jacket gives a futuristic Tron like glow whilst the white spanner silhouettes on the black socks showed a fun and softer side to the tattooed gang of models.

Day Three

Paul Costelloe – presentation at the Hospital Club 
Titled Cheltenham this is a collection of heritage tweeds modernised with bright accents of colour peeping out from under collars, covering elbow patches and incorporated in to the check patterns.  Patterned waistcoats in silk also jazz up the collection in pinks, purples, blues and golds.

Orschel Read – live presentation at the new ME hotel 
This is sartorial tailoring in bold colours and patterns: slim fit suit of gold paisley on navy corduroy, electric blue suit with red zigzag wool jacket panelling and a jazzy ‘white noise’ inspired print suit with link button feature. Cashmere knitwear included a vibrant jacquard twin set of sleeveless roll neck and v-neck cardigan.

Jenny Schwarz - presentation at the new ME hotel 
Titled ‘Jesse’ after Jesse James. Like Jesse, the poor horsemen and farmers of the 1880s were quite well dressed. Not because they had an eye for quality but because the rich would discard their out of season garments. Luxury cashmere sweaters are in the style of granddad t-shirts, everyday jackets are of silk taffeta, and soft leather trims pocket slits and underneath pocket flaps. And for that quick escape on horseback, long coats and jackets sport high back vents

Euphorik - presentation at Wolf & Badger 
Although this collection was inspired by medieval knights and kings, there is no sign of long sweeping cloaks or suits of armour and chain mail. This is a modern take on how clothes have become our everyday armour.  The pieces range from the short silk velvet dinner jacket in red named the king’s robe, to the simpler light grey suiting adorned with a hood. Other pieces include the liquid silver Lurex t-shirt named chain mail and a metallic grey tailored suit with suede lapels and shoulders called steel armour suit.

YMC image by Christopher Dadey
Euphorik image by Sam Atkinson

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

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