J.W. Anderson show (photo: Chris Moore / Catwalking)
10 Jan. 2014
Show report: London Collections: Men
The fourth edition of London Collections: Men (6-8 Jan.) kicked off the international AW14 men’s circuit, bringing together some 130 names to hold presentations, shows and parties or present their latest wares as part of the growing Designer Showroom exhibition. Three official venues were used for catwalks and showcase spaces this season –The Hospital Club, The Old Sorting Office, and Victoria House in Bloomsbury. The Designer Showroom exhibition had grown considerably and resembled a small but fully-fledged trade show. RTW booths were arranged over three floors at the Hospital Club (last season there were only two), while footwear and accessories resided at Victoria House. Jean Machine, Cambridge Satchel Company, Palmer/ Harding, Alice Made This and Vinti Andrews all featured on the list.
LC:M is a diverse affair where marginal talent coexist with some of the industry’s most powerful. One of the first few collections to appear on the runway was that of Danish Astrid Andersen. The Royal College of Art graduate’s second consecutive solo show continued to nurture Andersen’s subversive breed of deluxe sportswear. Outerwear spanned almost every type – from cleverly paneled bombers to tiered ankle-skimming fur parkas. Meanwhile, Swedish born Alex Mattsson experimented with leather this season – a black biker jacket with fluffy baby pink insets was one of the highlights. Opening proceedings on the second day of the event, J.W. Anderson showed off the diversity of his talent by sending out angular knitwear, origami folds and the odd subtle puff sleeve. As per previous seasons, many pieces could seamlessly slot into a woman’s wardrobe, something the designer welcomes as the premise of his work is to design clothes that can be borrowed from a man to a woman and vice versa.
James Long – another lauded name– based his fall offering on primitive Sci-fi and cosplay. Everything about the show oozed playful retro-futurism– from the techno tunes and the models’ lacquered cobalt blue hair dos to the peculiar but brilliant garments they wore. Sporty bomber jackets and longer zip-through variants had been fashioned from segments of quilted material or mesh with ribbon woven through it. Towards the tail end of day two, it was the endearingly irreverent Kit Neale’s time to shine. The designer launched his eponymous label via Fashion East Menswear Installation in 2012 and is now one of the NewGen Men sponsorship recipients. The shabby London area Elephant and Castle served as the muse of the range. Appropriately, rat and trap prints featured heavily and appeared on anything from backpacks to jeans and jackets. Equally quirky, Sibling’s life affirming take on workman’s chic materialized in layers of chunky cable knits, crochet, fur and mended denim.
Emma Holmqvist Deacon
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