Another menswear season has been completed (though this time it has been rebranded). London Fashion Week Men’s – formerly London Collections: Men as always has delivered a brilliant array of designers and a multitude of styles for the eyes to feast upon. Though before I begin, I think it has to be said that the name change which has aimed to link itself with London Fashion Week has actually managed to make the whole event feel different. We couldn’t quite figure out why as LFWM (formerly LCM) has changed season to season trying to find new hubs and show spaces after the Old Sorting Office was renovated. With LFW also making 180 Strand its new headquarters for fashion week, it seems that the commercialisation has become quite noticeable over the past few seasons and sadly, menswear is starting to feel like regular London Fashion Week and being different and stand-alone was on of the most loved qualities of LCM. Rant over, though the name and vibe is one thing, let me focus upon some of the treats of Autumn Winter 2017.
There were a few shows that tickled my fancy this year for a number of different reasons. I’ll start with Liam Hodges‘ Dystopian Lives collection and his beautiful use of glitch motifs with urban streetwear. Shades of jungle green and neon yellow blitzed down the runway like the symbols in the Matrix loading screen. There was an overwhelming blast of textures and pattern reminiscent of old computer software and VHS quality visuals creating a military camouflage feel. Photo prints featured on the garments were taken by Liam during his recent trip to China. – Side note, he lectured at the same University (DeTao Masters Academy) that I worked at a couple of years ago. This collection tickled all of my glitch-based taste buds and I thoroughly approved!
Oliver Spencer never fails to deliver an excellent collection. There were a lot of pieces this season that I would love to own and normally I find his collections to be a little tame to my tastes but this season I feel as though he had gone in a more playful direction but still maintaining the distinguished Oliver Spencer aesthetic. The ushanka style hats were a must-have accessory for winter. But the piece that stood out to me the most was the olive green velvet bomber jacket and baggy pants to match. I think I may have to start browsing the shops for my sizes now as he may well have found himself a new customer.
One designer this year was celebrating his birthday this season and had a runway show to celebrate. Bobby Abley brought his usual flair of childhood memories to life with sweaters emblazoned with Power Rangers designs, helmets and dinosaurs. We also got a nod to his previous Rio inspired collection with green, yellow and blue shorts and sweaters and of course a his token teddy bear logo made numerous features including a white leather chest harness, because nothing fuses together better than bondage and childhood comforts. The music was blasting out and the colours were a-plenty. It truly felt like we were all part of Bobby’s big birthday bash… The only thing lacking was the candles, cakes and alcohol.
And of course, the menswear collections wouldn’t be what they are without an array of presentations and parties. There were plenty of highlights in this field including Fashion East‘s Art School collection which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The presentation featured a rabble of budding young thespians all in the rehearsal stages and theatre workshops that will be incredibly memorable to all who ever took part in a drama class in high school. There was a charming ‘New Romantic meets Club Kid’ feel to the collection and nostalgia kicked in when performers all started doing a two-step jive to “Give A Little Love” from Bugsy Malone.
Wan Hung delivered all of the Asian aesthetic that I could possibly ask for. Beautifully minimalist and boxy shapes with glorious oriental fabrics and textures. Also, its hard not to enjoy looking at men in 70’s style platform boots. It was a modern take on vintage stylings and with the glorious colours and shapes of the clothing bursting forward, it truly made me want to have this collection sitting in my wardrobe as we speak. Bravo Wan Hung and thank you for the Asian sweets we were given on the way out.
There was one presentation surprisingly had me stunned. Kent & Curwen was the epitome of a showcase. David Beckham’s collaboration with the brand was something I wasn’t expecting but it made for a pleasant treat. This was his second collection with the heritage sporting outfitter (designed by Daniel Kearns). Located at the Oxo Tower Wharf, we scurried into a large warehouse through big (and heavily guarded) barn doors. We then travelled through a maze of derelict rooms, the only lighting was that of a series of projections of videos and clips from the look books. Once we finally located ourselves into the main room, we were greeted by a cocktail bar filled with mulled whiskey and traditional pub snacks like pork scratchings and fried chicken skins. Christ on a bike! The chicken skins were beyond amazing. But i’m not blogging about food today so back to business… Giant glass boxes filled with flowers proved to be a beautiful way to display the garments. Vintage look bombers, shearling jackets, sheepskin coats, rugby sweaters and boating blazers filled the room with a cheeky Peaky Blinders nod in the cap department. “What more could you ask for?” I hear you ask. My inner fan-boy then burst out as we were greeted by David, Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham. Vicky B?! Posh Spice. Without going into too much of a fan-girl mode, it was excellent, the whole presentation was stunning and to be rubbing shoulders with the Beckham’s is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you don’t often get to have.
I had the pleasure of working backstage as a dresser for the male models at the Kingston MA Graduate Fashion Show at the Vinyl Factory in London and while I was there I managed to sneak in a few backstage snaps of the AMCK models.
It was a treat to work with such a great team and a fun bunch of sassy gentlemen. The day consisted of a lot of running around, stress, laughter and panic… Oh and alcohol, yeah, lots and lots of alcohol!
After a brilliant pre-LCM show from Joshua Kane Bespoke (and an after party to match) it was time start London Collections: Men in proper fashion. I threw on my bright red Moschino sweater and a large hat to try and disguise my raging hangover and we were off!
First show of the season was Topman Design and what a bloody show to begin with. I was in pure ecstasy watching endless amounts of tall, young skinny creatures adorning large tartan suits and big oversized fur coats. It was a bizarre nostalgia trip with models sporting what looked like bowling shoes, western shirts, boiler suits and a whole lot of attitude while the video screen played some sort of acid trip not too dissimilar to The Beatles’ more “experimental” days. The video beautifully transitioned into different colours and shapes which complimented (or dare I say clashed) with the collection nicely. It was perfection watching Topman boldly and brashly capture a spectrum of cult clothing and key trends of yesteryear, from the punk movement to the mod scene and with teddy boy fit coats and all the charm of Marlon Brando in the film The Wild One. And Oh The music! With the song Crazy Horses being blasted out with such ferocity it was clear to see why everyone was bobbing there heads and tapping their feet and thinking about ‘the good old days’ of the seventies.
You can find my other mini reviews from London Collections: Men on the Atlas Magazine website.
The night before everything kicks off at LC:M, we were blessed with an invitation to see Joshua Kane’s first ever proper menswear collection. Held in Old Spitalfields Market with champagne reception and a flurry of eagerly awaiting guests.
The collection was sensational. I have never lusted for a suit so much in my life after seeing what looks graced the runway. It felt incredibly fresh and modern but still managing to keep a sense of old school British tailoring design. I went crazy for the black and white dogtooth suit and again, craved the beautiful electric blue Gostick Hats.
Well done Mr Kane. A beautiful first collection and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for your next.
This year, Falmouth University decided to open the 3rd year fashion show with a blast from the past. Falmouth Graduate, Rebecca Jayne Taylor opened the show with a sensational (and brand new) 10 piece collection which combines high fashion with performance sportswear.
“A lot or research went into the Art Deco period and I looked at symmetrical patterns and directional lines. The bold colours that were used and the geometric patterns formed a large part of the inspiration behind the collection.
Working with the waste and surplus materials provided by Gore-Tex meant that I was constantly having to improvise on the design works in terms of pattern construction and colour. It’s not like getting a ready made piece of fabric from the factory that you can cut your pattern from.
Using the laminate material meant that I was able to create functional and technical garments. The fact that I was able to adapt the way in which I applied and heat taped the seams gave me the opportunity to produce designs that had a strong visual effect and the array of colours that Gore-Tex provide added to the overall aesthetic of the collection.
The laminate materials are very easy to work with and it is the technical properties of the Gore-Tex material that attracted me to this “Up-Cycle” project as I was able to be extremely creative and produce functional waterproof garments.” – Rebecca Jayne Taylor
If you want to see more of the work RJT has been getting up to, have a gander at her blog which shows off all her behind the scenes action as well as features and her escapades
Photography: Beccy Nuthall
A nice and simple post showing a few pieces from each designer from this years Falmouth Fashion Show 2013 .
I thoroughly enjoyed this years show and so I thought I would let you guys see a range of looks from each designer to get a glimpse in to the fashion department of Falmouth. There was a really strong mixture of designs, concepts and colours which proved popular with the audience. There was so much variety from each designer which means that there were no two collections were the same… Job well done Falmouth !
All looks are by 3rd year Fashion and Performance Sportswear Design students at Falmouth University
Runway Photography by Beccy Nuthall (2nd Year Fashion Photography)
Playful and feminine womenswear
Here is a shot I snapped for the Falmouth Fashion Show 2013
I had so much fun shooting this look as I wanted to play around and have fun with such a creative garment.
I don’t think my model really had any idea what I was trying to do till she saw it on the screen afterwards but I am really happy it worked out the way it did
Alice Chalk’s ‘Cumulus Billow’ is a hand-knitted and stretch jersey womenswear collecton. The colours and textures of the pieces draw their inspiration from cloud formations, while the inventive style of the knitting is modelled on climbing knots. Playsuits, jumpers, dresses and leggings are all topped off with chunky hand-knit hooded capes.
You should check her out; avchalk.tumblr.com
Model: Olivia Keane
TODAY’S THE DAY !
As you have probably gathered from my numerous messages, the big day as it’s this year’s Falmouth Fashion Show featuring graduate Fashion + Performance Sportswear Design students final collections before venturing into the big wide world.
There are a lot of great pieces this year, opening with Rebecca Jayne Taylor and Owen Bennet who graduated last year and will be opening the event with a beautiful collaborated collection.
There will also be lots of fashion films and previews from 2nd year Fashion Photography students so it should over all be an excellent event !
The first show is starting in just 10 minutes and the evening show will be starting at 7pm.
Oh, and don’t forget to join us all at Event Square at 9pm, we’ll be in the massive marque put right in the centre which will feature films, photography and collections from the all subjects within the fashion department at Falmouth University.
I will be on twitter + posting photos on instagram all day (as well as tweeting the show LIVE from 7pm) so follow me @HarryJBartlett
I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE !
Brace yourselves guys, i’m going to be posting a few teasers of some of the Fashion + Performance Sportswear graduate designers collections shot by the 2nd year Fashion Photography students at Falmouth University.
The images shown will be featured as banners at the Fashion Show and in the main marquee at Events Square for the free after event.
I hope you all like what you see, and I recommend you check out the pages of the designers and photographers
Hey everybody, as you may or may not know, the Falmouth Graduate runway show is approaching so better start getting a hold of those tickets now if you can.
The show will be on May 29th with an afternoon, evening and event space show.
£5 for the afternoon show, £20 for the evening, and for the first time (and for free), the show will be broadcasted on a large screen at Event Square so those of you who couldn’t make the show can still make see it.
It’s going to be a great event with some incredible collections from this years graduate Fashion & Performance Sportswear Designers and I hope to see you there !