- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
The 14th instalment of London Fashion Week Men’s kicks off in the capital on June 8, and with menswear booming, up 500 million pounds in the last year alone according to Mintel’s latest data, there has never been a better time to be a menswear designer, and FashionUnited has picked out all the highlights that you won’t want to miss.
The hub of London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) will once again return to the Truman Brewery, in the heart of London’s East End, located close to the home of many of the British designer businesses, and will feature more than 40 UK and international designers on schedule including Craig Green, three-time winner of the British Designer of the Year Menswear accolade at The Fashion Awards, Alexander McQueen, Liam Hodges, and Chalayan.
Truman Brewery will be home to the official British Fashion Council show space, as well as a curated showroom of menswear brands, the NewGen pop-up showroom and the DiscoveryLAB, which will introduce emerging menswear designers to press and buyers.
This June’s edition, which marks the beginning of the menswear fashion month with Paris and Milan fashion weeks, as well as Pitti Uomo to follow, is placing London’s community, diversity and culture at its heart with a new ‘This is London’ campaign featuring a mix of globally established names and current tastemakers from the worlds of art, music, fashion, film and sport.
The campaign aims to celebrate the city’s diversity and creativity as well as highlight the relationship between the creative industries, as London Fashion Week Men’s looks to place the spotlight away from Paris and Milan, and show that London’s menswear scene is not just about fashion but a “melting pot of experiences” across art, design and music.
Commenting on the campaign, Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council chief executive, said in a statement: “London is a city that is globally recognised for its creative talent and businesses. We’re extremely excited to launch this campaign for LFWM June 2019 and to celebrate not only the designers but also the broader creative community who all play a vital role in our industry’s culture and reputation.”
Preview of London Fashion Week Men’s - what not to miss
This season’s London Fashion Week Men’s schedule is packed with catwalk shows, presentations, installations and events, with NewGen graduate Kiko Kostadinov opening the weekend with an intimate catwalk show on Friday, while Art School will open the official BFC show space on Saturday with their first on schedule catwalk show as part of the BFC’s NewGen initiative, and closing proceedings will be the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.com winner announcement on Monday.
Other NewGen designers showing at LFWM include A-Cold-Wall*, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Paria /Farzaneh, Per Götesson, and Stefan Cooke who will host catwalk shows, while Bethany Williams and Nicholas Daley will host presentations. Ahluwalia Studio and Bianca Saunders will be in the DiscoveryLAB and NewGen One to Watch, Roker will have a space in the NewGen Pop-Up Showroom.
There will also be a host of international brands showing including C2H4, Iceberg, John Lawrence Sullivan, Münn presented by Seoul Fashion Week, HLA presented by JD.com, 8ON8 presented by 智族GQ and Xander Zhou.
The LFWM’s schedule will also see a number of brands making their debut, JordanLuca and Studio ALCH will host their first catwalk shows while 1X1 Studio and St-Henri will be hosting presentations for the first time.
5 designers not to miss at LFWM
One of the rising stars in London’s fashion scene at the moment has to be Edward Crutchley, who won two prizes at the 2019 edition of the International Woolmark Prize, for menswear, as well innovation, marking the first time a designer had won two prizes, and he is also a finalist for the 2019 BFC Fashion Fund, which will be announced on the final day of LFWM.
Crutchley’s work is grounded in an innate understanding and appreciation of artisanal textiles, where he explores global cultural references, and he has developed a reputation for pushing a vision of fashion that moves beyond boundaries or gender, which is still wearable. He has also consulted for many leading fashion brands including Dior, Louis Vuitton, Supreme, Kanye West, Pringle of Scotland and Richard Nicoll.
Edward Crutchley’s spring/summer 2020 catwalk show takes place on Saturday, June 8.
Korean design talent Münn, founded in 2013 by creative director Hyun-min Han, will be jumping ship from Seoul Fashion Week to LFWM on a exchange programme to present his spring/summer 2020 collection. Well known in Asia, Münn blends formalwear and workwear with a contrasting colour palette, as well as juxtaposing Korean handbok-style fabrications and modern, European tailoring techniques.
Commenting on showing during LFWM, Hyun-min Han, creative director, Münn said in a statement: “I am deeply honoured to show in London as part of the prestigious London Fashion Week and to be the first designer to take part in the SFW x LFW exchange programme. British designers Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen have been my heroes and ever since I was young I have always looked to the city as the most creative and innovative fashion capital.”
Münn takes to the catwalk on Saturday, June 8 in the BFC Show Space.
London-based designer Martine Rose has made fans of Virgil Abloh and Rihanna for her tongue-in-cheek collections that draw on references from her teenage years growing up surrounded by a melting pot of subcultures in south London, including the rave and reggae scenes of the 1990s will be showing on June 9.
Rose is a cult favourite on the menswear scene as she is known for her unconventional approach to presenting collections, in previous season she has shown in venues around north London such as rock climbing centres and markets, and she even closed off a north London cul-de-sac to host a catwalk show slash street party - so we can’t wait to see where she shows this season.
Fashion East's menswear initiative (formerly known as MAN) was launched in 2005 and has supported and launched numerous menswear designers including Kim Jones, JW Anderson, Aitor Throup, and Craig Green, and this season it welcomes Royal College of Art graduate Saul Nash for his debut catwalk show, alongside returning designers Mowalola by British-Nigerian Mowalola Ogunlesi and Dublin-based Robyn Lynch, who are both returning for their second seasons.
The collective catwalk showcase will see Nash, a dancer and designer from North East London. showcasing his designs inspired by kinetic body and the subversion of sportswear via the memories of the different people he grew up around in London, while Robyn Lynch uses her Irish upbringing and culture as the base of the brand's ethos and inspiration, and Mowalola Ogunlesi who describes her approach to design as “a celebration of the black African male: his culture, sexuality and desires' and of pan-African masculinity”.
The Fashion East catwalk show takes place at the BFC Show Space on June 9.
British designer Bethany Williams, who was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design during London Fashion Week in February for making a difference to society through sustainable practices and community engagement, will host a menswear presentation at LFWM on June 10 as part of the NewGen initiative.
A graduate from London College of Fashion, Williams champions social and environmental causes and challenges perceptions in fashion and in recent seasons she has partnered with charities supporting social change across women’s empowerment, homelessness, successful rehabilitation of offenders back into society, improving literacy amongst the most vulnerable in society and education programmes teaching skills and creating employment for those with the most limited opportunities and prospects.
London Fashion Week Men’s official kicks off on Saturday, June 8 until Monday, June 10.
Image: courtesy of the British Fashion Council - shot by Markn