- Vivian Hendriksz |
London served as the backdrop for the 5 year anniversary of the British Fashion Council's dedicated men's wear fashion week. Over the last four days buyers, press and visitors came together to celebrate the best of British menswear. "From world-class designers and established brands, to emerging talent and independent boutiques, our great city can easily lay claim to being one of the big four fashion capitals of the world, alongside Paris, Milan and New York," said London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons.
"Nowhere is this clearer than at London Fashion Week Men’s, which attracts the crème de la crème of international designer talent, media and business leaders, everywhere from Mexico to Manchester. The past week has showcased exactly why our fashion industry is a global trailblazer and one that contributes a staggering amount to our city’s economy every year. Full of innovation, imagination and style, the fifth anniversary of LFWM has once again presented London at its open, global and creative best." As London Fashion Week Men's Spring/Summer 2018 edition comes to an end, FashionUnited takes a moment to reflect on the most memorable shows and events.
Day 1: Liam Hodges
Young designer Liam Hodges sought to bring a taste of the outlandish to London Fashion Week Men’s in the form of a giant, screaming bear taking to the catwalk as the show’s final look. The bear motif was spotted throughout the rest of Hodges SS18 collection, on t-shirts and in form of a teeth-baring roar motif. Hodges also teamed up with sportswear label Fila for SS18, which saw the designer rework several of archive pieces from the brand with his signature uniting stitching technique. Key pieces from the collaboration included panelled polo shirts as well as colour-blocking shirt, which reflected the continuation of HIdges workwear/sportswear aesthetic.
Day 2: Wales Bonner
Wales Bonner shows true brand evolution with its SS18. More minimal than before, the collection focused on the essentials of menswear, reimagined and stripped back from all the extras. Grace Wales Bonner found inspiration for the collection in an essay by Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als, which centred on author James Baldwin and creative black queers he in turn inspired. Rather than focusing on rich embellishments, Wales Bonner chose to turn her attention to the selection of fabric, the cut of a jacket, the placement of the shoulder and the location of the button, creating a sleek, tailored form with all attention on the details. Jackets were worn without shirts underneath and the strips of exposed skin, gave the collection a more sensual appeal, a new turn for this rising star who has managed to enthrall the industry season after season with her collections.
Day 2: Charles Jeffrey
For Charles Jeffrey debut show solo Loverboy show at London Fashion Week Men’s, the young designer chose to underline his ability to create a spectacle. His collection for SS18 featured an over the top display of bold colours, textures, graphics and embellishments which reflected London’s youth culture. Graphic smiley faces, graffiti and slogans were evident throughout the collection, which included worn out tailored jackets, fine sweaters and embroidered denim. The collection was described by the designer as an “orgy” of styles, including ‘Tudor street urchins’, ‘tartan pinks’ and ‘mantilla-clad duchesses’ blended together to represent a culture which is anything but normal.
Day 3: Astrid Andersen
Danish designer Astrid Andersen took the audience on a contemporary safari for SS18. Using the “archetypical Safari” as her starting point of inspiration for the collection, Andersen reworked the notion into an urban collection, aimed at the cool kids on the block. The result includes an artful blend of streetwear classics mixed with high-end fabrics - think baggy floral silk pants, sports jerseys crafted from lace and tweed sweatshirts, complete with matching hats. Headwear was also key in the collection, as a series of caps with fabric falling down onto the models shoulders prominently reflected the safari theme. The collection also including brand signatures, such as cropped logo sweatshirts and tracksuits.
Day 4: Craig Green
Craig Green SS18 collection underlined why he was crowned Menswear Designer of the Year at the recent Fashion Awards. The 30 year old designer presented a bold and vivid collection, which featured bright colours and complex patchwork. His SS18 collection was inspired by paradise, reflected in the coats, tops and ponchos sporting palm trees and sunsets, but then went a shade darker as he explored different concepts of paradise and utopia. This was reflected in the scuba tops, which were oversized, or wrapped and tied around the body or loose with holes cut in. When combined, the collection was a blend of strong shapes, innovative fabrics and simple silhouettes. In protest to the rising level of plastic pollution, models wore used water bottles as shoes.
Day 4:Vivienne Westwood
Never one to shy away from mixing politics with fashion, Dame Vivienne Westwood openly showed her support for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party leader, at her SS18 show during LFWM. The show, which included a children's play area at the end of the catwalk, saw gymnasts and acrobats cartwheeling down the runway. The collection saw Westwood take dress codes of aristocrats and royalty and turned them inside out, touching on her signature designs. Her SS18 collection included t-shirts bearing handwritten messages and slogans, busy prints and patterns as well as loosely tailored trouser, boxy blazers and ruched dresses complete with rips, slits and patchworked holes.
Phots: Courtesy of the British Fashion Council