Fringed scarf and cord trousers at Burberry Prorsum
Fringed scarf and cord trousers at Burberry Prorsum
The sixth edition of London Collections: Men (9-12 Jan.) came to close on Monday. To accommodate the growing list of brands and designers taking part, amounting to 150, the event ran for an extra day for the first time this season. The catwalk proceedings started on a decidedly ‘70s note courtesy of Topman Design. Bouffant-haired models clad in long tiered shearling coats, shrunken vinyl jackets and high-waisted denim flares had a cartoonish air about them, but the looks set the tone as far as texture is concerned – next fall will see an influx of fuzziness in the shape of fur, shearling and a plethora of tactile knits. The first few bohemian looking models emerging on Burberry Prorsum’s catwalk were draped in fringed shawls and scarves; later on, they changed into leopard printed shearling coats. At Joseph, tactile patchwork fairisle knits in earthy hues sat alongside chunky sweaters and rib knit joggers crafted from the same grey yarn. Natural Selection, a brand best known for its denim but now branching out into RTW, also demonstrated a talent for knitting– a short sleeve jumbo waffle knit with navy lurex running through it counted among the highlights. The season’s surface oriented approach also came into play during James Long’s brooding show, which involved patchwork jeans and denim jackets with tan shearling pockets.

According to Paul Harvey, C.P. Company’s co-designer, layering is the future of menswear. To that end, Harvey and his design partner Alessandro Pungetti had built the latest range with layer friendly options in mind, bringing in more outerwear pieces in longer lengths than previously. Casely-Hayford yet again flaunted its mix and match abilities by teaming pieces of various lengths, textures and cuts to form a cohesive whole. Craig Green, meanwhile, sent out oversize padded uniforms designed in the same vein as his critically acclaimed spring offering. Voluminous “trance pants” also featured, often in combination with fitted long sleeved tees crudely manipulated into shape with the help of what looked like a trainee surgeon’s shaky hand.

Color continues to advance on the menswear arena. Kit Neal’s Circus inspired fall offering was fittingly zingy, and it was made even more so with the addition of naively decorative brooches and earrings crafted by the inimitable artist and jeweler Andrew Logan. Bold hues took center stage at Hentsch Man, too. The cobalt blue and emerald green looks complemented the red walls of the old sex cinema in which the grunge themed presentation was held. Alex Mattsson, in turn, used blocks of green, yellow and lilac to accentuate his take on modular streetwear, which involved interchangeable pockets. Cmmn Swdn settled for a single combination of hues, true blue denim and orange, against a dark backdrop. This pairing ran through the collection that subversively united the contrasting influences of British subculture and luxe Italian fashion, a direction that was easily identifiable in pieces crafted from denim bonded with wool. Other denim news was unveiled at the LC:M showrooms. London Denim introduced its first men’s line of jeans and gently frayed sweatshirts, while Snake & Dagger showed washes and handcrafted treatments such as repetitive distressing and a heavily applied sand and resin.

Acrobats showing off Paul Smith's travel suits
Acrobats showing off Paul Smith's travel suits
Held in a subterranean car park in Westminster, Belstaff’s presentation served up hot toddy in white enamel mugs alongside flying jackets and blousons with contrast patch pockets in reference to the 50s subculture the Ton Up Boys – or Greasers as they’re also known. Less rebellious but equally compelling, Paul Smith’s showing involved acrobatic models demonstrating to what degree the British designer’s travel suits can withstand creasing caused by physical activity.