VADA @ London Collections: Men – Day 1

Alex Fassam

To make myself somewhat remotely grown up I sign my name Alexander, but most refer to me as Alex. A blogger, retail enthusiast and, for my sins, a student studying at London College of Fashion.In between studying and working you may find me in Oxford street doing what I like to call "extreme shopping".

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London is now a proud owner of an established, nurtured and powerful force within menswear, and by god, do we love it!  You don’t necessarily have to be in the know on menswear as we’re here to take you by the hand, sit you down and explain everything you need to know about today’s shows, and let me tell you – it’s good.

When we first arrived  at London Collections: Men (LC:M) the ambience of the entire atmosphere was, as expected, chaotic. Although the slick and chic V.I.P’s mingled around, offering interviews and generally being flawless in every fibre of their being, every now and then you could see an absolutely panic struck assistant, with fear dripping from their eyes, hastily running across the venue with some form of clipboard or papers.  We feel for you.

Before I begin I will confirm I shall not be using the term “it’s raining mens(wear)” throughout this portion of the review – it’s already been done to death. What I will say for Topman design is that they absolutely upped their game from last season. We saw on the catwalk cowboy shirts, high rise black trousers, silk shirts and metallic belts for S/S 14. All great stuff – but a boring in terms of catwalk presentation. It didn’t inspire me at all. I personally feel that if you give a catwalk that energy and life then you inspire and make it memorable for your audience.

Back to the clothes.  The contrasting looks the Topman Design team showed us were of the skinny vs. oversized variety.  With one portion of the collection, we saw oversized leather lapel coats with oversized trousers in an array of grey, green and black colour palettes. On the other side we saw incredibly skinny suits in green, grey and black. Simple yet effective.  Accompanying these were incredibly large cable knits and finishing off was, my absolute favourite, oversized black metallic trousers.  With the rain beating down on these poor models you couldn’t help but feel for them, except the one in the large opaque raincoat – what’s he got to be complaining about?

Matthew Miller was next on the list.  Appearing at around 13:00, we saw an incredible amount of black, navy, cream and beige with a nod to the green family. Comprising of 20 looks, which is exactly the same as last year I might add, Miller’s collection really showed us his eye for textures within his clothes. Dramatic navy trousers and a simply beautiful green leather jacket were styled together to form an idyllic look. Followed closely was the use of incredibly thick, almost too tight, fabrics. A navy cropped leather jacket with eye watering buckles pushed its way into the lime light and finishing off were creative tailoring techniques including curved lines and seam showing jackets. My favourite piece? The oversized simple black tee – you can’t go wrong with it.

Finally I have to say what I personally love about Jonathan Saunders is his predominant use of colour. He’s not shy about using it and does it in a way that doesn’t want to make you gag – it’s tasteful. Stripes were used on almost every look. Whether it be the scarf, trousers, shirts or even jackets, they featured very heavily in his A/W14 collection.  What struck me most was the styling decision of the orange chequered tee shirt with olive colour drawstring trousers – not something you see everyday. Last year I commented on what I think was the “It” item of his collection, his sky blue bomber jacket. This year he has turned the same idea up on its head and produced a silver metallic bomber jacket with exaggerated knitted hemline – I absolutely need it a.s.a.p.

Check back tomorrow for Vada @ London Collections: Men  / Day 2

 

All photo credits – London Collections:Men / Evening Standard