London Fashion Week Men's - 5 of the best
Vivienne Westwood AW17 Mens (Image: Vogue)
Is it just us or was the newly renamed ‘London Fashion Week Men's' off the scale for AW17? Whether it was the blending of men’s and women’s catwalk pieces, or the explosion of fresh British design talent that has attracted the likes of Vivienne Westwood back into the London fray, there was a new energy about the men’s shows this season. And there was so much that we wanted, from Berthold's flowing coats, to Lou Dalton’s epic knits. Suddenly fashion season just got much broader.
'Why does the River Thames seem to reflect London and its heritage so well?' that was the question posed – and answered – in the AW17 line from London based label Blood Brother. References to one of London’s most iconic features flowed throughout the collection, from prints inspired by cartography and mapping of the river, to blues, blacks and greys that conjured the swirling darkness of those muddy waters. In contrast were the pieces produced in bold lifeboat orange – bright buoys in a sea of moody style – and a single interference of pink: loose fit trousers paired with a mercurial metallic shirt.
Bobby Abley AW17 (image: Bobby Abley)
Bobby Abley AW17 was a lesson in 90s childhood nostalgia with a collection inspired by colourful superheroes, the Power Rangers. Apart from the odd gimmicky helmet, the relentless colours and spandex suits of the Mighty Morphin originals provided an inspired basis for a bold and stylish range of mostly casuals, with some strong suiting thrown in for good measure. Faux fur and mohair delivered texture and the martial arts references were strong with this one. We particularly loved the colourful monogramming, the co-ord tracksuits and the innovative neoprene use that has become such a signature of the label.
Sibling AW17 (Image: Vogue)
Sibling is one of the many brands that has started to slide womenswear into the men’s shows – and oh have they done it so well. AW17 felt like a serious statement of intent from the subversive knitwear brand, more sleek and focused, with Gaudi inspired casual prints and chic knit and tailored separates and dresses. The colours were subtly riotous, rather than outrageously so, but they were still bold AF. The overdose on ruffles we loved and the brand kept the bare chest as the context for a number of the men’s pieces (phew), as well as their signature mixing up of gender style ‘rules.’ Innovative and wearable don’t always go together but they are the two sides of the Sibling coin. Wear more colours, indulge the ruffles, get that harness; be more Sibling.
For AW17 Edward Crutchley went rich, with designs that were dripping with opulent themes, luxurious textures and deeply satisfying decadent tones. Fuelled by a lusty combination of archival English silks, late Renaissance portraits, Greek antiquities and the 90s heyday of MTV, the collection had a sense of extravagant permanence, defined by intricate craftsmanship down to the tiniest accessory. Tactile cashmere, wool, silk jacquards and velvets were crafted into bomber jackets, wrap vests and ribbed knits, from thigh socks, to simple separates. It was a collection for royalties, from Tudor to Jagger, and there was even a Miss Marple reference in there too.
Wales Bonner AW17 (Image: Vogue)
Grace Wales Bonner is a bright, bold talent and a designer who creates with intent. Her AW17 collection at London Fashion Week Men’s took on some heavy themes, from black identity to modern spirituality and gender, demonstrating so well the role that fashion has to play in protest and thought. Intricate beading and tracksuits crafted in silk, houndstooth, diamond knits and subversive tailoring all reused or reinvented themes and refused the mundane or ordinary. Originality and diversity were the order of the day – and so was detail, from the delicately disheveled linens to the handmade harlequin leathers on trousers and hats.