By Eromosele Patrick Eidusi
Its cold out there on the streets of London, but that hasn’t deterred the thousands of stylish men and women who’ve come out to attend the London Fashion week Men’s show for the Autumn/Winter 2018/19 season.
CREDIT: REX /SHUTTERSTOCK
The Fashion buzz-term for the past three seasons has been “gender fluidity”. Alessandro Michele splattered onto the scene in 2015 with his colorful post-gender collection for Gucci (who’d have thought Kangaroo fur-lined mules would have been the hit men’s shoe of 2016?) will smith’s son Jaden wore a dress in the SS16 Louis Vuitton womenswear advertising campaign: and Jill Soloway dressed the issue of transgender politics with sensitivity and prescience in Amazon’s hit show transparent.
Interesting, then, that today, on the first day of London Fashion week Men’s, the mood had a hotly masculine edge. At John Lawrence Sullivan angry-looking models stormed the runway in black leather trousers, heavy tread-cowboy boots and worn-out rodeo vests. Elsewhere in Sullivan’s (very accomplished) collection, heavy weight corduroy western shirts and oversized suiting resulted in a look that somewhere between furious Berghain doorman and opioid-addicted ranch hand.
The intense manliness of this opening show was mirrored elsewhere. At Danish brand Tonsure, Bon Jovi-style leather trousers were teamed with patent leather macs, hardy donkey jackets and outsized grey tailoring. At Edward Crutchley, the designer teamed his carpet coats and silk pyjamas with black leather sneakers that had an orthopaedic look.
What we wear
The menswear trend for salt-of-the earth clothing for his brand, what we wear. Slim-cut tracksuits came teamed with many pocket worker jackets, which looked ready for a day on a building site. There was more of the same at Danish brand Wood Wood, which showed in London for the first time. Heavy-soled sneakers were worn with weighty top-stitched denim jackets, lumberjack shirts and fleeces – the look was similarly stout at Band of Outsiders, where thrift store intarsia knits were worn under belted trench coats and denim Jackets – and the models who skated onto the glacial runway of the somerset House ice rink, looked like extras from the Coen brothers’ 1996 film Fargo.
Since the day one of London Fashion Week Men’s was about resurgence of masculinity, the second day was seen to be having the return of boyhood. English Designer, Phoebe English of eponymous brand of women’s and menswear kicked things off on Sunday morning with a collection that focused on hard-wearing separates. There were many layered, Nehru-collard Jackets in gabardine, waxed trousers with legs wide enough to conceal waders beneath them and the kind of black galoshes you might see fish mongers sporting on an early morning in Billingsgate. There was an understated innocence to the looks English showed, a feeling heightened by the way the models were grouped together: like boys crabbing at Camber sands.
Lou Dalton, a LFWM Veteran, showed in a brand-new office space on St James’s Market. Models wearing cosy Velvet parkas in rich wine shades and artfully bobbled Jumpers were perched on artificial boulders. If the boys were crabbing at Phoebe English, then they were rock pooling at Lou Dalton. “This collection was all about me growing up in Shropshire. The looks are inspired by the kids I used to really want to hang around with,” Dalton told GQ. “It’s about rawness and youth. I love the earthiness of it all. It reminds me of my own childhood.”
The MAN show, as ever, consisted of three collections presented by three young designers on the brink of greatness. The standout collection was from Rottingdean Bazaar, where design duo James Theseus Buke and Luke Brooks showed a series of looks produced from found objects: badges, mirror and dartboards.
MAN – Rottingdean Bazaar.
CREDIT: CHRIS YATES
Art school is now in its second season for MAN, and the label showed a collection of genderless dresses, Skirt, Slips and Cat suits, all of which were worn by non-binary models: friends of the designers. The clothes looked like outfits many of the men in the audience (and beyond) might have wanted to wear when they were little boys, but perhaps weren’t always encouraged to.
Christopher Raeburn showed a collection that looked ready to be packed for a school trip to the isle of Purbeck. Animal-emblazoned intarsia wool scarves were teamed with rainbow-hued cagoules, oversized backpacks and cartoonish mittens. At Kiko Kostadinov , the designer (who is also the creative director of British outerwear brand Mackintosh)showed a collection of deconstructed shell suits in pastel shades, body-con security pouches (not dissimilar to the ones your parents would have made you wear on your gap year) and thick-soled hiking boots.
Photos in the slides above
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