Jun 18, 2012
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British menswear wraps up event with accolades

Jun 18, 2012

British menswear designers showcased a mixture of transparent florals and detailed paisley prints accessorised with quilted handbags and coloured briefcases on the final day of London's first standalone men's fashion event on Sunday.

The event saw a vast array of collections, presentations and special talks from leading designers such as Paul Smith, Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane, with talks already underway on how to develop the London Collections Men further.

"We would love to expand the London Collections. This is the first time, so obviously there will be opportunity to reflect and review," British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush told Reuters.

Topman Design Director Gordon Richardson said the event was about finally being able to showcase the best of British men's fashion. "I really hope it's a success and that we can maintain this...I think we have to build it up and nurture it. We have to grow it."

"All those young designers who are showing now are at the stage when they are reaching an international audience. We couldn't have done this three or four years ago," he added.

Designers J.W. Anderson and Richard Nicoll showcased collections that included transparent florals and paisley prints accessorised with quilted handbags and coloured briefcases, showing a softer side to the usual sharply tailored suits.

J.W. Anderson's showcase for London Collections Men featured teddy bear prints, sheer floral patterns and knitted ensembles. The models wearing black wigs and headscarves tied to one side carried quilted handbags and branded sketchbooks.

Vivid pink and red jackets were seen alongside knitted bell bottom trousers and tops, as well as shirts and shorts with a printed paintbrush effect.

A crisp palette of pale greys, white, blue and ochre with neat tailored finishes and contrasting colour details were seen at Richard Nicoll's debut menswear collection.

"I thought the colour was good. Good colour, good silhouettes. It looked well made. A lot of collections in London look very worked on but not necessarily well made. This looks chic," said style blogger Scott Schuman, of The Sartorialist.


Leather jackets in teal and aqua with contrasting details also featured alongside rich paisley prints, with models carrying coloured briefcases and duffel bags.

The day finished with an exclusive party at Burberry's flagship store in Knightsbridge, which was attended by Elton John, model Edie Campbell as well as musician Miles Kane who performed at the event.

Creative Director Christopher Bailey said he wanted to make sure the brand was involved in the event in some way, to celebrate the success of menswear in the capital.

"We wanted to celebrate the London Collections, we wanted to celebrate menswear, we've got our show in Milan but we wanted to make sure we were a part of it," he told Reuters.

Menswear is the fastest growing fashion sector and the three-day London show has seen a mixture of haute couture and high-street designers showcasing the best of British menswear featuring fashion luminaries such as Tom Ford and Paul Smith.

"You can go to Savile Row, Burlington Arcade or Jermyn Street and see fantastic heritage, and then there are probably the most cutting edge designers in the world showing in London, amazing street style, you sort of get everything," said Dylan Jones, editor of men's magazine GQ.

"It's the new generation of men who are actually spending money, they've learnt how to shop like women, and they're going out and buying clothes. It's great for the economy."

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