LFWM trends: Out with the old, in with the new
today Jan 8, 2019
London Fashion Week Men’s publicity used to bill the British capital as the historic birthplace of bespoke tailoring, and classy gents brands. Instead, it has morphed into the most experimental fashion season almost anywhere. With a new nerve center, the Dickensian former Truman Brewery in the East End of London, close by where Jack the Ripper once plied his gruesome trade. We look at five trends that emerged from this new locale.
The dearth, or maybe death, of tailoring
London used to be regarded as the homeland of classical gents' tailoring; where Savile Row outfitted everyone from the Royal Family to James Bond. Not any more. One needed a magnifying glass to find anyone wearing a suit at this season’s shows; never mind a tie! Apart from a great collection by Edward Crutchley, it was hard to recall a single suit in any show.
There was a big revival of the dandy rocker, best seen in a outstanding collection by John Lawrence Sullivan, admittedly by a Japanese designer based in Tokyo. The key item the rockstar redingotes. Similarly, in a great break-out collection at Fashion East from debutant Mowalola, who featured fantastic leather redingotes with images of hands toughing or torsos on the backs, all inspired by the petrol-heads back in Lagos, the capital of her native Nigeria.
Transgender, cross-dressing and gender fluidity reached a new stage in London fashion this season. The first look in the first show, Art School, was a black, bias-cut cocktail dress and the Saturday evening gala show was “queer couture” courtesy of Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. Though, this season’s version came with a kinder, gentler mood – flapper dresses for boys.
Athleisure with a naïve twist
Athleisure has been the single biggest movement in the UK market for some time. Shops as diverse as Primark and the much-acclaimed End just off Carnaby Street devoted their coveted ground floors to little else. However, London menswear designers gave the mood a new twist – with sporting iconography prints (James Long for Iceberg); truly naïve imagery (Bobby Abley) and abstract racing stripes (Astrid Andersen).
London featured several hip new Chinese brands this season. Remarkably, two of the most significant both emphasized anti-materialist ideas. From Private Policy’s Money v Human show to Pronounce's reconstruction of the Mao jacket, as if yearning for an era of more modest living. And to think Crazy Rich Asians got nominated for the Golden Globes!
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