London: Menswear Week steps it up
today Jan 6, 2015
While it took many years for London Fashion Week: Women to become a heavyweight on the international fashion calendar, London Collections: Men, on the other hand, has risen very quickly.
The British Fashion Council (BFC), which organises the event, has already emphasised the interest in LC: M shown by the international buyer community, whose participation is up 30% as compared with last season and last year.
To accommodate a growing number of shows and presentations, the BFC has even decided to extend the event to four days instead of three.
From January 9-12, the location will remain the same: many of the 32 menswear shows and 37 presentations for fall/winter 2015 will take place at the Old Sorting Office, Victoria House and at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden, where collections from 70 designers will also be presented as part of the Designer showrooms.
This sixth edition, which will open with a show by Topman, also has a number of strengths: Man, a collaborative initiative organised by Fashion East and Topman, will reintroduce a group show that will feature the debut of Irish designer Rory-Parnell Mooney, who just graduated from the prestigious school Central St Martins, alongside Liam Hodges and Nicomede Talavera, who already participated last season.
It's also for the first time during London Collections: Men that the men's final of the International Woolmark Prize will take place, the winner receiving a prize of 100,000 dollars and the opportunity to sell his or her collections in the world's biggest stores.
Another first: the ready-to-wear brand Vigur will join the ranks of current recipients of the launchpad for up-and-coming designers NEWGEN Men, which already include Agi & Sam, Alex Mullins, Astrid Andersen, CMMN SWDN, Craig Green, Diego Vanassibara, Kit Neale, Lee Roach and Nasir Mazhar.
The schedule of presentations will be expanded this season with the debuts of Alex Mattsson, Aquascutum Men's, Coach, Kilgour, Mr Porter presents Kingsman, Cabourne, Private White V.C., Several, Soulland and Universal Works.
Meanwhile, British footwear brand John Lobb, which is owned by Hermès, will present on Saturday, 10 January the first collection by its new artistic director, Paula Gerbase.
Other designers will also return following temporary breaks, such as Belstaff, CP Company, Manolo Blahnik, Savile Row, St James's & Woolmark, Shaun Samson (invited by Fashion East) and Thomas Pink.
Dunhill, Hardy Amies, Maharishi and Pringle of Scotland will hold shows in London for the first time to present their menswear collections. Among the loyal participants in the event: Paul Smith and Burberry Prorsum.
At the same time, there will be some big absences felt, such as those of Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane (Kering group), which is occupied by the upcoming launch of its website and opening of its flagship store in London. The designer has thus opted for individual events in Paris from January 23 to 26 to present his menswear collections.
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