One of the key ambitions of the creation of London Collections: Men was the cultivation new, up and coming brands. The kind of hidden in the bushes of the named brands designers that you wouldn't really have heard about before. This is the reason why the NEWGEN MEN was created, a platform which was the synthesis of the British Fashion Council and Topman. A combining of the traditional, and the freshly picked, NEWGEN MEN houses ten brands, the philosophy of it being to provide these blossoming créatifs with support and sponsorship. It's a pretty awesome and much needed concept, especially considering how cut throat the fashion industry can be.
During my first time at LCM, I had the chance to have a look of two of the brands that were featured. Being a showroom, it was much more intimate than the runways, and you can get a better feel (literally) of the clothing. I was able to see two brands, each bringing a juxtaposing ideal of what next year's colder months hold for men, the fashion world for men is not simply resigned to hoards upon hoards of tweed and wools.
Immediately, what struck me harder than Tom Daley's abs was the wooden, geometric installation that encompasses the center of both the room, and also the presentation of Vidur's collection. With the dimly lit haze of a nearby lamp illuminating the room, much like the structure itself, the pieces are hallmarked by sleek, clean lines and practicality as the foundation of the collections' architecture.
Vidur was founded by Raj Mistry and Richard Brand, the brand itself having a clean focus on practicality imbued with classicism. Deconstructing the framework of traditional attires, sports luxe shirts, elongated tees and paneled athletic jackets are built around a tonal palette of electric blue and demure monochrome. The defined lines swoop geometrically with a sophisticated slant to them. Tees with tails and neoprene jumpers with blue peeking from its oversized neckline add a playfulness to the rather minimal aesthetic.
In a sharp contrast to the simplistic, athletic tailoring of Vidur, Kit Neale offer a comparatively more skittish collection. Taking inspiration from the circus (Britney Spears or Take That would be so proud) the folly of the big top is translated to the everyday through a tightrope of graphic letter prints, inspired by circus posters and works of graphic designers Barney Bubbles and Job Wouters. The bold designs are complimented by a colour range of rusted oranges and burnt reds, forming an almost etched out graffiti look to the prints, which are hand embroidered and inspired by the work of Fred G. Johnson. The red zippers and edgy embellishments add a Vivienne Westwood twist to the pieces, which is never a bad thing.
A teddy-bear fur coat is the opening act when you walk in, I couldn't help but match the brooches curated by Andrew Logan and go WOW when I saw it! This was all and all a very tongue in cheek look at British culture, exploring the underbelly of youth by departing from the typically illustrative style of print and opting instead for luridly eye-catching typography. Collated together in the salon-style room, it was a gymnasium of jolly statments. I especially loved the felt hats, the winsome POP brooches carried the 80s rebellion but swayed it back into the red and white tent.
Vidur and it Kit Neale presented two very different visions of Autumn Winter 2015/16 for London. Vidur took to crisp silhouettes and charged pops of colour, whereas Kit Neale embraced a playhouse of colours and wild prints.
Are you a Vidur, or a Neale kind of guy?
Whatever Primark copies next year will be the winner...