If there's one thing that will be trending from here on out, it's blurring boundaries.
It's hard to imagine that menswear was once the obscure stump of the fashion world. "Men don't care for fashion" was the common reply as to why their shows were crammed into a single day; merely an after-thought of the Women's weeks. In the city of London - a mélange of forward thinkers - they'd often flee to further themselves in more...well-known places. But with the launch of LCM means that, finally, mens fashion is returning to its routes. London is back.
Kicking off Collections was a rather, ehem, 'different' display. Craig Green's A/W 2013 subjected models into wearing outlandish, plank masks. Constructed out of splintered wood, the carpentry chic looks were accordingly muted; featuring little colour other than neutrals. Hence, with the distraction of colour taken away, secondary attributes, such as texture or silhouettes, are enhanced, which is the core of Green's image, the playing of light, shadow and reflection.
Behind the public image of chinos and beanies is Topman's premium in-house designed line, Topman LTD. Seemingly corroborating Green, the collection showcased subdued tones in monochromatic outfits of cream, orange, red and black. Alongside the inflated coats, a theme of exploration was stitched into the garments, with compasses and hip-flasks swinging from backpacks and hefty boots clunking down the concrete lane. An interesting piece was the cropped peacoat in cream; a twist on the Eskimo vogue?
J.W Anderson conveyed an androgynous collection centered on unity. Featuring pieces seemingly designed to be interchangeable for both genders. Ruffled shorts and knee-high boots, bandeau-bustier tops and school uniform grey shift dresses were all donned by the boys and were all influenced by youth subcultures. But knitwear emblazoned with child-like icons (shears, circles and picket fences) were more manageable. It was an amalgamation of fashions and broken boundaries... with quite a lot of leg hair in between.
Not exercising gender ambiguity was Oliver Spence. Masculinity resonated from the thick, stripped wool suits that created a rather architectural look of sweeping lines and structured fits. Tradition was updated with a palette of accents with bursts of orange but also underscores of autumn leaves: burgundy, mustard and green. The shoes could be easily kicked back in, ranging from updated oxfords to boots but ultimately, these are clothes that a man of any age could wear.
With shoes by Christian Louboutin and inspirations including Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, winter is set to be a rather artsy time in the eyes of Jonathon Saunders. By not showcasing his collection on a catwalk, the press and buyers saw the pieces up close and thus, witnessed all the brilliant textures and vibrant colours used up close. Pops of orange resurfaced and ombre was still alive, The colour blocking and contrasting panel coats and blazers made for a geometric display of patterns. Mash-ups of texture where the likes of wool reigned supreme, and with many of the trousers and tops' hems gathered, led to only strengthen the effect of taking these traditional highland materials and casting them onto a playground of zeal.
London Collections Men, in all its 3 day glory, seems long overdue. But resentment aside, the shows were fantastic! Compared to Milan or Paris, London's own fashion shows are that bit that no one really takes seriously, but the past 3 days has shown both the public and the fashion community that London is and always will be, the style capitol of the world.