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#LCM AW13 Report Day 2

Header image: (left-right): Richard Nicoll, Matthew Miller, Christopher Shannon

In the main, we let Twitter do the talking with regards to our LCM coverage. However, although 140 characters may have sufficed to set the scene, there’s only so much enthusiastic exclaims of HOT MODEL / FREE BOOZE / X trend at X show etc. reveal. That is, other than us having a frankly friggan good time, which actually there is more to than our social media spews let on. Helen Turnbull reports from the frontline – various plush presentation pop-ups generously scattered across the confines of London’s Zone 1 – on day two of three spent mincing around menswear.

On entry to The Hospital Club, we were met by immaculately turned-out usher types, bearing gifts and smiling outrageously as they politely urged us to lessen their load. Their gifts were nothing less than goody bags advertised as the ‘Men’s Health Survival Pack’ which served as a family-friendly cover up for what it actually was i.e. a one night stand survival kit. Contents included: spare pants, chewing gum, shower gel, contact lense cases, energy bars, muscle rub etc etc.

(left & centre): Nicole Farhi; (right): Margaret Howell

Already laden with freebies, Nicole Farhi was our first calling point. Adopting the popular presentation format, the French label’s shiny new Creative Director, Joanna Sykes, attracted an excitable crowd to witness her first Farhi-forary into menswear. The press pack was pleased to see Sykes championing Farhi’s contemporary but classic design ethos realised in a mostly monochrome palette of plain and patterned knits, subtle striping on shirts and scarves and classic coat shapes detailed with cosy shearling linings and tougher leather accents but it was those white brogues that got everyone talking (and tweeting).

Next up Margaret Howell toyed with British heritage and Parisian je ne sais quoi with a line-up of Beatnik boys sporting Harris tweeds and Scottish cashmeres cut in a slimmer and shorter silhouette. Tailoring was loosely but classically cut and outerwear favoured the peacoat style, both echoing the functional and minimalist qualities she is so famed and much-loved for. Leather-trimmed berets gave a literal nod to Parisian preppy and confirmed the sixties sensibility influences.

(left-right): Aitor Throup, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Shannon

Before we returned to base camp (The HC), we’d witnessed football hooligans as Hindu gods in an eerie installation by Aitor Throup, a kaleidoscope of ombre-d separates and child-like paint prints courtesy of colour genius, Jonathan Saunders as well as audacious wearability – juxtaposing urban sportswear with neat tailoring pigmented in playful but punky patterns – thanks to YMC. Last but not least, Christopher Shannon ventured into the land of leather, presenting an experimental mish-mash of technical textures (e.g. denim met leather panelling) and offering an imaginative take on the week’s emerging zip trend; seemingly sleeveless shirts were attached to substantial padded structures, fulfilling the practicality purpose.

(left-right): Martine Rose, Richard Nicoll, Katie Eary

Back to base camp we journeyed at the request of Martine Rose to witness her runway-show-come-presentation set-up. The display was met with many a baffled expression as the queue expected an all-out lights flashing, music pumping production but got what can only be described as a halfway house. A glance over the press release straightened those confused faces, explaining the collection toyed with audience perceptions. The clothes themselves weren’t particular thematic but instead depicted Martine’s vision of Rasta attitude fusing its iconography with Brit culture. The stand-out piece was a recycled beer mat skirt.

As the free booze continued to flow, Mr Porter invited us to the official unveiling of their collaboration with four handpicked London designers. Richard Nicoll, Katie Eary, Sibling and Matthew Miller have each created a capsule collection, exclusively available at Mr Porter, to celebrate this season’s LCM. Capsule collections are often critiqued for being a diluted version of the real deal however, reassuringly; these four have stuck to their guns and given their fans a taster of their signature styles. Matthew Miller’s foil pocket patch sweater and tees are our personal favourite.

(left): Matthew Miller; (centre & right): Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer was the surprise of the day – veering away from the plain and simple he coyly introduced stripes – marking a print debut for the eclectic artisan. Another notable progression was the addition of vibrant blues and oranges which were peppered between his token pristine palette of autumnal hues.

Sibling

Having left the warm confines of the St. Martin’s Lane blogger suite bed, we couldn’t wait to cosy up with knitwear heroes Sibling as the evening and its chilling winter temperatures set in. The threesome’s imagination knows no bounds and every season, men’s and womenswear, we’re delighted to see their creative genius improving with age. For AW13 their expertise in all things enormous reached next levels as incredibly outlandish and super-sized sweaters, roll necks, snoods, hats and mittens concealed the mixed gender model line-up, almost head-to-toe. Ridiculed for being an embarrassment to the British fashion industry by the national press, their fearlessness to break every possible consumer boundary is a unique attribute that warrants shouting about. Further controversy ensued as models walked out against a catwalk backdrop bearing the motif –‘Please Kill Me’, famed by punk movement innovator Richard Hell – ironically arranged in flowers and reflecting the collection’s starting point; the suburban teenager’s appreciation of 70s New York. All in all: highlight of the day and potentially of the week.

- Helen Turnbull

Images taken from Catwalking.com



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