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#LCM AW14 – Day Two Report

Day two of LCM dawned as day 2 of every fashion week since time immemorial – with a hangover from the night before. Having gleefully imbibed ourselves at Joseph Turvey, Ada x Nik and the grand Esquire party at The Rosewood, and accidentally on purpose chatted to/up a few celebrities, we tucked ourselves boozily into bed and hotfooted back to central bright and early (ish) for another day of menswear fabulousness.

7CHRISTOPHERRAEBURN

Christopher Raeburn
Raeburn’s deliciously icy-sharp aesthetic took cues from Polar exploration for AW14, blending milky blues and murray mint whites with khaki, navy and the occasional dirty orange. It might not sound like the most appealing set of colours tbh, but Raeburn’s refined, clean design and commercial sensibility delivered outerwear that kept to the edgy side of explorer, and pleasingly rejected notions of the tired ‘urban hiker’ styling. This was not a pastiche, but ideas for an explorer from the near-future; one that relishes getting his boots dirty. £4k crocodile hiking boots this is not. While we loved the shaggy furs and the printed fabrics, it’s the sharp contrast-panel tailoring that we’re really into. Raeburn’s clothes are the sort of thing any man could – and should – wear. And we’re into that.

 

6JAMESLONG

James Long
Maybe this makes me tremendously uncool, but there was something very Star Trek: The Next Generation (you know, the Patrick Stewart one) about James Long’s collection. From his use of security-red and science-blue uniform colours on panelled jackets and trousers, to the collage tops that used a very early-90s shape that reminded me of the instrument panels on the Enterprise; it all added up to sci-fi for me. Which is, of course, a fantastic thing. What took it away from the Borg-like clutches was the latest instalment in Long’s exploration of the final frontier of texture: bubbly, quilted jumpers and mesh layered trousers gave life to the navy and black colour palette; while the overall silhouette was looser and more casual than we’ve seen from Long for some time. These statement, beautiful bombers and tops overshadowed what were for me perfect trousers: the ideal hybrid between jogger and smart, that sat perfectly on every model, over those TDF Kurt Geiger collab kicks. Possibly my favourite James Long show ever.

 

3RICHARDJAMES

Richard James
Savile Row tailoring can be a tricky one for LCM – too traditional and fashion-forward publications lose interest; too far from your roots, and you seem like you’re trying too hard. For many years now, Richard James has been treading the perfect line between the two, and this collection was a clear statement of that. Taking the New Edwardians of the 1950s as a starting inspiration, James blended his tailoring with a loosely mod edge: oversize check panels here, a paisley neckscarf there, a bumfreezer jacket. Texture played a big part with velvet evening suiting and tweed jackets mixing effortlessly with silk-faced tuxedos. The whole thing had the feel of Mick Jagger’s tour day wardrobe in the early ‘60s; Chelsea chic, with a dandyish edge. Each exit had a playful take on the sartorial, and flecks of autumnal colour, but it was the outerwear that grabbed us the most: a moss-green field jacket and a simply gorgeous blue leather biker were our stars.

An honourable interjection here for Nicole Farhi: now under new ownership after a rocky couple of seasons, the patchwork knitwear and relaxed outerwear signalling that there could be rather exciting things to come from Farhi in future seasons; don’t write them off just yet.

5KAYKWOK

Kay Kwok
Back to catwalk shows and it was Chinese ingénue and former McQ intern Kay Kwok who wowed with a collection of digital-print contrast-panel tailored jackets that built on his themes from SS14. This was futuristic fantasy at its finest: even outré neoprene prints, solid perspex neckpieces, glitter tumbled across chests and that old chestnut ‘skirts for men’ fits paled in comparison with enormous polished iridescent panels, worn cross-body. This was absolutely bonkers, just how I like my défilés.

 

1YMC

YMC
Once again, YMC’s collection stole my heart. Not literally, you understand, that would be weird. More in the way that Fraser Moss and his design team managed to distil down the essence of what London is about into a collection. A prevailing trend this season seemed to be the divergence of the two factions of London menswear: experimental and tailoring. Brands seemed to nail their colours to their respective masts and slug it out on the high seas of fashionland. YMC continues to operate on the neutral zone, borrowing skills and quality from the tailors while doing shots and throwing colour around with the enfants terribles. All of which created a collection that was London personified: slouchy, relaxed tailoring, smart yet casual and in a beautiful array of colours and styles. YMC offered up a complete autumn wardrobe, and pieces here will satisfy tastes across the board. Pieces that may at first appear subtle, but that have beautifully-observed details like mitten-shaped pockets or zips on the back (that still unexplored, but crucially important sartorial zone). Absolutely brilliant.

 

4KITNEALE

Kit Neale
A perhaps somewhat unlikely homage to Elephant & Castle, Kit Neale’s collection continued his love affair with sarf London in inimitably Kit Neale style: colourful, playful and luxe. Colours interwove in reworked florals and British Museum-sourced archive prints, while the recurring motif of a mouse gave a sideways angle on the Elephant & Castle roundabout. Luxeness came in the form of delicious woven jacquards. Neale’s signature prints and casual silhouette played out beautifully, resulting in a collection that is both exciting yet wearable. Well-played.

 

8CASELYHAYFORD

Casely-Hayford
Like YMC earlier, Casely-Hayford pulled off the idea of integrating tailoring and experimental, but came at it from the other angle to YMC – from tailoring. Their sharp jackets, suits and outerwear already have a cult following, but this collection took them to a new plane: it seemed like the designer had been let off the leash, and consequently the wide-ranging collection took in everything from digital prints, half-fur bombers, geometrics and multiple-length layers. What held it together was a take on punky grunge: red-and-black plaid, contrasting panels and an almost complete removal of shirting, coupled with ‘stolen from dad’s wardrobe’ tailored coats and jackets. Sharp, snappy and graphic, this was a look into the future: if grunge happened in 2014. If this is the aesthetic, then we very much hope it does.

 

2SUPERDRY

Superdry
As befits a mega-brand, a mega-show. Superdry’s catwalk was undoubtedly the grandest of any at LCM: towering galleried seating, an epically long runway, a huge bar space and DJing from none other than Nick Grimshaw, the British brand’s show was akin to entering a glitzy entertainment complex. The catwalk show itself demonstrated the breadth of Superdry’s range, with a staggering 120 exits showing everything from classic tailoring to slouchy streetwear. Most of all, it showed that Superdry’s outerwear offering can hold its own against the more established and edgy of London’s fashion elite: sharp peacoats and single-breasted car coats mixed elegantly with leather biker jackets, relaxed trenches and utility outdoorswear. Blend in an almost bewildering array of classic, perfectly-proportioned streetwear garms and accessories that perfectly channel apres-ski (not to mention – gasp! womenswear at LCM) and we get the feeling that Superdry is going to be doing brisk business in AW14.

- Seb Law

All images taken from Catwalking.com



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