So the first London Collections:Men, finally took place, after all the hype, pomp and promise, did it deliver and live up to all the expectations promised of it ??? Well, it kicked off with a party, naturally, at somewhere called Clarence House hosted by someone called, HRH Prince Charles, The Prince Of Wales, apparently it’s his gaff or somefink ??? So not a bad start then, no ? This was then followed by, another party, Whoop ! at Scotch, famous for the likes of, lil artists, from Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix and on that night Hot chip, performing under its well concealed roof. This party was hosted by the American powerhouse, Tommy Hilfigerand boasted the likes of Kimberly Wyatt (The Pussycat Doll), Actor Matthew Goode and Supermodel Petra Nemcova.
And so to the first day, Lou Dalton, was selected to open the proceedings, an unenviable job if you ask me, look at poor ole Engelbert Humperdinck, but unlike him Lou produced a collection of brilliant tailoring fused with sportswear. Lou is best known for her, “Rebellious English sportswear with a strong attention to detail.” This show was probably best summed up by The Guardian’s assistant Fashion Editor, Simon Chilvers, “Lou Dalton was what this weekend was all about”. Plus, what became the must have accessory for the first part of the weekend was, you had to have an Alexa Chung sat front row at your show, to truly complete it and this mantel was then handed to, the Tenie Tempah to finish off the relay of the weekend. Other celebs that graced us with their presence during the inaugural proceedings included, The Voice UK’s Reggie Yates & Tyler James, the male Supe David Gandy, the always sartorial Mr Dermot O’Leary, Ronnie Wood & of course Sir Elton John & his partner David Furish. Lou’s Show was followed by the Bastion of Britishness, Hackett, who took us to a world of yesteryear, a world inspired by The Great Gatsby and Brideshead Revisited, forget Downton Abbey. This dapper modern gentleman could never be accused of being underdressed and would only ever look out of place on a dress down Friday at the worse dressed office known to gentlemen.
We were then returned to modern day London, in the rather less luxurious setting of the former sorting centre for the Post office. But it proved to be the perfect setting for Top Man Design, a brand who is in perfect tune with its customer and knows it’s demographic as though they were life long best friends. I wasn’t a great fan of this collection, but that’s a good thing I shouldn’t be, I’d honestly look ridiculous if I was to bust this collection, but it’s not for me. It reminded me of elements of the 80′s Australian Artist & designer Ken Done, with their colour palette and use of pattern. Helen Seamons, Deputy Fashion Editor of The Observer, put it,” TopMan really fun, really young and perfect for their customer”. Essentially, the yoof of today will lap this collection up next summer, Sir Philip MUST be over the Monaco moon about it.
Oliver Spencer was next on the schedule, Oliver isn’t the type of designer whose show differs greatly from season to season, but this is the beauty of his collections, its the slights, the little changes that many all the difference, I promise you that not fashion talk bollocks. Making a debut appearance for SS13 was the board short. A welcome addition to his expanding collection. Once again his casting was sublime, real fellas with real character that know how to dress, which included Gordon Richardson, Design Director of the aforementioned TopMan.
I then moved back to the HQ for LC:M (London Collections:Men) to have a bit of a gaze at the designers exhibition showcasing, if I be 100% honest, I found this one of the most inspirational and intimate ways to view a number of ranges. During this I managed to catch up with designers including Christopher Raeburn, more about him later and the footwear Genius Mr Hare, who has produced what has to be his best collection to date. One of my favourite ranges was Hancock, a hidden gem of a heritage brand that amongst other things produces the most amazing trench coats and I learnt Thomas Hancock was the founding father of the rubber industry, see it not just all about Fashion & style. Also, and more importantly, they have worked with the luggage Gods Globetrotter for SS13 and the sultan of tailoring Mr Timothy Everest, who seems to have more fingers in more pies this season then Greggs has, well pies.
I then had to bomb it over to Savile Row to Chester Barrie where Edward Sexton, the modern day patron saint of Savile Row and business partner to the suiting pioneer Tommy Nutter, was in conversation with good friend and suiting know all Tom Stubbs. I could have stayed there all day and if I had one complaint about the event, was that it just didn’t go on long enough and hopefully they will hold the event again in a bigger venue for longer, next time. From here, it was another crazy dash over to the Old Selfridges hotel, where Spencer Hartwas holding his catwalk show. I wasn’t crazy about the kids from Fame, literally busting on to the catwalk for an impromptu jazz hands session, but I got that it was all part of the larger trend for the show and a reference to Nick Hart, founder and designer, who spent many of his formative years in these clubs in the 80′s. This was a masterclass in tailoring, where black, grey and navy had never looked so good together. The show’s finale was a tribute to loungewear in a louche and luxury, Jack Nicholson at the Chauteau Marmont or Hugh Heffner at the Playboy Mansion kinda way. This was done with a couple of Nick’s own Rat pack mates, including Lawrence Dallaglio & Sherlock himself Benedict Cumerbatch.
Join us tomorrow for the final instalment of London Collections:Men SS13 for reviews of the likes of Nicole Farhi, Christopher Shannon, E.Tautz and Superdry.