We start this season’s round up of all matters of a Sartorial nature in London and what better place to get the ball rolling than at an honest to goodness PUB QUIZ !!! OK with a rather stylish twist to it, in that it’s compare was Hacienda DJing Legend Mr Elliot Eastwick and it was organised by the Savile Row Tailoring trailblazers that are Cad & The Dandy, only in London.
Bright and breezy, otherwise known as flipping freezing, start to the day, but a warm reception was waiting at the TOPMAN Design show which was piled high with Northern Soul references, like being at a Wigan Pier Weekender. There was nods to The Bay City Rollers, Mark Boland right the way through to James Hunt and any show that finishes with Crazy Horses by The Osmonds is a winner in my books.
I was spoilt for choice on the first day of LC:M with a number of fave brands showing their wares but high points had to be David Keyte’s Universal Works, offering us a conceptual performance, which can go either way for me. But it didn’t disappoint, working on the principle upon which the brand is founded, the idea of Passing on, not in an deathly kinda way but how clothing can be passed on from being old to young and in doing so can be reinvented and reinvigorated.
One of my overall highlights of the entire schedule has to be the Barbour Presentation, which showcased the second season of their wonderful collaboration with the Japan company White Mountaineering, best summed
up by the unique, Thank God, Mr Richard Gray, of The Sunday Times STYLE;
“I guess this collab is Tokyo cool meets Prince Charles or something like that. I spoke to Aiwaze San the designer of White Mountaineering, who told me the wax you see, which makes a Barbour jacket waterproof, was the Gortex of its day. And, in fact, it works as well as any new scientific development. Including Gortex. I look forward to the day the Royal Family wear White Mountaineering.“
Then what a way to finish off the first day then to head over to one of London’s hidden architectural gems, No 2 Temple Place for a spot of dinner and to look at some exquisite attire by none other than Hackett, entitled, ‘Sheep, Shape and London Fashion’, this capsule collection paid homage to the prestigious longstanding textile mills of Britain. The 12 looks were an amalgamation of different checks and patterns in the finest British wools.
The second day started off with a great breathe of fresh air in the shape of the LC:M Exhibition, this never fails to impress me and I always fall head of heals for at least one brand this season my head couldn’t help being turned by the wonderful Gloverall and then the cashmere delights of ESK, this just has to be British craftsmanship at its best. And from one great example to another with Mr Nigel Calbourn who is never swayed by the short lived trends of Fashions but driven by inspirational stories of real people in history and vintage military, outdoor and work wear pieces.
Over then to Fraser Moss and YMC and once again I search the counsel of the ever wise Ms Sarah Gilfillan, contributor of this wonderful publication and founder of Sartorialab.co.uk ;
“I’ve always loved their simple understated look, and I particularly liked the clever layering and outerwear. The mixture of taloring with sportswear inspired pieces like the drawstring trousers takes me right back to the 90’s when they first started .I find their collections are minimal enough in design to appeal to the everyday man but they always have a subtle point of difference so they’re never boring. I have no doubt I’ll be buying many of these items with my clients next season and I can’t wait!”
Moving on to a brand which, to quote Messers Daft Punk and Williams, “Like a Phoenix from the ashes” WOW I can quite simply sum the Hardy Amies collection as, Beautiful clothes, where you find yourself wanting piece after piece.
Much like Mr Christopher Raeburn, who like Nigel Cabourn draws greatly on the great outdoors and nature in all its beauty for their inspiration and once again he does fail to impress. This season utilising Royal Navy rafts as his material of choice.
Now stay with me here, but I had my reservations when I headed towards an underground car park, not a million miles away from The House of Commons. Surely I must have taken a wrong turn, it wouldn’t have been the first time and this can hardly be classed as a glamorous setting for a stylish presentation for a brand like Belstaff ? Well, as I see Fashion Royalty like Ms Suzy Menkes, Mr Edward Enniful and Ms Caroline Rush spilling out of it, I can’t be wrong. Belstaff, took its inspiration from the ‘Ton-Up Boys’ of the 1950s. Heavily into their rock‘n’roll and motorcycles, these ‘greasers’ would rendezvous at cafés and attempt to ‘do a ton’ (exceed speeds of 100mph) on their custom-made bikes, both fearless and reckless in their stylish pursuit.
Moving into the straits now we had a blinder of a show from Father and Son duo Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford. Set to a sound track of Bjork and Bowie a tribe of Stylish Outsiders did the honours for u. Mixing Oranges and Pinks seamlessly with Blacks and Navy to create a riveting colour palette.
Opening to a surmon by his Holiness Pope John Paul II isn’t the most obvious start to an E.Tautz show but give Patrick Grant his dues it certainly got the audience’s attention in what Grant called his most personal collection so far, for the Savile Row house. Every coat and piece of outerwear he sent out was one you lushes and craved for already, no brights or pastels for Grant this season only monochrome in his highly wearable colour spectrum.
Now here’s the battle of the big boys of LC:M, the Texan and the Yorkshire lad, up first we have Tom Ford who showed us a much more causal side to him, which I have to say I’d really not expected to see which included jeans and trainers, I lie to you not ! Then we have Christopher Bailey in the Burberry Check corner, offering us Classical Bohemian in ponchos, florals and paisley, fresh off a hazy trip back in time to India.
Well, there you have it for another season next stop Milan, ding, ding !