London has well and truly established itself as a destination on the menswear calendar as a Fashion & Style capital. So as that international Fashion circus of journalists, retail buyers, celebs and, well yours truly, all conjugate in major cities in the name of observing the trends and future wares of some of the biggest & most talented fashion brands in the world, Clothes-Make-the-Man brings you all the best reviews, titbits & opinions over the coming weeks. Enough of this, first up on the London Schedule is the exhibition as I, rather out of character, arrived early. So I took myself off to have a look around, which in the past have proven to be a greater source of inspiration than many of the show, this season was no exception. With the likes of a Common People, Lyle & Scott and Universal works all offering GREAT Collections for Autumn including collaborations with Jonathan Saunders and the aforementioned Universal Works for Lyle & Scott, all managing, very well, I hasten to add, to produce very creative collection all the while managing to be highly commercial.
Onto the shows for me, my lad and first up is TOPMAN. You never quite know what to expect from TOPMAN Design and this season was no exception, the show can be summed up in three words Mature, Desirable but above all Wearable. With a very muted colour palette of Black, Navy, pale blue and flashes of Russian Red. If those guys over at TOPMAN HQ are planning on targeting an older the customer, they won’t have a problem enticing him. Plus with the dulcet tones of John Copper Clarke and the downpour of rain in the finale, it brought me right back home to my Northern roots.
Next on my hit list is Gieves & Hawkes and the subject of yesterday’s textual Conversation, Mr Jason Basmajian, who just so happens to be the house’s new Creative Director, making waves in all the right places. Jason, informed us his profile that he was going to offer us an, “Elegant,textural, tailored, rich, Savile Row revisited, British twist”. Which quite simply summed up the collection.
Now, talk about ends of the spectrum and what is becoming a real USP for LC:M is how it manages to go from the tradition and finesse of Savile Row to young designers offering the height of creative inspiration. One in question being the wonderful Richard Nicoll, who from season to season just seems to be getting stronger and stronger when it comes to his Menswear. Only four seasons in and Nicoll’s presented to us, what can only be described as a riot of Colour. If I had to fit it into a tweet, I’d say, A modern interpretation of the urban man’s wardrobe.
Last, but by no means least of today’s round up, is Christopher Raeburn, who was one of a number of Designers who picked up on the Polar Explorer vibe in their collection, it was a seriously cool show which Mr Raeburn laid on. You were left thinking, did he know something about the weather for next season that we didn’t which was rather apt as we read about our freezing American cousins who were experiencing record low temperatures.