The review of the Milan Menswear shows for this coming Autumn has a truly international feel to it, no not just because it’s Milanese, but we kick off with the review with the first lady of German, no not Angela Merkel,tut, the other iron lady Jil Sander and we conclude with the colourful Canadian duo the Brothers Caten and along the way we’ll throw in a Brit and a Yank for good measure.

Jil Sander AW13

Jil Sander AW13

You know when you attend a Jil Sander show it isn’t going to be all Peacock feathers, day glo and a gangster rap sound track and do you know what ? It wasn’t this season either, but what we were treated to was a vintage collection of true, pure Sander genius. There were covert military references, no surprises there, the colour palette was masculine and continued with the slight military undertone. But what was the show’s greatest success was the fact that it offered a sensible, wearable and contemporary collection without being boring.

Dolce & Gabbana AW13

Dolce & Gabbana AW13

Moving on to designers on more home turf for Dolce & Gabbana, who surely must be expecting a call from the Vatican’s legal team, for a share of their profits ? First they took the Rosary beads and turned them into a must have male Fashion accessory now they seem to have turned their attention to the miraculous medal, ask your Catholic friends. Their theme was “devotion” and boy did they mean it. They had turned their Teatro into a shrine, so much so, I nearly genuflected when I entered. This was full on Roman Catholic iconology, either a saints image was used to decorate a garment or the models looked as those they had stepped out of the seminary. Move over Geek chic this is parish priest chic !

Burberry AW13

Burberry AW13

Told you we’d throw a Brit in for good measure and who better then Mr Christopher Bailey MBE for Burberry Prorsum, who opted for the rather nostalgic theme of “I ♥ Classics” for his Autumnal showcase and on the whole I’d agree with him. It was a beautifully wearable collection but I’m just not quite sure about the injections of animal print, whether on bags, sunglasses, macs or on all the shoes throughout the show, maybe it’ll grow on me.

Next up is the all American brand helmed by the Italian Italo Zucchelli, Calvin Klein Collection. For this season Zucchelli seems to have fused a mix of contemporary masculine tailoring and futuristic sci-fi outerwear ala Blake 7, which saw the models look like either delegates or officers at some far flung inter galactic sartorial conference.

The Missoni show and its 60th anniversary was marred with the sad news that Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni are still missing after their plane disappeared off the coast of Venezuela last Friday. The family decided the show must go on and indeed it did. The family run business famed for its patterned knitwear, offered a collection that couldn’t fail to please, not only were the aforementioned knits on display in outdoorsy hues. But the iconic family patterns were more subtly used in the weave of the fabric used in the construction of overcoats and suiting.

Prada AW13

Prada AW13

What can I say about Prada, well I want that Blue jumper NOW ! for starters. This collection wasn’t tricksy or whimsical, apparently the design team have been working on the exact tones of colour for months and it certainly paid off for them. Sub-culture references were there, this time Teddy boys, but it wouldn’t be a Prada show without these. If I had to make one criticism of it, be it a small one, was I found the casting distracting, the models looked like the 3 stooges and their dad or some odd Slovakian version of Hollyoaks, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the show.

Gucci AW13

Gucci AW13

And so from one Italian Dynasty to another, Gucci are freakin good at what they do and Frida Giannini, is doing a sterling job as Creative Director, almost to the point of making it an impossible task to think who could ever replace her at the iconic Fashion house and who would have thought that after Tom Ford. The Gucci vision and DNA is so strong there is no mistaking a piece from this company from accessories to a tuxedo, it is undoubtably Gucci and this collection does not disappoint and can be summed u in one word, Classic, this is without a doubt Giannini’s most traditional of collections to date.

DSquared2 AW13

DSquared2 AW13

Finally, to the Dynamic DSquared2 duo of Canadian Twins Dan and Dean Caten. What a show ! Congratulations lads, the best collection to date and it all centred around 1940’s jazz clubs. But don’t let the retro theme fool you this was bang up to date and offered something everyman could buy into.

 

Vile, there’s no other word to describe the weather at the moment and because Summer, and hopefully nice warm weather, seems such a long way away at the moment. I thought I would cheer us all up by taking a look at the best of what the big High Street names have in store for us over the coming months, when we don’t have to wrap up in layer after layer.

 

Proving that they are more then a one season wonder, boohoo.com the new kid on the block is proving that they can play, nicely, I hope, with the big boys.

Proving that they are more then a one season wonder, boohoo.com the new kid on the block is proving that they can play, nicely, I hope, with the big boys.

 

Burton

I always feel Burton struggle a little with catering for their customer in the Spring season but they haven’t done too bad at all with this collection.

 

Camouflage is a massive trend for SS13. Before, you say anything, I'm not even contemplating advising going for a drink in head to toe camp. Well unless it's for a TA meeting. But believe it or not this highly directional look is from no other then Debenhams.

Camouflage is a massive trend for SS13. Before, you say anything, I’m not even contemplating advising going for a drink in head to toe camp. Well unless it’s for a TA meeting. But believe it or not this highly directional look is from no other then Debenhams.

 

I have to say, H&M for SS13 have really got their stuff together. They are offering us guys a greg selection from casual to more formal and as always at their unbelievable prices.

I have to say, H&M for SS13 have really got their stuff together. They are offering us guys a greg selection from casual to more formal and as always at their unbelievable prices.

 

I can't believe these images have come from no other then, get ready for it, JOHN LEWIS !!!! They've blown me away for SS13, it was a tough call to choose just one image from their selection for this season. Well done guys, please keep it up

I can’t believe these images have come from no other then, get ready for it, JOHN LEWIS !!!! They’ve blown me away for SS13, it was a tough call to choose just one image from their selection for this season. Well done guys, please keep it up

 

I know this is kinda stating the the obvious but M&S are amazing at suiting and SS13 certainly isn't an exception. Their casual wear for this season isn't bad either, but if your looking for a suit over the coming months, you'd do a lot worse then starting here.

I know this is kinda stating the the obvious but M&S are amazing at suiting and SS13 certainly is no an exception. Their casual wear for this season isn’t bad either, but if your looking for a suit over the coming months, you’d do a lot worse then starting here.

 

 

See what I mean about Camo, its everywhere, but thought New Look had captured the trend in a very wearable way. This brand both seem to be started to get their menswear and its improving season on season. So keep it up New Look you can't afford to rest on those laurels.

See what I mean about Camo, its everywhere, but thought New Look had captured the trend in a very wearable way. This brand both seem to be started to get their menswear and its improving season on season. So keep it up New Look you can’t afford to rest on those laurels.

 

Holy froly, Reiss are bloody good at what they do. What they do is produce GREAT trend driven clothes that are easy to put together and wear. My only criticism, maybe do them is slightly larger sizes, thats all.

Holy froly, Reiss are bloody good at what they do. What they do is produce GREAT trend driven clothes that are easy to put together and wear. My only criticism, maybe do them is slightly larger sizes, thats all.

 

River Island are on it when it comes to translating trends at affordable prices. What more can I say.

River Island are on it when it comes to translating trends at affordable prices. What more can I say.

 

No mean, moody, gothis images this season. Here come the sun and TOPMAN is awash with colour and celebrating all things surf. I'm starting to warm up now.

No mean, moody, gothis images this season. Here come the sun and TOPMAN is awash with colour and celebrating all things surf. I’m starting to warm up now.

 

 

 

 

For Spring/Summer of this year the Italian Fashion Powerhouse, Prada, have made a couple of impressive calls for their Advertising campaign, not content with using one major player in modern cinema they have used four. Four leading men – two of them true iconic actors of a generation, Benicio Del Toro (Traffic, The Usual Suspect) and Harvey Keitel (Taxi Driver , Reservoir Dogs). Two of them new school shining lights who are making a name for themselves in their own rights, Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, The Place beyond the Pines) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Savages, Kick Ass).

For the Campaign, the gentlemen, who were shot by the equally iconic photographer David Sims, appear in a series of intimate monochrome images which concentrate of the character of the subjects then what is going on around them. Additionally they’re styled  simply with layered shirting, low cut polo shirts, functional eyewear and the utilitarian clean lines of jackets and lightweight coats.

The results speak for themselves, offering a striking, elegant and effective series of images, but judge for yourself.

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel

 

Dane DeHaan

Dane DeHaan

 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

 

Benicio Del Toro

Benicio Del Toro

 

Prada.com

 

 

(shot by Surgery TV a new fashion TV channel by Surgery PR)

Ok, before we start this morning I’ve a bit of a rant to get off my chest and I think it probably best put in the quote I’ve given to couple of publications, when asked to give my opinion on some of the more out there menswear shows we’ve seen this week during LC:M ;

“For Menswear designers today it’s increasingly difficult to obtain Media coverage so they know that, if they do wild and wacky pieces or collections they will achieve this. Very little has been spoken in the mainstream press about Agi & Sam who also were part of the MAN show, which included Craig Green and his, how can I put this, original face protection. This duo presented a great balance of directional and wearable clothing. Additionally, Oliver Spencer, Hackett, E.Tautz, Nutters of Savile Row or Matthew Miller, who all offered stand out collections that, virtually, any man could wear and look stylish and yet they receive very little column inches. It’s far easier to write negative articles about how crazy and mad Mens Fashion is even though the Fashion industry is worth £21bn to the UK economy.”
Jonathan Saunders AW13

Jonathan Saunders AW13

OK end of rant, but I just find it sooooooo boring and lazy when people rip into Menswear, normally journalists who have very little experience of it and belittle and humiliate it when it’s a multi-million pound industry that is essential to the global economy and keeps millions of households in jobs every year alone.

Right then eyes down for round two and first on the agenda is Mr Jonathan Saunders, more known for his womenswear, this Scot is making real headway now with his Menswear. He drew his inspiration from the worlds of Op art, classicism and the Thin White Duke-era David Bowie, rather apt and maybe a good luck omen as it was Bowie’s birthday on this day. It was pleasant to see a collection which was so full of colour. My particular favourite piece was this harrington jacket in a gradation of colour like the sky at night when flying.
Richard James AW13

Richard James AW13

Over then to the re-furbished Cafe Royal for the Richard James Show who celebrates 21 years in the biz in 2013 and as you would expect showcased exceptional suiting and great re-working of the classic tuxedo in iridescent tones. According to the press release is was inspired by a unique fixture of London living that abounds with a curious, colourful life of its own. OK must have missed that but it was a great show.

Our next port of call was a Presentation called The English Gentleman at the Spencer House, which featured a mix of models dressed by Savile Row’s finest tailors. Forty different outfits were shown, spread through seven of the splendid rooms of London’s preeminent private palace. This essentially was a chance for Savile Row to, quite rightly, show off to the foreign press and just reiterate just how good at tailoring the UK is.
A mad dash ensued chasing round to attend a number of shows and presentations until the main event of the night, Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton brought McQueen’s unique style of Gothic drama back to the UK and not since the Demeter carried Count Dracula to these shores have we seen such mystic. The models general demeanour was that of a rather demonic Max Headroom and the collection carried many of Burton’s trademark pagoda shoulder.This is something that won’t  be to everyone’s likings, but there is no mistaking the sheer theatre of this collection.
Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 19.03.38The end of the Fashion world is nigh, well at least for London anyway before, its Milan’s turn to take on the baton. The subject of yesterday’s Post Christopher Raeburn started the final day of LC:M. Actor Russell Tovey, DJ/Presenter and face of Burton Menswear Reggie Yates (plus stylist Brother Cobi) Ohhh and we mustn’t forget Style Ambassador Dave Gandy all sat front row. Raeburn, invited us into his ethical world of outdoor  pursuits, recycled and masculine menswear, with my personal favourites being his deconstructed checked parka with matching duffel bag.
E.Tautz AW13

E.Tautz AW13

A hop, skip and a jump over to join Patrick Grant at E.Tautz, here he offered his usual top class formal attire, where he perfectly blends the timeless traditions of Savile Row, yet manages to always deliver a bang up to date range. E.Tautz is one of those shows where you catch yourself thinking, want that, and that ohh and that. Keep it up sir.

Katie Eary AW13

Katie Eary AW13

Up next can only be described as an assault on your senses, almost a styling mugging, one could say. Kate Eary, managed to mash-up colours, patterns, prints and trends all without making look like some street wear dogs dinner. Everything from the styling to the music all worked in Eary’s favour. If you were feeling anyway jaded before you certainly felt lifted after that.

Lastly, what is starting to become LC:M’s equivalent of those memorable collaborations from the Brit Awards, like Dizzee and Florence, Justin and Kylie or Mick and Sam. Last year we saw Timothy Everest hook up with Superdry. This season we see the legendary Nutters of Savile Row team up with casual wear brand Peter Werth. These unusual bed partners came together while working on the wardrobe for the forthcoming film “Northern Soul”. The collection paid tribute to the archive of Tommy Nutter, oversized lapels, roped shoulders and wide leg trousers but mixed this with modern tailored sportswear so as to prevent it looking like a 70’s themed party. All these elements came together as a fitting an rip roaring finale to AW13’s LC:M, leaving just one question, how do you top that ?


Following on from the stella success of London Collections:Men‘s launch back in June last year, eveything went quite, in a ohhh God how can we top that kinda way. Well Gawd bless the BFC and it has to be said GQ’s Dylan Jones they’ve only gone and done it ! London Collections:MEN (sorry just cant get use to that name) has bounced back for Autumn/Winter 2013 bigger, better, faster, stronger with a schudule that includes such names as Hackett, Richard James and Rake, keeping the side up for the formal side of Great British Tailoring and Lou Dalton, Richard Nicholl and Christopher Shannon, no surprises there, yeah OK, OK. But, the BFC etc have been on a charm overdrive offensive and have been working their little socks off as they have enticed,drum roll please, Alexander McQueen, Bally and no other then get ready for it Mr Tom Ford to showcase their menwear wares !!!!

Lou Dalton A\W 2013

Lou Dalton A\W 2013

So to kick the proceedings off it fell on the first lady of British mens style, MsLou Dalton, to show the lads how it should be done. She graced us with a much more grown up collection for Dalton, as always, her suiting is impeccably cut, my personal favourites were the tweed numbers. Lou seems to be evolving into a confident and contemporary designer, but more importantly isn’t losing her sense of fun and humour, which Fashion so often lacks at times. Olympian and Strictly come Dancing contestant Victoria Pendleton sat front row flanked by the beautiful Catherine Hayward of British Esquire and fresh from spending his royalty cheque thanks to John Lewis, was 80’s pop icon, Frankie goes to Hollywood front man Holly Johnson.

From this great start I pulled on my hiking boots and headed over to for the launch of luxury brand, Bally, they were conducting their first capsule collection to cememorate the Sixtieth anniversary of the scaling of Mount Everest. Present at this soiree was a mixed bag of celebs which included TV presenter Rick Edwards, Merlin actor Alexander Vlahos, Libertines front man Karl Borat, Swimmer Marc Forster and fonejacker comedine Kayvan Novak , all out to celebrate both this feet of mankind’s conquering of nature’s elements and an unsurprisingly luxourious range by Bally.

John Smedley A\W 2013

John Smedley A\W 2013

Then onto a great colourful presentation laid on by the Forefather of fine gauge knits John Smedley, who have been proudly producing their wonderful knitwear in the UK since 1784 and did you know we have to be grateful to Mr Smedley for the invention on the Long Johns thermal underwear, you learn something new….

From here it was a well earned pit stop at the Bloggers suite care of The St Martins Lane Hotel. The perfect and most luxe way to file copy, check ones email and refill, before out into the breach again. Onwards & upwards !

TopMan Design A\W 2013

TopMan Design A\W 2013

Next up was TopMan Design and what a difference a season makes, no reference to surfers or surfing for this collection, as we saw with their last offering. No it was full on luxury explorer and his sherpa companion travelling and making their way through some urban comtemporary landscape. The first section of the show was very East 17’s “Stay another day”, but in a good way, honest. Then came a full on colour explosion on the senses in Reds and Oranges and if we are to believe Gordon Richardson and his TopMan design team, the Parka IS the coat for next Winter and they offered us options in all shapes, sizes and lengths.

Mr Start A\W 2013

Mr Start A\W 2013

Mr Start was next on my schedule, the uber stylish boutique of East London, where Nick Grimshaw sat next to Designer Henry Holland both with matching haircuts. The fabulous Mr Hare came along and of course a show isn’t quite complete without the two book ends of LC:M Model David Gandy and Man about Town Mr Tenie Tempah. Start offered us a beautifully sophisticated Man of Mystery, drawing on such iconic figures as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy and Mid Sean Connery in his Bond years, almost a modern day vintage super spy. The collection felt rather Miu miu Menswear with its 60’s silhouette.

I can’t finish day 1 of LC:M without mentioning the Hackett show, which had a setting which was equal to how beautiful the collection was, The Crypt of St Paul’s Catherdal no less ! The range was masterfully styled by William Gilchrist and once again illustrated how a true gentleman should dress for every occasion.

Catch up with us tomorrow for the second part of LC:M