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 !!!!
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.
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 !
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 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