Shane Cullen reviews the annual London Fashion Week Menswear extravaganza.
London Fashion Week Menswear (LFWM) returned this month in all its creative glory, showcasing a combination of new and established designers. The four-day event, now in its eleventh year, has extended into bigger and bolder territories than ever before. With a range of exciting collaborations and catwalk novelty, LFWM attendees were spoilt for choice this January.
One of the hotly anticipated shows of the week was Henry Holland’s label, “House of Holland” collaboration with Ben Sherman. The unisex collection opted for a “Heart and Soul” concept, containing parquet printed jackets, textured knits, and velvet bomber jackets in autumnal colours of golden yellow and crimson. Ben Sherman accessories, including oversized scarves and bags, were also given the retro Holland touch to complete the looks.
Despite not having a runway fanfare this year, Vivienne Westwood remained a major talking point of LFWM. Instead of organising an array of outfits, Westwood played a two-minute feature film titled Don’t Get Killed. In this film, a group of models wear Westwood’s unisex Autumn/Winter 2018 collection whilst carrying Union Jacks and EU flags. The film acted as a political commentary on the ongoing impact of Brexit in the UK. Westwood’s collection for this autumn went with mis-match spots and stripes, dramatic tailoring, and Wonder Woman t-shirts.
Abley has no fear in putting on a show and is known for bringing childhood imagination to life.
The established designers were not the only ones wowing LFWM-goers; young designers were also making waves with their shows. Alex Mullins, a former runner-up in the L’Oreal Professional Young Designer Awards, dared to be bold with his menswear offerings this year as he decided on a mix of tie-dye meets tailoring. Another young designer that caught people’s eyes was Charles Jeffrey, who celebrated his first solo show. Jeffrey’s theme was ‘queer hedonism;’ face paint and drag were features of the show.
Drawing this year’s LFWM to a close with childhood nostalgia, designer Bobby Abley incorporated Looney Tunes characters into his clothing. On Abley’s “Bobbyland: Where Everyone Is Welcome” catwalk, Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny and Tweety Pie were used in printed sweaters and faux fur dungarees, complemented by models wearing teeth grills. Abley has no fear in putting on a show and is known for bringing childhood imagination to life. Last summer, Abley ended his show with the Teletubbies walking down the runway.
February’s London Fashion Week has just become more exciting.