What to wear when it’s spring, sunny but chilly in the shade? I default to merino knits that are lightweight but warm and don’t pill up like fluffy cashmere. And denim of course, but I’m looking beyond just jeans to all the clever shapes that have emerged in stiff deep indigo, or gentle chambray blue.
Some of my best merino wool finds come from the men’s department, especially Reiss, whose menswear is brilliant right now, while Paul Smith menswear has lovely extra fine merinos is gorgeous colour palettes. J.W. Anderson is another find, and Vivienne Westwood’s knits are all-year perennials. I can’t not mention my favourite Sibling sweater right now, featuring Madonna in the ‘Borderline’ days. Hell yes please to that.
Can you forecast next season’s trends based on three days in one city? A little. Two stood out for me at London Collections: Men this week – neither very surprising. Menswear trends are a bit more predictable than womenswear because (as a rule) men like to shop for the familiar rather than the new. So we saw a ton of youth subculture references, plus many nods to Great British heritage and manufacturing. (more…)
Today, the second day of London Collections: Men, saw the release of Mrporter.com’s commercial collaboration to support independent British designers. Katie Eary, Sibling, Richard Nicoll and Matthew Miller each created three exclusive pieces for Mr Porter and every one of them is a thing of beauty. (more…)
The last day of LFW is menswear day. Some see this as not worth bothering with but I beg to differ. As much as I appreciate good design and admire the work of our young womenswear designers, most of them are far too polished and feminine to appeal to me as a consumer. Being all about the perfect jean and a well-cut sweater, when I look at the mens shows, I look at them with a female ‘what can I steal for myself?’ eye. Thankfully, some of the menswear designers also show womenswear (thank you J.W. Anderson), while others come up small enough for women to steal (Topman and Mr Hare). Sibling tell me that their imminent womens line for Topshop will still have the boyish flavour of the menswear, but to suit girls.
Another plus point of the mens shows is it’s a generally smaller, friendlier, less stressy affair. The Fashion East hut was like a full-on garden party by lunch time, with scorching sun, booze and a live jazz band in the midst of it all. My favourite bits:
*Sibling designer Sid’s Mr Hare cuban heel boots. Their knitwear wasn’t bad either, with its signature pop-art graphics and a new collab with art stars Tim Noble and Sue Webster. There was also a rather fine accompanying Alasdair McLellan video…
*Katie Eary’s riot of mohair stripes, animal-print, tartan and studs, all wrapped up in a live boxing match with Olympic gold medallist boxer James Degale. Bruce Weber shoot, anyone?
*Marc Hare’s dandyish footwear (which starts at a size five, so with the help of an insole or two I reckon I could just about pull off). SS11 is heavy on ‘replenishable skins’, including ostrich, salmonskin and eelskin
*Boyo fanzine pop-up shop. Pardon me for not being au faitwith Boyo, a fanzine created by Patrick Waugh, the very affable creative director of Pop. His vanity project resulted in a one day pop-up shop showcasing the fanzines, his T-shirt collection and some bandanas. Because, well, why on earth not?