London Collections: Men AW13 – from highland heritage to city subcultures

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.

From the bygone streets and suburbs of London, New York and Paris came various punk and post-punk references via Sibling’s subversive knits (gotta love the Please Kill Me jumper – and if you’ve never read the book, you simply must), Richard Nicoll’s ‘no-wave rebellion modern uniform’ and YMC’s nostalgia-tinged ode to punk utility in mohair jumpers and zip-adorned jumpsuits. In fact, ever the perfectionist, YMC’s Fraser Moss even compiled his own post-punk show music. But overall, the treatment was gentle, not brutal, and highly wearable; no hackneyed safety pins or hamfisted mohicans here. At Margaret Howell, we saw another side of youthful nostalgia as long-haired Parisian student types slouched along to Patti Smith’s Because the Night in boxy tailoring, Bretons and untucked shirts. Matthew Miller’s message was one of rebellion for an angst-ridden Generation Y. Cue ‘Born To Fail’ slogan tops, croc-stamped leather biker jackets, plus punk-tech raincoats incorporating Miller’s brand new laser embossing technique…






The heritage story was told mainly through classic winter-proof materials, often proudly sourced from Brit suppliers; chunky, homespun fairisle knits (via Tom Ford), traditional tartans updated in modern shapes (from E Tautz and Lou Dalton) and Christopher Raeburn’s celebrated outerwear of repurposed wools. Dalton mashed up old and new, combining raw Shetland wools and tartans with proofed technical fabrics and her Brit-themed message extended to footwear with rugged, metal toe-capped Grenson boots…




E TAUTZ – love the deconstructed ‘tartan’ jumper and pop of colour (note to designers: please add colour to your catwalk collections if you want us to tweet/Instagram them. Makes our pics look miles better)…

top – E Tautz by Disneyrollergirl
Matthew Miller – London Collections: Men website
Sibling – Disneyrollergirl
Richard Nicoll – London Collections: Men website
Margaret Howell – London Collections: Men website
Christopher Raeburn – London Collections: Men website
Lou Dalton – Disneyrollergirl and London Collections: Men website
Tom Ford – British GQ
E Tautz – Disneyrollergirl]