May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
The catwalks are empty in London, as the Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of London Collections: Men has finished up and editors, buyers, and models are now off to Florence, Milan, Paris, and New York to continue to see the latest collections from designers the world over. But what a week it was. Lauded designers like Craig Green and J.W. Anderson displayed some showstopping pieces, and other home-grown designers like Agi & Sam continued to represent the best of London’s vibrant menswear scene.
Before we start to cover even more ground, we recently published our Best of London Collections: Men report, which WGSN subscribers can view here. Just to give you a taste, here’s a sampling of some of the shows that have really dazzled us this season…so far.
In a nutshell: Sartorial sportswear with London street attitude.
Inspiration: Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton tapped into a gang mentality for this collection, offering plenty of graphic-oriented street staples tempered by raised fabrics and patchwork details. The mix of craft and sportswear created an interesting tension between artisan menswear and accessible streetwear, which felt exciting in this context. It also addressed geopolitical tensions in the West, with Mdumulla telling us: It’s about the disintegration of communities and what’s important to us.
In a nutshell: Texture and tapestry meets extreme proportion.
Inspiration: The visible tacility characterizing several of the looks in Craig Green’s newest collection come from the unlikeliest of inspirations: the Sylvanian Familes series of flocked toys. The anthropomorphic figurines’ mottled “fur” coats also served as the initial reference point for the colour story, too, which stays in a range of menswear darks like navy, charcoal, and olive. Green built upon the global influence of his previous collection, further infusing more tapestry-like jacquards, channeling a sense of old-hat nobility and luxury while giving the garments the look of elevated squires and men of the court. He also upped the ante on materials, making some of his signature quilted pieces in leather this season, and giving silks a washed treatment for a time-worn appeal, as if creating pieces meant to be revered as future classics.
In a nutshell: Reimagining the Renaissance in 1970s Ladbroke Grove.
Inspiration: London neighborhood Ladbroke Grove is a subcultural hotbed that birthed space rock group Hawkwind and seminal punk band The Clash. Grace Wales Bonner pays homage to that area in the 1970s, mixing in notes from well-heeled street preachers, updating traditional houndstooth and menswear checks with a casual air. Punky argyle and gingham knits feature with super-slim bodies and elongated sleeves, and reggae culture is tapped for hazard green shirts, statement pendants, and bomber jackets with zebra-striped collars. The unlikeliest of inspirations is medieval friars—which manifests in soft lace materials, cross-hatch details, studded jackets, and bohemian headgear. Tailoring is imbued with a rumpled, ska-inspired edge, resulting in skinny suits and shirts with a wrinkled elegance.
To see all of our favourite LCM collections, subscribers can view our Best of London Collections: Men report.
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