May 29, 2019 | By Alice Gividen
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Jan 10, 2018
If they’re on our editors’ radar – they should definitely be on yours.
London Fashion Week Men’s continues to build on its reputation for fostering a wealth of shows and presentations that showcase wearable, accessible menswear whilst still pushing boundaries and leading the way in terms of creativity, setting a precedent for other menswear fashion weeks.
I spoke to the WGSN Senior Menswear team to find out their personal highlights from the AW18 season.
Sam Trotman, Senior Denim Editor, WGSN
“My hot ticket for the season came from young designer Paria Farzaneh who had caught my eye during the SS 18 LFWM shows when she held a guerrilla show outside the BFC space. Iranian born, Paria holds her cultural roots at the core of her brand DNA and her AW18-19 was a manifestation of her Iranian heritage and British upbringing”.
“Held offsite at The Little Persia Restaurant In Queensway (the designers favourite food spot) guests were invited down to the basement which had been transformed into a Persian haven. Models were dressed in a lavish array of artisan hand printed Iranian fabrics paired with simple British shirting, tailored materials as well as sports and technical fabrics for a youthful touch. Each of the looks were characterised by local Iranian style of certain male working professions, which the designer cited as impacting the aesthetic of their daily dress”.
“Key looks included a bootleg-inspired Adidas tracksuit in silky nylon fabric and printed Iranian sports stripes as well as a raw denim suit that was embellished with appliqué pattern patches. Another special mention too comes from Paria’s upcoming collab with converse which mixes her signature prints with ecru suede”.
Nick Paget, Senior Menswear Editor, WGSN
“It’s interesting that although the shows were slightly thinner on the ground, the quality of the shows and the construction of the garments seems to have increased. Perhaps a little elbow room is of benefit. Designers now have to work harder than ever to justify their place in this highly competitive (and fickle) end of the industry, but AW18 saw collections that showed huge understanding of the menswear market, but at the same time a willingness to do something completely different, if that felt like the right thing to do. London has always been rebellious and led the way in terms of all-out creativity and, despite a crushingly risk-averse climate in fashion, thankfully it seems there is a will to keep designers such as Liam Hodges and Charles Jeffrey afloat. Long may that continue!”
“It’s hard to pick a favourite, though. I love everything Charles Jeffrey has to say about the world and his shows and his aesthetic are empowering, emotional and captivating. Alex Mullins floored me with a collection that skillfully balanced creativity with commercial accumen, showing us immaculate tailoring and attention-grabbing statement pieces, all without it feeling formulaic or predictable. Finally, I’m really excited to see what Daniel W. Fletcher gets up to this year, after building steadily from the wow-factor of his SS17 anti-Brexit collection ’Stay’. His show demonstrated a maturity beyond his years, with a quality of design, technical manufacturing prowess and market-level savvy that was seriously impressive”.
Brian Trunzo, Senior Menswear Editor, WGSN
“While the tree that is London Fashion Week bears low hanging fruit in the genius of Craig Green, there were apples higher up the bark that caught my attention this season; namely, Qasimi. In the spirit of celebrating emerging designers with a unique point of view – a spirit that has become London’s calling card in recent years – I was truly impressed with the relative newcomer’s development over past seasons”.
“Showcasing an appreciation for the classics, Qasimi playfully subverts traditional clothing through interesting proportionality, novel styling and an understanding of colour and pattern-play that shows a wisdom way beyond the young label’s years. Oversized topcoats, coated trousers, reimagined checks, sumptuous knits, spliced fabrics and a meta-acknowledgement of being “blessed” highlighted the label’s appreciation of the zeitgeist: dead aim, with cultural relevance between the crosshairs. The collection was thoughtful enough to earn high praise among design snobs yet commercial enough to appeal to department stores as a “safe” emerging brand, earning it my label as the Goldilocks of young London designers—this effort could be considered “just right”.
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