Key SS15 Collections & The Finer Details
This season’s London Collections: Men once again demonstrated the British capital’s prowess in the menswear arena, with its juxtaposing mix of traditional tailoring and cutting-edge design.
In part one, we examined some of the key trends and themes from this season’s showcase. In this instalment, we take a look at some of our favourite brand’s collections and the finer details of LC:M SS15…
The biggest name on the schedule, iconic heritage label Burberry has set the pace at London Collections: Men since its return from Milan last year.
Helmed by the dynamic Christopher Bailey, Burberry lives up to the literal Latin translation of ‘Prorsum’, meaning ‘ahead’, consistently showing innovative collections inspired by the great writers, artists and musicians of history.
After AW14’s exceptionally artful collection, you would think the house would have a serious challenge raising the bar for SS15 – however, the can-do-no-wrong label didn’t disappoint.
Burberry Prorsum SS15: The Collection
A more pared-back affair than AW14, the collection, entitled ‘Book Covers & Bruce Chatwin’, was inspired by the intrepid novelist and writer.
Continuing a strong creative relationship with music, British singer-songwriter Benjamin Clementine provided a live acoustic performance to accompany the show:
Colours were a respectful nod to summer, with aqua, vintage green, parchment, saffron yellow, orange ochre, storm blue and magenta pink all combining to create a palette of a soft and whimsical nature.
The label’s signature trench coats, crafted from English-woven Gabardine, were updated in the collection’s fresh spectrum of colours, while belted utility field jackets assembled from fine suede lent masculine weight to the assemblage.
Duffle, Chesterfield and Caban coats in wool felt, seersucker cashmere and printed leather all enriched the outerwear offering, while tapered leg trousers kept silhouettes lean and youthful:
Burberry Prorsum SS15: The Details
Standout accessories included the Burberry campaign hat in an array of bold hues, along with leather notebooks featuring typographic prints and illustrations from vintage works of English literature.
The Field Sneaker, another fresh addition to the accessories range, lent a colourful burst of sports luxe cool to the runway with its multi-hued design:
Accompanied by the lively Latino beats of percussion band Rhythms of the City and extravagantly adorned carnival dancers, British designer Oliver Spencer’s show was one of the most dynamic and energetic spectacles of LC:M SS15.
Models took to the runway clad in textural linen knits, extended-length shirts with a bohemian quality, louche-fitting cotton-linen trousers and cropped suede jackets with a Western-inspired slant.
Inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragán, the line referenced his creative use of light, form and space, which he used to design ‘emotional architecture’ to connect people, environment and experience.
The collection’s colour palette draws upon Barragán’s famous work ‘Torres de Satélite’, employing the use of rich blues, brick red and yellow ochre, offset by neutral shades of oatmeal and white:
We caught up with Oliver Spencer himself backstage after the show, who gave us an insider’s glimpse into the brand and the collection: “Details are the most important thing – the way things are made; each collection is all about art, they have been for the past four years, I love art.
For SS15, it’s about long shirts, short jackets, lots of colour blocking – it’s a simple process with colour and texture.”
Modestly describing himself as “a bit of a shopkeeper”, Spencer prides himself in knowing his customers and identifies with the Oliver Spencer man: “He’s a creative guy, he’s outgoing, he does a bit of sport, he’s just into life. He’s someone that understands what goes on in life.”
With this man in mind, it’s easy to see this artful collection slotting seamlessly into any considered creative’s wardrobe for SS15.
Oliver Spencer SS15: The Collection
Revealed in a palatial English townhouse in London’s Westminster, Dunhill showcased its finest collection to date, that remained true to the brand’s innate passion for the man on the road.
Entitled ‘Escape’, the SS15 line projected a fresh and youthful character, with its elegant tailoring, printed resort wear, hero driving coats/trenches and road-ready holdalls.
Key features of the collection included swim shorts and aloha-inspired shirting, detailed with botanical and seaweed prints taken from the sketches of Victorian botanists. This debut foray into print gave the collection instant contemporary weight.
Further highlights included an unstructured silk suit reworked from an original archive design, which evoked the spirit of the Edwardian gentleman on the Grand Tour, and spacious holdalls hand-crafted from bridle leather and linen in the brand’s Walthamstow workshop.
Colours were an intelligent homage to summer, with English mustard, Indian yellow, Wellington green, blossom pink, brick red and drawing room blue all part of the mix, as Creative Director John Ray explained: “This season’s hues are a vibrant palette of British pastoral and coastal shades, evocative of long lazy days spent in the country or by the sea.”
Summing up the essence of the Escape collection and the spirit of the Dunhill brand, Ray added: “In my continuing journey to define the very essence of British style, and in pursuit of why that style resonates around the world, I have explored the inimitable spirit of the British gentleman: his innovation, charm, wit, self-assurance and determination.”
Dunhill SS15: The Collection
Eye Respect For Topman Design
The Topman Design show, with its 1970s-inspired psychedelia, bold florals and 1990s world traveller appeal, hit the mark for SS15 on many levels.
Driving the creative concept behind the statement eyewear at the show was artisan opticals label, Eye Respect:
The label is renowned for its design-led frames that draw inspiration from Italian and English sources, and its much-hyped collaborations with key industry names. Designed in London, the frames are hand-crafted in the brand’s family-run workshop in North Italy, which has an impressive fifty years’ experience in eyewear production.
For the Topman Design SS15 collaboration, Eye Respect experimented with an entirely new type of frame, as Sales Manager Steven Faust explained: “The new Topman Design styles have been made in metal frame fabrications, a change from our usual work in cellulose handmade plastic. The challenge was to take our unique respect for craft character that we represent and apply that over into metal frames for Topman… we are all really delighted with the results.”
The oversized 1970s-inspired frames were the perfect accompaniment to the collection, and with the current direction of eyewear design leaning towards retro decades, a smart investment for the coming seasons:
Sassoon At London Collections: Men
Leading the way with grooming at the shows was Sassoon, who headed up hairstyling at the opening YMC show, as well as Xander Zhou.
Combining 1960s surf styles with 1990s minimalism, the YMC collection promoted a relaxed, nonchalant aesthetic:
Using Sassoon’s hero Texture Refine and Curl Foam products, models were sent down the runway with flowing locks, crew cuts and effortlessly cool curls.
Josh Gibson, the Sassoon Men Expert responsible for styling the show, said: “We wanted the hair to exude the feeling of natural and effortless styling… the hair was dressed into soft textures with natural movement.”
Gibson further elaborated on his thoughts on the state of hair styling in modern men’s fashion: “Designers are now more interested in models that convey an individual personality rather than conforming to the norm. This is exciting as it allows greater freedom of expression when creating a look.”
For gents eager to keep their hair as sharp as their wardrobe, Gibson also gave us his expert opinion on men’s hair trends for SS15: “The more relaxed gentlemen with a boyish appeal who experiments with texture and evokes a feeling of understated rebellion fused with a masculine edge, is key this season… for SS15, think carelessly polished.”
On the final day of LC:M, Xander Zhou’s modernist mix of contemporary silhouettes and luxe sportswear was accompanied by hair featuring distorted textures and irregular silhouettes, in a rebellious nod to the futurist collection.
Directing hair styling at the show was Sassoon Team Leader Bruce Macefield, who spoke to us about his more directional concept:
“We wanted to continue the feeling of disobedient youth culture in the hair. The prep was key – loose undone textures were achieved using Wella Professional Ocean Spritz.
Silhouettes were combined with headbands and coloured strings to amplify the fashion-forward and geometric influences in the collection. Finished looks were dishevelled with deliberate imperfections.”
Another season over for LC:M, and we’re all certainly in need of a spot of R&R after three days of dashing around town, to experience the latest creative concepts of some of the finest labels in modern menswear.
One thing’s for certain, London Collections: Men is destined to only get bigger and better, as menswear strengthens its presence in the global fashion arena. Bring on AW15…