Predicting AW14’s Key Trends

London Collections: MEN AW14 was the most dynamic men’s fashion showcase the British capital has seen to date.

Combining Britain’s unique menswear heritage with fresh modernity, the showcase of poetic runway shows and artful presentations saw established brands line-up alongside the new and now, in a manner that is uniquely British.

In part one, we saw how the gentleman traveller, the fisherman, bold and bright hues and our four-legged friends will be influencing our dressing habits next winter.

In the second part of this mini-series, we examine further key themes from the collections, including the key footwear and hair trends spotted at the shows…

Check Mate

Menswear can’t seem to get enough of the check pattern trend, and its popularity shows no sign of slowing down in AW14.

Agi & Sam’s tribute to African tribal traditions was all about plaid. A traditional Kenyan Masai check, reworked in black and white, was employed on heavy outerwear, utility jackets and short-sleeve sweat tops.

Jonathan Saunders’ fine multi-tone checks and chessboard-like motifs were masterfully executed across trench coats, knitwear and shirting, providing a vibrant alternative to a traditionally muted winter palette.

Richard Nicoll’s purple plaid knitwear, gingham check shirting and windowpane check suit further established checks as a dominant motif.

Always at the forefront of traditional tailoring, Richard James, Chester Barrie, the rest of the Savile Row guard and Hackett offered impeccably cut jackets, trousers and outerwear in traditional glen plaids and windowpane patterns, while Alexander McQueen packed a punch with its punk-inspired check:

Checked Patterned Pieces on the AW14 LC:M Runways at Agi & Sam, Richard JAmes, Alexander McQueen, Hackett and Topman Design

Agi and SamRichard NicollJonathan SaundersRichard JamesRichard JamesChester BarrieTopman DesignAlexander McQueenHackett
Current Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Checked Clothing & Accessories Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

boss hugo boss aw13river island xmas 2013debenhams Hammond AND Co AW13asos aw13ami ss13bal aw13gant pre spring 2014sarar aw13lbm 1911 aw13
Current Key Pieces
  • Topman Selected Homme Check BlazerTopman Selected Homme Check Blazer
  • Topman Monochrome Grid Check JumperTopman Monochrome Grid Check Jumper
  • Asos Wool Check JacketAsos Wool Check Jacket
  • Acne Isherwood Check Slim-fit Cotton ShirtAcne Isherwood Check Slim-fit Cotton Shirt
  • Topman Charcoal And Blue Checked Skinny TrousersTopman Charcoal And Blue Checked Skinny Trousers
  • Topman Navy And Grey Checked Skinny SuitTopman Navy And Grey Checked Skinny Suit
  • Reiss Miles Window Pane Check Coat ChocolateReiss Miles Window Pane Check Coat Chocolate
  • J.crew Check Cotton Button-down Collar ShirtJ.crew Check Cotton Button-down Collar Shirt
  • He By Mango Check Linen-blend ScarfHe By Mango Check Linen-blend Scarf
The Dark Side

Darkness and rebellion were the creative forces behind a number of the collections at this round’s LC:M, with references to underworld subcultures and urban strife incorporated by both established and contemporary names.

Alexander McQueen’s decadent nod to punk culture was staged in Soho’s semi-derelict Welsh Church – an appropriate setting for a house that has always cited religion and decay as sources of inspiration.

In a suitably shadowy palette of blacks and greys, the collection featured a three-piece plaid suit complete with kilt, hard-edged metallic rivet detailing, belted black leather trenches and sinister crow-feather headgear.

Casely-Hayford also referenced the British subculture movement in their collection, with new-age punk tartan and hard-hitting jewellery two prominent features of the line.

Matthew Miller’s androgynous zip-embellished biker jackets and Hunter Gather’s safety-pin fastening jackets, black gloss treatments and paint-splattered trousers were symbolic of tough-edged rebellion.

Katie Eary’s playful dance with the devil saw her models clad in demonic-inspired print tees and sweatshirts, with hair fashioned in the shape of satanic horns, while Baartman and Siegel’s smoked-filled catwalk presentation featured a dark take on sport luxe parkas and bombers:

Dark and Edgy Pieces on the AW14 LC:M Runways at Alexander McQueen, Casely-Hayford, MAtthew Miller and Katie Eary

Katie EaryMatthew MillerMatthew MillerBaartmans and SiegelAlexander McQueenCasely-Hayford
Current Lookbook Inspiration

Men's All-Black Outfits & Dark, Edgy Clothing Lookbook

house of fraser aw13he by mango winter 2013zara beat collection 2013simons aw13allsaints aw13bershka december 2013river island aw12minimum winter 2013reiss aw13
Current Key Pieces
  • Reiss Wool Bomber JacketReiss Wool Bomber Jacket
  • Allsaints Brading Leather JacketAllsaints Brading Leather Jacket
  • Allsaints Rok Crew JumperAllsaints Rok Crew Jumper
  • Alexander Mcqueen Zipped Cotton And Cashmere-blend Jersey HoodieAlexander Mcqueen Zipped Cotton And Cashmere-blend Jersey Hoodie
  • Cheap Monday Tight Jeans In BlackCheap Monday Tight Jeans In Black
  • River Island Black Leather-look Perforated Yoke SweatshirtRiver Island Black Leather-look Perforated Yoke Sweatshirt
  • Reiss Dreamer Zip & Button Detail Coat BlackReiss Dreamer Zip & Button Detail Coat Black
  • Topman Bellfield Black T-shirt Topman Bellfield Black T-shirt
  • Topman Black Knitted Ladder JumperTopman Black Knitted Ladder Jumper

The boot ruled on the catwalk this LC:M and came in many guises. Robust leather army styles, suede colour-pop walking boots and futurist heavy duty creations all graced models’ feet across collections.

Lou Dalton’s homage to the working man saw her models shod in sturdy lace-up boots inspired by the modern military, while A. Sauvage’s lighter take on the style was paired with sharp tailoring.

Christopher Raeburn, Kit Neale and Nasir Mazhar took a more statement approach with polar climbing boots, rugged hiking styles and futurist transformer-like designs, which complemented their respective collections.

Elsewhere, Oliver Spencer’s rich burgundy and orange suede lace-ups offered a welcome alternative to standard brown and black footwear:

Men's Boots on the AW14 LC:M Runways at Lou Dalton, Oliver Spencer and A Sauvage

Lou DaltonOliver SpencerA SauvageLou DaltonOliver SpencerA Sauvage
Current Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Boots - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

scotch & soda amsterdams blauw aw13sisley aw13peuterey aw13he by mango aw13gant rugger aw13reiss aw13pull & bear aw13Woolrich John Rich & Bros aw14burton aw13
Current Key Pieces
  • Allsaints Trap BootAllsaints Trap Boot
  • Ted Baker Sealls Brogue BootsTed Baker Sealls Brogue Boots
  • Selected Homme Melvin Chelsea BootsSelected Homme Melvin Chelsea Boots
  • River Island Light Brown Lace Up Formal BootsRiver Island Light Brown Lace Up Formal Boots
  • Reiss Chapman Grained Chukka Boots BrownReiss Chapman Grained Chukka Boots Brown
  • Topman Dune Buckle Biker Boots Topman Dune Buckle Biker Boots
  • Red Wing Shoes Beckman Leather BootsRed Wing Shoes Beckman Leather Boots
  • Alexander Mcqueen Washed-leather Lace-up BootsAlexander Mcqueen Washed-leather Lace-up Boots
  • Asos Chelsea Boots In LeatherAsos Chelsea Boots In Leather
Curls & Quiffs

Alongside the polished side partings of the heritage houses, two dominant hairstyles were spotted at this season’s LC:M: slicked, and dishevelled.

Labels like Jonathan Saunders, Topman Design and Hunter Gather opted for the wet-look gel treatment, while leading international salon Sassoon led the way for a more natural, nonchalant look.

Slicked, Gelled Hairstyles on LC:M AW14 Runways at Jonathan Saunders & Topman Design

Jonathan SaundersTopman Design

Styling the model’s locks for both the YMC and Xander Zhou shows was Sassoon Men Expert Josh Gibson, along with his esteemed creative team.

The Xander Zhou show embraced and experimented with curls, with Sassoon creating a textured, carefree look that appeared fresh and natural.

At YMC, long hair was central to the vision, alongside tight curls and forward-swept combed-fringe styles.

Gibson explained the creative process behind Sassoon hairstyling at the shows: “Our jumping off point is really getting to understand a designer’s vision by finding out what their plans are for the texture of the clothes, the tailoring and key pieces… I always aim to deliver something a bit different and to present the visual language in a way that is right for the show.”

Sassoon’s sixty year pedigree means the brand is constantly reinventing the signature looks that have made them a standard bearer of innovative hair design, fusing them with modern techniques and ideas.

The long, wavy, just-got-out-of-bed hair seen at YMC was Gibson’s favourite look from LC:M and a particular stand-out statement: “It was a reaction to the 1940s to 1950s style barbering and the slick artificiality that has been dominant for a while; I feel we are going to see a return to the not-so-perfect, understated textured look,” explained Gibson.

Sassoon Created Hairstyles Backstage at YMC AW14 LC:M

Sassoon Created Hairstyles Backstage at Xander Zhou AW14 LC:M

Sassoon Created Hairstyles Backstage at Xander Zhou AW14 LC:M

Sassoon Created Hairstyles Backstage at Xander Zhou AW14 LC:M

Arts & Crafts

From tapestry-like bags to printed silk scarves and winter florals, the arts and crafts movement made its mark at this season’s LC:M.

Burberry’s arty collection of city-print silk scarves and St. Ives bags made from hand-worked kilim rugs were reminiscent of the Bloomsbury group’s cultured aestheticism.

Wallpaper-like florals, botanical leaf prints and hand-painted blooms found their way onto the London label’s cashmere-silk scarves, equestrian blankets, bags, shirting and outerwear.

Also tapping into the winter blossoms trend were Oliver Spencer, Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders and Casely-Hayford, with their multi-tone floral bombers, shorts and oversized tropical bloom prints.

Elsewhere, the forties-themed Savile Row, Woolmark & St. James’s presentation at the Cabinet War Rooms provided a host of craft inspiration, showcasing skillfully woven tweed and English flannel creations from Britain’s finest tailors, including Anderson & Sheppard, Henry Poole & Co. and Gieves & Hawkes:

Arts & Craft-Inspired Prints and Fabrics on the AW14 LC:M Runways at Burberry, Richard Nicoll and the Savile Row Showcase

Casely-HayfordCasely-HayfordOliver SpencerBurberryBurberryTopman DesignRichard NicollRichard NicollSavile Row, Woolmark & St. JamesSavile Row, Woolmark & St. JamesSavile Row, Woolmark & St. James
Current Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Floral & Tweed Outfits Lookbook

burton aw12unknowntopman aw12river island ss14scotch & soda aw13angelo nardelli aw13ami ss14selected homme aw13h&m aw12
Current Key Pieces
  • Insight Shirt Floral PrintInsight Shirt Floral Print
  • River Island Grey Marl Floral Sleeve Bomber JacketRiver Island Grey Marl Floral Sleeve Bomber Jacket
  • Todd Snyder Printed Cotton-poplin ShirtTodd Snyder Printed Cotton-poplin Shirt
  • River Island Black Floral Hawaiian Print JumperRiver Island Black Floral Hawaiian Print Jumper
  • River Island Blue Abstract Floral Print Long Sleeve ShirtRiver Island Blue Abstract Floral Print Long Sleeve Shirt
  • River Island Black Floral Sleeve Bomber JacketRiver Island Black Floral Sleeve Bomber Jacket
  • J.crew Slim-fit Harris Tweed BlazerJ.crew Slim-fit Harris Tweed Blazer
  • Topman Harris Tweed Brown BlazerTopman Harris Tweed Brown Blazer
  • Merc Trousers In TweedMerc Trousers In Tweed
  • Asos Harris Tweed Bomber JacketAsos Harris Tweed Bomber Jacket
  • Private White V.c. Harris Tweed And Shearling Quilted Bomber JacketPrivate White V.c. Harris Tweed And Shearling Quilted Bomber Jacket
  • Richard James Harris Tweed JacketRichard James Harris Tweed Jacket
Final Word

The most outstanding and inspiring LC:M we’ve witnessed so far, AW14 has seen the event come of age and evolve into a force for Milan and Paris to contend with.

Here’s to an even better SS15!