Two of the best things about London Collections: Men are Lou Dalton and the River Island Design Forum. The former’s show has opened every edition of British menswear’s biannual event with a showcase of her signature, sportswear-inflected tailoring. The latter is a capsule collection that shines a spotlight on homegrown talent, tapping up the likes of James Long and Christopher Shannon for pocket-friendly pieces that knock H&M’s Balenciaga hook-up into a sequin-encrusted hat.
Now – you guessed it – the stars have aligned, as the pair come together for a Dalton-designed collection. Though you might not pick the references at first glance, the range draws on photographer Perry Ogden’s Pony Kids, a book that explores the relationships between working class kids and put-to-work horses. Which, in Dalton’s mind, translates to outerwear in modern sportswear fabrics, logo-emblazoned tees and the best suit you’ll ever see under £200.
“I’m a sucker for detail and finish,” says Dalton. “It was incredibly important that we tried to capture this throughout the capsule collection. Working with a such great company like River Island allowed us to deliver an end product that was a thoughtful eclectic range of clothing for that modern day fella.”
Dalton might not have that Kardashian connection, but then these are clothes you’d actually want to wear. Not just like on Instagram.