Get Ahead Of The Game

There was a time when London menswear was little more than a cluster of low-key gatherings, showing a handful of struggling designers’ toiled-over collections to a crowd of press and buyers who, though interested, saw attending these shows as little more than a Friday afternoon job – it’s menswear, right, how much can it really change?

A lot as it happens. And though several brands and designers built on autumn/winter 2014 and burgeoning spring/summer 2015 trends at last week’s London Collections: Men (LC:M), there was plenty more innovation to feast your eyes on for autumn/winter 2015.

Now in its third year, LC:M recently expanded to a four-day schedule for the first time, jam-packed with runway shows, intimate presentations, celebrity-filled dinners and plenty of parties – because it’s not just all work and no play.

Over fifty shows, one too many cocktails, and several Paracetamol later, we look back at the collections and unpick the key trends you can start getting on board with now…

Key Fabric: Shearling

Likely fresh in most of our minds given its popularity for AW14, shearling is set for an even more remarkable return come AW15. Topman Design got the ball rolling at its distinctly 1970s-flavoured show with a statement shearling coat, complete with cuff and trim details.

Later in the day, American brand Coach presented its first foray into ready-to-wear menswear, offering up a range of shearling outerwear in onyx, beige and dark mossy green, each brilliantly executed by Yorkshire-born, New York-based Creative Director Stuart Vevers.

Elsewhere, at Tom Ford’s 1960s-inflected presentation, shearling cropped up again, this time in the shape of a coat, parka and two cropped jackets – the perfect daytime staples to complement Ford’s psychedelic evening wear.

British brands followed suit; Burberry Prorsum proffered some ornate, patterned options while at Margaret Howell, there was a double-breasted shearling cropped coat that was wearable but not without its subtle, eye-catching details. Over at Hackett, Creative Director Jeremy Hackett unveiled two smarter takes on the trend, which came in the form of a shearling gilet and expertly cut double-breasted jacket.

It was James Long, though, who took this 1970s classic, gutted it, and gave it an all-new lease of life. There was a belted double-breasted shearling coat in black, as well as several denim and leather shearing styles, which epitomised Long’s classic with a twist philosophy.

Runway Images

Belstaff Burberry Prorsum Coach Hackett J.W. Anderson James Long Tom Ford Margaret Howell Topman Design

Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

With shearling a key trend for both AW14 and AW15, there has never been a better time to invest in shearling outerwear. A classic shearling collared bomber would be ideal for the remainder of winter and transition into spring, ensuring you will get good wear out of it for many more months to come.

Try complementing shearling outerwear with other rugged workerwear pieces such as jeans or flannel shirts, or play on the fabric’s luxe feel by dressing up your jacket with a pair of sharply cut trousers and a roll neck:

topman christmas 2014 mango man winter 2014 house of fraser aw14 river island aw13 ti for men aw14 reiss aw13 hugo boss sportswear aw14 river island christmas 2013 el burgues aw13 louis vuitton pre aw14 David Naman aw14 gieves & hawkes aw14

Current Pieces
  • He By Mango Faux Shearling Applique Jacket
  • He By Mango Aviator Bomber Jacket
  • Asos Biker Jacket In Faux Shearling
  • Allsaints Regent Pea Coat
  • River Island Red Shearling Collar Jacket
  • He By Mango Faux-shearling Hood Waterproof Parka
  • John Lewis & Co. Made In England Removable Shearling Collar Peacoat Navy
  • Gieves & Hawkes Shearling-collar Wool Pea Coat 210035
  • J.crew Faux Shearling-trimmed Wool-felt Jacket
Key Print: Checks

If head-to-toe colour has been a trend to master for the past few seasons, then prepare yourself to take on all-over checks for autumn/winter 2015.

At Topman Design, Design Director Gordon Richardson showed slim tartan suits in a grunge-inspired palette of red, mustard and grey, while Tom Ford served up a slice of swinging 1960s era London with sharp, mod-inspired micro check tailoring.

Tapping a slightly seedier source for inspiration, Dunhill’s John Ray looked to London’s Soho in the sixties to create his drably luxurious layered check looks. There was a wide-collared check shirt underneath a cropped mac in a contrasting, larger check, as well as a charcoal check overcoat.

Meanwhile, at Shaun Samson, Woolrich plaids dominated the up-and-coming designer’s West Coast-inspired, early 1990s grungy aesthetic.

Runway Images

Duchamp Dunhill Hackett Hardy Amies hentsch man Shaun Samson tiger of sweden tom ford topman design

Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

The easiest way to work checks into your day-to-day looks is via tailoring. Whether it’s a razor sharp blazer, pair of trousers or full suit, checks will add interest and texture to your formal wear collection.

The great thing about this trend is you can make as much or as little of a statement as you feel comfortable with. Muted Prince of Wales checks in dark palettes make a versatile addition to a professional nine-to-five wardrobe, while bold coloured tartans will quickly bring your off-duty attire to life:

gieves & hawkes aw14 club monaco winter 2014 el burgue aw14 scapa ss15 luigi bianchi mantova aw14 brooks brothers aw14 tomorrowland aw14 suitsupply aw14 charles tyrwhitt 2014 river island aw14 luigi bianchi mantova aw14 ravazzolo aw14

Current Pieces
  • Guide Wool Herringbone Check Blazer In Slim Fit
  • Topman Made In England Grey Check Heritage Fit Suit Jacket
  • Selected Tartan Suit Trousers
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Check Wool-blend Blazer
  • Selected Check Suit Jacket In Skinny Fit
  • Kingsman Brown Single-breasted Brushed-wool Checked Blazer
  • Beams Plus Checked Cotton Trousers
  • Ben Sherman Yellow Check Wool Sartorial Car Coat
  • Ben Sherman Blackwatch Check Peacoat
  • Ted Baker Sloany Deluxe Check Suit Jacket
  • Ted Baker Luboc Large Scale Check Coat
  • Ted Baker Bingtro Debonair Check Trousers
Key Colour: Pink

And we don’t just mean a salmon pink button-down shirt. Designers were all about hot, shocking, in your face pink for autumn/winter 2015 and, frankly, not since before the birth of Barbie has the colour ever looked so butch.

Kooky knitwear label Sibling burst onto this season’s schedule with a predominantly pink collection that was raucous, riotous and flew right in the face of what we might usually consider masculine and wearable. Gym-buff models sported pink short suits, cardigans and blazers which, when worn together, were too much – but if worn separately against neutral pieces, they could work really well.

Father and son duo Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford also put their own spin on manning-up pink. Their collection, inspired by outsiders and tearaways, featured an immaculately tailored, angular and all-over pink overcoat that was tough as nails.

At Lou Dalton, there was a softer, more modest rendition of the trend in the form of a pale coral jumper, printed scarf, coat and trousers – options for those looking to dip their toes in the water, rather than dive in head first. Likewise, Dunhill, Tiger Of Sweden and Burberry offered up subtle pink accessories and easy to wear staples that would slot seamlessly into any modern wardrobe.

Runway Images

burberry prorsum Casely Hayford dunhill lou dalton sibling tiger of sweden

Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

Want to dip your toe in the trend? A hot pink tie would look great set against your timeless navy suit and light blue shirt combination (see below).

Otherwise, why not consider adding a pink lightweight merino knit jumper to your collection? With the hue set to be a major colour trend for spring/summer 2015 too, this piece would work just as well as a standalone top layer during the warmer months as it would slotted between your shirt and blazer in winter.

Remember, pink comes in a variety of shades, so opt for the tone you are most comfortable with and build up from there:

mango man aw13 m&s ss14 tesco f&f 2013 brooks brothers ss14 el burgues ss13 vistula 2014 h&m spring 2015 m&s ss13 john lewis aw14 david naman aw13 m&s ss14 new look aw14

Current Pieces
  • Topman Washed Bright Pink Twill Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Levis Vintage 519 Bedford Jeans In Deco Rose
  • Jack Wills Barberry Slim Chino
  • Reiss Garbo Silk Dot Pocket Square Dusty Pink
  • Reiss Enigma Merino V-neck Jumper Soft Pink
  • Hentsch Man Washed Cotton-jersey Sweater
  • Gant Colour Block Oxford Shirt Pastel Pink
  • River Island Pink Check Suit Jacket
  • John Smedley Thymus Scarf – Vibrant Pink
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere V-neck Cardigan
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
  • Jigsaw Fine Cotton Twill Zip Jacket
Key Piece: Wide-Legged/Relaxed Trousers

While we wouldn’t brand it entirely wearable, Rory Parnell-Mooney’s collection at MAN laid the foundations for one of autumn/winter 2015’s biggest trends: wide-legged trousers. Taking inspiration from the ascetic wardrobes of monks, as well as punk aesthetics, Parnell-Mooney’s trousers were cut dramatically large in saturated navy and black.

We’ve been hearing about a move towards generously cut tailoring for a while now with nothing much in the way of change from most brands, but it seems AW15 is the season designers intend this trend to stick.

At E. Tautz, Patrick Grant’s ode to the wardrobe of mid-century Northern England’s working class was full of billowing woollen trousers in several shades of grey; some cut straight with a generous break, others slightly neater and cuffed.

It was at Joseph, though, that wide-legged trousers looked their most wearable. Teamed with loose, yet still form-flattering crew neck jumpers, thick ribbed cardigans and double-breasted suit jackets, these broad trouser styles were the definition of classic meets contemporary.

Runway Images

Casely Hayford Christopher Raeburn dunhill E. Tautz oliver spencer Rory Parnell-Mooney Joseph Joseph Joseph

Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

The key here is to build up to wide-legged trousers, rather than dive straight in with a billowing pair from E. Tautz. Opting for a relaxed- or straight-leg instead of traditional slim-cut styles is a good place to start.

When it comes to styling, just bear in mind your overall silhouette – you don’t want the contrast between your top and bottom half to jar, so steer clear of skin-tight tops or shirts. Instead, look to create balance with thicker gauge knits, fuller-cut tailoring and heavyweight fabrics:

scotch & soda AMSTERDAMS BLAUW FALL 2014 h&m winter 2011 h&m winter 2011 bally aw14 john lewis aw14 gieves & hawkes aw13 Mauro Grifoni  aw14 berluit aw12 allsaints ss14 ami aw14

Current Pieces
  • Topman Mid Grey Slim Suit Trousers
  • Topman Black Straight Leg Smart Trousers
  • Esprit Straight Fit Jeans In Grey Wash
  • Gap 1969 Straight Fit Jeans Japanese Selvedge
  • Diesel Jeans Larkee Relaxed Fit 607a Stretch Dark Wash
  • Gap Herringbone Pant Straight Fit
  • Austin Reed Classic Fit Stone Cotton Chinos
  • Folk Straight-leg Cotton Trousers
  • Pure Cotton Slim Fit Corduroy Trousers With Stormwear
Key Look: Head-To-Toe Neutrals

Proclaiming that black, grey and white are going to be big for the colder, darker months isn’t exactly a surprise. But for autumn/winter 2015, many designers at LC:M pushed neutral head-to-toe looks, which were brought to life via rich textures.

At Alexander McQueen, black and grey ensembles were broken up with contrasting materials – for instance, a knit jumper and tailored trousers, or leather details on an otherwise all-black wool outfit.

Elsewhere, cult favourite Cottweiler, the brainchild of designers Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell, offered up their signature technical sportswear pieces in luxurious fabrics. All-white, Teflon-coated cotton looks may not seem entirely practical but they epitomised sleek, clean design and could be considered the evolution of spring/summer 2014’s big white-on-white trend.

At Joseph, menswear designer Mark Thomas advocated tonal dressing, presenting several all-grey tailoring looks that looked surprisingly multi-dimensional due to the use of different shades of grey for each constituent part: pale grey for the loose-cut suit and a richer, slate grey for the shirt underneath.

Runway Images

Alexander McQueen aquascutum belstaff Cottweiler dunhill Gieves & Hawkes hardy amies joseph Pringle of Scotland

Wear It Now: Lookbook Inspiration

With any tonal outfit, it’s important to vary the tone and texture of each item to provide clear definition.

As the majority of men will already own a wide variety of neutral pieces, this really is a trend that just requires you to experiment with what you already have, while making a few select additions to your wardrobe:

mango man fall 2014 mango man winter 2014 m&s aw14 gant rugger aw14 h&m aw14 h&m spring 2015 reiss aw14 loewe aw13 Luigi Bianchi Mantova aw13 reiss aw13 drykorn aw14 Calliope aw14

Current Pieces
  • He By Mango Turtle Neck Wool-blend Sweater
  • Allsaints Eren Crew Jumper
  • Topman Grey Wool Blend Skinny Fit Blazer
  • He By Mango Unstructured Jersey Blazer
  • Selected Herringbone Overcoat
  • He By Mango Contrast Wool-blend Duffle Coat
  • Reiss Inca Classic Textured Shirt White
  • Made In Italy Luxury Italian Wool Trousers
  • Reiss Caversham Shawl Collar Jumper Oatmeal
  • J.crew Bowery Slim-fit Tweed Trousers
  • Club Monaco Donegal Wool Sweater
  • A.p.c. Wool-blend Flannel Overshirt
Final Word

So, will you be incorporating any of these five trends for autumn/winter 2015? Were there any other trends you spotted this season at LC:M that you’re keen to try out?

Be sure to let us know in the comments section below…