The Best Of LC:M
Friday 9th of January saw the start of the much anticipated biannual London Collections: Men (LC:M) event, with key players in British and international design showing their forthcoming autumn/winter 2015 offerings.
Expanding to a four-day schedule for the first time, LC:M reaffirmed London’s position as a global fashion powerhouse, with collections that ranged from understated and elegant to over the top and ostentatious.
Here, we give you our edit of this season’s ten key lines, from stellar 1970s-inspired looks to next level tailoring.
The premium, directional line of the popular high street brand is renowned for its idea-rich shows, and this season was no exception. Kicking proceedings off with a bang, the team at Topman Design unveiled a sumptuously colourful 1970s-inspired collection dubbed ‘Bombay City Rollers’.
A heady mix of Americana, eastern exotica and glam rock, this season’s ideas further developed the brand’s spring/summer 2015 psychedelia theme. Texture played a key role, particularly in terms of outerwear, with fluffy mohair, rich shearlings and fur-trim details all generously piled onto mop-topped models.
The scope of outerwear styles was extensive, with floor-length kilim carpet coats, Mongolian lambswool Afghans, ombre pea coats and parkas, and cropped bombers and jackets offering up options for fans of every style and persuasion.
Elsewhere, a star motif was applied to western-style jackets, knitwear and shirting – a nod to the Bay City Rollers’ front man, Les McKeown – while bold tartan checks added a patterned punch to the line-up and subtler, narrowed-down bell-bottom trousers put a fresh spin on a retro silhouette:
Opting for a more intimate presentation venue, quintessentially British tailoring brand Hackett delighted its dinner guests with a private presentation of its autumn/winter 2015 capsule collection at Two Temple Place.
Dubbed ‘Sheep Shape and London Fashion’, the twelve-look range was chiefly inspired by esteemed British tailor Tommy Nutter, whose signature use of differently sized checks influenced Hackett’s own pleasingly contrasting mash-ups.
Keeping close to his British roots, co-founder Jeremy Hackett worked with long-standing Somerset-based mill Fox Brothers & Co. to produce three-piece suits and carefully tailored casual separates that epitomised a distinctly English elegance:
Inspired by Mount Snowden and landscape artist J.M.W. Turner, Hardy Amies’ autumn/winter 2015 collection evoked the spirit of the gentleman mountaineer. Manifest in ‘tube rope’ detailing on knitwear and technical tailored outerwear, the collection’s great outdoors reference was fused with some of Turner’s signature colours, including mottled terracotta, dark conifer and clay blue.
Amies’ creative director Mehmet Ali also chimed in on AW15’s hot topic of texture, using teasel-brushed wool, a seldom used hand-applied treatment, throughout – a highlight coming in the form of a teasel-brushed overcoat.
As always with Amies, the evening wear on show epitomised elegance, with a jacquard silk dinner jacket in French navy featuring a subtle teasel-head motif one of the stand-out looks:
Since founding her eponymous label in 2008, Alexia Hentsch’s collections have come to typify the nonchalant urban man; a style-savvy flaunter of some of the more restrictive sartorial rules.
This season’s collection, ‘Peep Show’, was fittingly revealed in a former sex cinema in London’s historically seedy, culturally vibrant central district of Soho. Influenced by early 1990s grunge, a sweatshirt emblazoned with the tongue-in-cheek slogan ‘Son of a Gun’ sat alongside Cadmium red chunky cable knits and sharp evergreen suiting.
Building on spring/summer 2015’s burgeoning western trend, Alexia Hentsch offered up her take on Americana: buffalo checks, neckerchiefs and snap-button shirts.
Denim was also introduced as part of the mix this season, with black and ecru washes in regular and slim cuts on offer. A reworked paisley print and overblown Ikat-inspired motif rounded off the collection with a characteristic Hentsch Man twist:
Arguably the most-anticipated event on the LC:M schedule, Burberry Prorsum’s AW15 showcase (titled ‘Classically Bohemian’) delivered all of the design prowess and considered polish expected of the British powerhouse.
Another nod to the 1970s, Burberry’s line-up of immaculately tailored trench coats, Chesterfields, cabans, pea coats and luxurious quilted bombers were crafted from cashmere flannel, felted wool cashmere, jumbo cord, shearling and bonded suede.
On the western front, fringing was a key embellishment on the luxury house’s scarves and suede accessories, while felted wool and cashmere ponchos were a step on from autumn/winter 2014’s blanket scarves (remember the ‘manket’?).
Rounding out the bohemian theme were shirts, accessories and outerwear printed with paisley, floral and animal print motifs:
This season, Dunhill Creative Director John Ray took inspiration from the heady mix of 1950s and 1960s Soho – think dissident (and often drunk) artists rubbing shoulders with the city’s major financial players.
Though the collection’s palette consisted mostly of post-war muted hues, the fabrics were particularly sumptuous, with brushed mohair Aran knits, shearling car coats and fur-trimmed parkas all making an appearance.
In a move away from the ubiquitous skinny silhouette many other formal wear brands have been advocating, trousers at Dunhill were generously cut and styled with rolled-up hems – evocative of the mid-century artist’s wardrobe:
Accompanied by the boisterous beats of gypsy band The Turbans, Oliver Spencer’s autumn/winter 2015 show, ‘The Rough with the Smooth’, drew inspiration from British land art pioneer David Nash.
In direct reference to the collection’s title, the line-up showed texture rich knitwear and woollen tailoring alongside sleek military- and sportswear-inspired technical pieces.
Silhouettes were clean and contemporary but definitely comfortable, while the palette was inspired by some of Nash’s favoured materials: wood and charcoal.
Stand-out pieces included an alpaca double-breasted coat, an exaggerated, oversized roll-neck knit, and a textural suede bomber:
Taking a marked detour from its autumn/winter 2014 offering, which featured bright pops of colour and bold contrasts, Duchamp built on its new direction for AW15.
‘Soft Tailoring’ and ‘Evening Wear’ were the label’s main creative concepts this season, continuing what its spring/summer 2015 collection started in rendering the brand’s handwriting in a quieter way.
Daytime tailoring was cut slim, but not excessively so, and featured intricate techniques such as basket weave and open-weave Jaspe cloths. Layering was key with winter-ready checked and block-coloured overcoats in wool and cashmere worn over suiting.
But it was the collection’s evening wear that really caught the eye. Featuring intricate brocade-like paisleys, botanical and geometric motifs, these statement suit jackets and smartly tailored trousers delivered on opulence and ease of wear:
Tiger Of Sweden
Citing the post-punk apparel of German electro outfit Kraftwerk as its inspiration, Tiger of Sweden delivered an edgily urban collection that ran the gamut from skinny suits and biker-inspired separates to intarsia knits.
Monochrome sportswear (quilted bombers, a neoprene suit with cuffed-hem track trousers) and sleek, slim tailoring were the collection’s key components, with flashes of sea green, fuchsia and hot pink punctuating throughout.
As an homage to Kraftwerk’s seminal synth sounds, a circuit board motif was worked through several pieces, including a smart sweatshirt, longline knit jumper and sharply tailored overcoat:
Retaining the subtle artistry that has earned aesthetic critical acclaim, Margaret Howell’s autumn/winter 2015 collection didn’t need to shout to be heard, presenting timeless styles in navy, grey and khaki, tweaked for a new season.
A chunky roll neck knit with an oversized Argyle motif put a subtle, fresh spin on a heritage pattern, while the brand’s signature loose-fit white shirts looked crisp and modern paired with pleated woollen trousers.
Elsewhere, a comfortably cut tweed jacket, which hung elegantly in a well-executed boxy form, was a refreshing change from the close-fitting tailoring seen at other labels.
Detail was key, with shirting and heavier knits layered over fine gauge roll necks, and brightly hued socks adding a welcome dash of colour to a muted winter palette:
Another season, another round of collections crammed to the brim with trends, key pieces and outfit inspiration. If we’re totally honest, a little bit of us wants to skip summer and get straight to those luxe shearlings, down-filled parkas and mohair knits.
What was your favourite collection from LC:M AW15? And what pieces are you eager to get your hands on?
Let us know in the comments section below…