It’s easy to snigger at fashion week (no really, look): the outlandish designs, the rivers of discarded lattes, we could go on.
Each season the four-day menswear circus seems to have less to do with what guys actually wear, and more about the try-hards trying very, very hard not to look like they’re trying to be photographed (which, of course, they are). But for every clown in parachute trousers, there are some glimmers of hope, and good style – stuff we could, and eventually will, wear.
So, to celebrate the best (and the batshit), we’ve pulled together the highlights, lowlights and the straight-up lols from London Fashion Week Men’s AW18. Don’t worry, we don’t understand all of it, either.
The Trend We Can See Happening
You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘utilitarian menswear’ is just another buzz-phrase invented by feather-brained fashion execs to stick on press releases. But it really is a ‘thing’.
This season, collections from contemporary Danish brand Wood Wood to Tinie Tempah’s What We Wear revived this workwear-influenced look as intended: practical, warm and resplendent in wearable earth tones.
In addition to the usual line-up of worker jackets, sturdy footwear and (of course) denim, for AW18 expect utilitarian features such as boxy cuts, plenty of big pockets and technical fabrics that’ll add an Action Man edge to your Monday morning commute.
The Trend We Really Can’t See Happening
We get it, the nineties trend hit it big last season and David Beckham, well he’s a bonafide style icon in any decade (see below). But if even Becks couldn’t make a leather two-piece work in 1999, then the rest of us have got no chance.
That didn’t stop Arashi Yanagawa, the designer behind John Lawrence Sullivan, from sending cowhide trouser and jacket combos down the runway.
As in, the kind endorsed by Meat Loaf and sex pests the world over, the kind that’ll place even the most chiselled of legs on the wrong side of the YMCA. Unless you ride a motorcycle, or are looking for wanton attention in a public toilet, put leather kecks on the long finger.
The Most WTF!? Show
Slogans, sex, short skirts, screams. No, not the back office of Donald Trump’s White House, but the (un)holy trinity of collections showcased as part of this season’s Man initiative.
British labels Art School and Rottingdean Bazaar, and designer Stefan Cooke put on a non-gender binary spectacle that included nothing short of dart boards as hats, extension cords as necklaces, someone’s dad dressed in fishing gear, a drag queen Mulan and a cardboard cut-out of Naomi Campbell.
But before you call ‘ignoramus’ (or accuse us of being on some rather strong ‘medication’), know that we do appreciate the artistic merit in such, err, idiosyncrasy. We’re just not sure we’d wear it. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Best On-Street Trend
It’s not hard to remember a time when hanging around on a street corner in a hoodie would have earned you a police caution and extremely low academic expectations. Skip forward to 2018 however, and this sportswear staple has climbed to the top of the class.
Almost every editor, blogger, model, photographer and hanger-onner could be seen teaming a pullover with sharp tailoring for a dressed-up look or sticking to a full symphony of streetwear more commonly seen at a Supreme drop.
Either way, it’s outfits like this one spotted on TV personality and general man about town Darren Kennedy that proved what we’ve known for some time: the ASBO essential is now officially A-okay.
In terms of star power, this season’s round of shows, presentations and events was noticeably lacking. At least, it was until David Beckham rocked up on day three to show the latest wares from rejuvenated Savile Row brand Kent & Curwen.
While previewing a collegiate-heavy collection that received rave reviews all around, the British heritage label’s frontman and co-owner made alright with all-navy, pairing a tailored overcoat with foolproof staples below.
Factor in the white trainers (yes, they’re still a thing) for a monochrome exclamation mark and Beckham proved why he was – and still is – at the top of the menswear food chain.
Despite hailing from opposite sides of the planet, there are striking similarities between Japanese-American cult favourite Engineered Garments and the British institution that is Barbour.
Aside from being two of the most reputable names in modern men’s clothing, both brands specialise in outerwear built to tackle anything thrown at them.
So naturally, the pair’s collab featured reworkings of signature Barbour styles in a streetwear-leaning all-black-everything waxed cotton, finished with details like drawstrings and boxy pockets. We’ll take one of everything.
For the first time, we have collaborated with New York based @engineered_garments_tokyo, to create a small collection for Autumn Winter 18 that is both distinctive & familiar. The collection was on display today for guests at our #BarbourEngineeredGarments #LFWM presentation. Swipe for a sneak peek at the styles ??
While not a new brand in itself, Band Of Outsiders is a newly revived one. Rebooted in spring, after a two-year hiatus, the LA-founded, London-based label now succeeds where it once failed: menswear with a difference that doesn’t overstep the mark on statement.
As the seventies continues to cycle back into focus, every look this season was a homage to a Club Med ski lodge we couldn’t afford in 1978 (or 2018): shearling-lined outerwear, corduroy tailoring and colourful twinsets.
Granted, baby pink denim may be a little too millennial for most tastes, but here’s one of the few noteworthy brands at Fashion Week that didn’t reek of ‘fashun’.