If clothes make the man then Fashion Month distinguishes the sartorial geniuses. Menswear has never been so seasonal, which the arrival of London Collections Men, innovations and exciting new designers has probably accelerated. Tailoring and outerwear always beautifully and practically reign supreme, but the Autumn Winter 15 collections felt more progressive this time round.
Womenswear has redrafted masculine shapes for decades but J W Anderson wasn’t the only designer to flip the switch to comment on modern gender and androgyny. Girlfriends will happily swipe the halter necks and cinched in waists that the Northern Irish designer proposed for his namesake line.The waist, also belted in James Long, Christopher Shannon and Prada to give the illusion of a V shaped torso, became the unwitting erogenous zone. Bottega Veneta’s braces and Topman Design’s higher waist bands had a similar effect within the wider 70s spirit that crossed over from Spring Summer 15 RTW.
Gucci’s new Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s redesigned collection, following Frida Giannini’s early departure, sang from musicians Mick Jagger and Bobby Gillespie’s style sheet. Slouchy with sexy chiffon and lace cuts, long haired models sauntered out all snake -hips and skinny scarves. Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent rockers grappled with eye-wateringly tight jeans and will be the coolest men doing so next season. Their packages were deliberately displayed and Rick Owens went further by filtering in glory holes between his skirts for tip slips instead of nip slips.
Get ready to sink into shearling because it was easier to count the collections the curly stuff didn’t appear in. All the ‘it’ outerwear was lined or detailed in it: whether a Tom Ford biker, Burberry Prorsum’s ornate array or Hackett’s smarter gilet. But bombers and parkas weren’t discarded, rather elevated with new decorative details like thumbholes and contrasting panels or simply layered up a fresh way.
The proportions of classic suiting were celebrated or tweaked, with double breasts cuts modernized at Prada and Chanel’s signature boucle suit impressively subverted with jeweled, post-colonial resonance by newcomer Grace Wales Bonner. Alexander McQueen’s exquisite lace and poppy printed two-pieces were the most experimentally wearable of them all.
The two main knitwear camps were turtlenecks and V-necks. Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen and other big hitters went for the jaw-line defining turtleneck while Tom Ford and E.Tauz preferred the visible chest hair or shirt buttons a more daring V neck would allow. Designers clearly believe the future’s orange as the colour burst through again, notably as thoughtful accents at Agi & Sam, alongside grey, green and wholemeal. Casley-Hayford were also thinking pink, just like Lou Dalton and Burberry Prorsum, and they all toughened the tone up with sharp separates and statement accessories.
Louis Vuitton’s Kim Jones paid homage to underrated London designer Christopher Nemeth by patterning his innovatively classic collection with the swirling patterns of four original archival prints. Dolce and Gabbana’s Grecian prints took their expression of Italian culture and craftsmanship to a graphic new level and Givenchy’sRiccardo Tisci’s exploration of his darkest desires began in pinstripe. Kenzo’s ‘UFO’ slogans were just as streetstyle friendly as Topman Design's checks while the childish scrawls on Raf Simons’ lab-like coats broke new, nostalgic ground.
Text by: Triona Singh
Materials: Felicia Pennant