London Collections: Men's 2014 - Day 1
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From 6th to 8th January, the fourth London Collections: Men sees the best names in menswear showcase their offerings for the Autumn/Winter 2014 season. From sharp three-piece suits to colourful knitwear that wouldn’t look out of place on your nan’s knitting needles, get the lowdown on what to expect on shelves and shop floors come Autumn … Lou Dalton’s British workwear inspired collection comprised of suitably tough, iconic pieces in a neutral, almost ‘vintage industrial’ palette of browns, bleached denim, khaki, pewter, and touches of camo. Relaxed fit trousers were teamed with fairisle knits, trench coats or suede jackets featuring aviator trims and stitched details one would normally expect to find on denim. The look was completed with lace-up Grenson boots, snoods and flat caps for an authentic farmhand finish It was all things knitwear over at John Smedley, who concentrated on classic knitwear shapes (no superfluous lengths or voluminous sleeves here!), given a modern twist. Bold, geometric patterns and block stripes were offset with bright, complementing colour palettes; a jagged sunset of pink, orange and crimson, or royal, navy and pastel blues. Alongside these colourful creations were slightly more demure fitted cardigans with blazer collars, which could be easily layered with fine knits. Astrid Andersen served up another strong sportswear-inspired collection. A largely monochrome palette was paired with pale blue, mustard yellow and metallic gold accents, used across a range of athletic pieces. Sweatpants, tracksuits, oversized football jerseys and quilted jackets were updated by mixing jersey cotton with luxe liquid-sheen fabrics, although items such as crop tops, ballooning trouser legs and skin-tight asymmetric one shoulder styles were perhaps more questionable. The swimwear at Orlebar Brown was less Club Tropicana, more Jungle Book, with exotic plant prints seen on shorts and t-shirts. A fairly sophisticated palette of khaki, navy, white and camel avoided being too ‘serious’, with injections of flamingo print, tie dye and splashes of colour on bright gilets, courageously short shorts and fitted polo shirts. Teamed with classic aviators, this was a perfect mix of fun and cool. Those lucky folk over at Topman Design were treated to an appearance from legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke, who read an original poem, ‘Top Man’, before the show. Opening with an entirely black and pewter colour scheme, the collection then introduced well-cut suits and overcoats in navy and pale blue before moving on to a series of gold, cream and beige pieces such as pea and duffel coats, which were from dull thanks to clever incorporation of high-shine, wet-look fabrics. Next came a welcome pop of stark orange against onyx, with chunky wool roll-necks and two-tone knitwear, before going full circle and back to black with muted metallic or patent leather accents. A wonderful, playful collection that takes a fresh perspective on tradition by updating classic shapes with innovative use of unexpected fabrics and cuts. Hardy Amies produced a very wearable collection of beautifully tailored suits and coats. Mostly consisting of shades of grey and cream, the expertly cut collection did feature occasional bursts of subtle navy and electric blue, plus the burnt orange trousers that we promise you will be desperate for by October! Hardy Amies kept things playful with classic check prints and contrasting prints and fabrics, while the upturned collars were rather Sherlock-esque (never a bad thing, believe me). Similar to Topman Design, punk was a key influence at Matthew Miller, featuring a mostly monochrome collection of classic blazers and trench coats, as well as a subtly eye-catching moss green leather biker jacket. Draped layers, chunky knits, ankle grazer combat-style trousers and shift dresses encapsulated the androgynous mood of this show, set against a fitting David Bowie soundtrack.
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