The streets of Bloomsbury and Covent Garden were taken over by a legion of dressed-up men and women last week, maximizing every opportunity to get noticed whilst walking at speed between the various venues of London Collections: Men Round 3. The packed schedule now includes sufficient catwalk shows, installations and presentations that seeing it all has become a real challenge, never mind negotiating pavements taken over by street style photographers shooting style mavens on the move. Here are some of the trends I picked up on, both on and off the runway at LC:M SS/14.
1. Distressed / Treated Fabrics
Now that digital all-over prints are less universal at London’s shows, the attention has turned to what else you can do to fabric. Cue more randomised patterning such as tie-dye, taken to extremes at Craig Green, and seen in a subtler format at Christopher Raeburn. Elsewhere textiles were mottled, shredded or artfully crumpled. In the smoothest version of this thematic trend, fabric was coated to matt painted perfection (at Matthew Miller). Even Oliver Spencer couldn’t resist getting loose with the bleach gun. This could get messy.
2. Denim Jackets
Whilst the classic blue denim jacket was a front row favourite at LC: M this season, on the runway and at presentations, such normality wouldn’t cut it. Lou Dalton showed perfect boxy versions, a variation on her usual snug tailoring, in lilac and white. Meanwhile the prince of prints Kit Neale presented a jean jacket featuring his Peckham Riviera print, a take on boyish adventure maps.
3. Boxy T-Shirts
Back for a second breath, this haute fashion item was seen in many shows, from Matthew Miller’s ultra-minimalist versions to the silky numbers at E.Tautz and those featuring blocked panels of highly textured contrasting panels at Agi & Sam.
Whilst it might seem a no-brainer that summer equals colour, it has to be said that recent menswear S/S collections have been more muted, with even a tendency towards black. Whilst a few designers are sticking to their monochromatic guns, Christopher Shannon, Craig Green and Agi & Sam presented acid techno colours worthy of the last summer of love. The popularity of bucket hats from Craig Green to Margaret Howell suggests this is no coincidence.
5. Shorts Suits
Not necessarily new, but being worn with a new attitude, the shorts suit half a decade ago meant a cut down version of a suit: flat colours, probably a blazer which just happened to come with short trousers. Now if anything, the shorts lead the way, and just happen to come with a matching top half, which may or may not have long sleeves. The effect is looser and more casual. Seen at Lou Dalton as a brocade pyjama jacket version, at Alan Taylor and MAN as boxy T-shirt and matching shorts and at YMC in an easy-going bomber and long shorts.