The Liberty Round Up: London Collections
Last week was an exciting time for men’s fashion, as London’s début menswear fashion week got underway. The Liberty buying team were live at the shows – read our round up from our Junior Buyer, Benjamin Andrew to find out what they saw, what they loved and what you’ll be wearing next season:
AT THE SHOWS
“London Collections: Men made an excellent start with a confident collection from Lou Dalton that moved between sportswear and tailoring. Tight knee length shorts featured throughout and these were styled with oversized shirts and baseball jerseys, as silhouettes were exaggerated. Mixing of fabrics was key – cotton, nylon, mesh (occasionally in neon) and suede all combined harmoniously – the suede fronted panelled sweat was my favourite piece from the show.
Oliver Spencer‘s show was a triumph of all he does best and the wide range of models used on the catwalk (young to old) symbolised the broad appeal of this collection. There was classic casual tailoring in navy and grey for the more conservative gentlemen but this was complimented by fresh and vibrant reds, blues and mustards. Printed trousers and shirts added another dimension but these were never garish and always accessible. In a weekend where almost every show had some element of mixed fabrics Oli took a more subtle approach to this trend with a striped cotton jacket where the stripe was bold on the body but faded on the sleeve. This wasn’t the most visual piece in the show but it cleverly tapped into this key trend in a way that is true to Oli’s understated aesthetic.
YMC was also a favourite and great to see some of our best casual brands showing on the catwalk. The venue was perfect – through the back of a record store, underneath a carpark opposite their store in the heart of Soho – it felt uniquely London. The colour palette was really strong and flowed seamlessly from blues, to reds, to whites and browns. Each colour story delivered stand out pieces – the Japanese art inspired short sleeve printed shirt came down the run way a few times and was a great item, but it was the white sweat with rose embroidery that was the highlight and on that we can’t wait to get into store.
Christopher Raeburn was the last show of the week and finished on a high. Statement outerwear as usual but like many of the shows it was heavily influenced by sportswear. Christopher’s trademark long length parka was still there but only appeared fleetingly, as it gave way to more sporty bomber jackets and lightweight nylon blazers. Mixed fabrics were again present as many of the bombers had solid fabric bodies with mesh sleeves. The colour palette was predominantly khaki and white and took it’s inspiration from nature, which was a explained in a brief but stunning video before the show. There were also pops of bright orange, which appeared in the tees and sat well with the more muted greens and white to provide a well rounded collection.”
“Sportswear and technical fabrics were a huge trend of the week. This started with Lou Dalton referencing baseball and using mesh and carried straight through in to Topman Design with their heavy play on the American Football jersey, again using mesh. Martine Rose used neoprene through out be this for the sleeves on jersey t-shirts or in more literal ways such as cycling shorts or wetsuit trousers.
Mixed fabrics were also a key trend. Mesh was used throughout the week often as a sleeve or side insert on a blazer. Richard Nicoll mixed contrasting stripes together on shirts and blazers a like.”
WHAT WE’LL BE BUYING
“We will be continuing to buy all our existing brands Oliver Spencer, YMC, Lou Dalton & Christopher Raeburn. There were so many great designers we saw over the weekend, that we’ll definitely be looking to buy more from Men’s collections. In the next few weeks we’ll be visiting all the showrooms so we can look at the collections in more depth, so watch this space!”