Earlier this month, the finest talent in British men’s fashion gave us a preview of their Autumn/Winter ’19 collections.
There were plenty of looks that stole the runway at London Fashion Week Men’s, but we’ve highlighted seven of our favourites below – from Daniel w. Fletcher’s ode to The North, to Liam Hodges dressing a new wave of youth.
1. DANIEL w. FLETCHER
For AW19 Daniel w. Fletcher produced a reverent and loving ode to The North of England. Fletcher’s signature tailoring continued to ground the collection with slim hems and open cuffs paired with double breasted top coats and practical workwear denim jackets. Highlights of nostalgic sports detailing punctuated the collection – think freezing afternoons spent on an icy pitch in P.E. shorts and a flimsy rugby shirt – alongside tabloid print motifs and selvedge heavy denim.
For us, a stand out look of the collection fell to this subtle yet striking double-leather tailored combination, paired with a collar bearing shirt and a wide hybrid belt-cummerbund for an adult revision of leather-on-leather. Fletcher continues to support our lads up North, proudly representing the heritage and craftsmanship of this country by hand picking local manufacturers to produce a collection steeped in British wools, merinos, and silks.
2. CHARLES JEFFREY
The always playful and eclectic Charles Jeffrey did not disappoint in his Dystopic Utopia-inspired collection and cast that was full of LOVERBOY fantasy. Set in a scene of decadence and debauchery, models paraded through a venue filled with performance artists lounging in bathtubs and adorning dressing tables. With references to the 1920’s and the androgyny of the era’s Bright Young Things, the collection featured irreverent Art Deco detailing realised in pleated flapper dresses, hand drawn prints and embellished sheer tulle.
Our favourite look took form in a hand painted set of jacket and trousers, covered in a joyous amalgamation of print and colour. Taking inspiration from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the “darling little sillies who are not quite sure what they are” provided inspiration for a prominent socio-political message throughout the show of inclusivity and kindness across the board of race, gender and sexual preference.
The ICEBERG show was as expected, a vibrant and energetic affair, with the front row filled to the brim with celebrity faces (with many only receiving space enough for one bum cheek!). The collection itself followed suit with a bright and fabulously cliched take on the fashion of the Italian Alps, both on and off the slopes.
High-vis acid green combined with danger zone primaries formed the base of the collection, interspersed with tailored pieces in technical fabrics to provide the ultimate lesson in après-ski wear. The look you’ll catch us in as we pose mountain top next to (never-been-used) colour co-ordinated ski’s, is a tri-colour puffer jacket paired with form fitting red tracksuit bottoms and a matching 80’s headband to complete the façade before we take the lift back down to safety.
Qasimi’s show had us all shivering with anticipation and a touch of frostbite in the vast and sunken Collin’s music hall venue (you might have seen it before in all its concrete glory in One Direction’s career defining “Story of my Life” music video…). Another designer to respond to the current social and political climate, Qasimi presented a futuristic vision of utopia steeped in cult sci-fi queues and nomadic referencing to create an alternate universe. In a new world, who can be sure what the weather will bring?
Our first choice would be the look that combined the warmth and utility of a multi-purpose hooded jacket, seen here in a deep Persian plum, paired with matching shorts in technical nylon just in case there are any beaches on Mars. The collection’s paired-back colourways and modular design hint at modern living in an age we have yet to experience but can easily imagine for ourselves through Qasimi’s guiding vision.
5. LIAM HODGES
Liam Hodges’ AW19 collection was a physical rendition of a new generation’s larger than life digitised personalities. Living in an age where “identity is no longer fixed, authenticity is outdated, online life is IRL” Hodges is dressing a new wave of youth no longer defined by one particular genre, instead making up their own completely personal identity from the infinite inspiration and resources of the world wide web.
The first look was a pair of bio-punk trousers with glitched zerox-print over pastel tie die, teamed with an oversized preppy polo in a clash of worlds that we are sure would make a punk want to stick a pin in his eye, but we can’t wait to get our hands on! Mostly the collection reminded us to have fun with style, to experiment with how you use fashion to project your own personality, even if it means getting it wrong…at least you tried.
6. ART SCHOOL
For Art School’s debut solo catwalk show the press release stated “whether cis-gendered, trans or non-binary – the label designs pieces as fluid as the body of people who surround them.” In show that truly was a triumphant representation of their community of inclusivity, the brand heralded not only queer but minority representation. Alternating boxy and sculpted suit jackets sat alongside asymmetrical dramatic dresses, purposefully cut on the bias to flatter all figures; while oversized coin sequins and flashy pink velvet and jaquard was paired with structured white shirting or exaggerated slashed tees and hoodies.
Our favourite look, a gold leather safari suit had the added bonus of being worn by the one and only Dawn Ward, who we must admit we didn’t recognise at the time of the show in such androgynous make-up (a far cry from her usual beat), but who blended in perfectly with the shows representative and diverse casting.
7. FASHION EAST
Of the three talented designers in this seasons Fashion East show, Mowalola rose to the top of the pack with a collection that continued in her graduate show’s celebration of the black African male. In a refreshing all black cast, rarely seen outside of designers such as Wales Bonner, the models walked the catwalk in low riding bumsters and miniature high riding mini-skirts, realised in vinyl, colour blocked and spray painted leather. Sheer patterned layering under suggestive cut away pieces and oversexed prints of the naked form completed the fast and carnal feel of the collection.
Our favourite look of the night was a pair of red vinyl trousers with a low-slung belt just below the zip, paired with a black leather jacket cut away at the chest and biceps, all sexually charged in design and yet we think a totally reasonable outfit for Sunday brunch?
BOBBY ABLEY, I choose you…!
However if we are honest, the look that really stole the runway for AW19 was to be found at the Bobby Abley show, when out popped a 6 foot and very energetic Pikachu. We were half expecting for the costume to unzip and the Queen to pop out after her surprise appearance at Richard Quinn last season, but alas this dedicated method actor did not break character on the long waddle down the catwalk. Definitely an Instagram-worthy moment either way!