|Backstage neon and chunky knits at Christopher Raeburn's show in London, photographed by Liron Weissman. On the cover is the new AW17 Belstaff collection|
THIS season, the biannual men's wear showcase London Collections: Men was rebranded as LFWM ~ London Fashion Week Men’s ~ a significant step towards pushing the men’s fashion industry up to the reach and importance of the women's collections. Dylan Jones, chairman of LFWM, said that the new name will help men's wear, especially as brands continue showing men's and women's wear together. Does that mean that the two events will eventually be merged into one? Time will tell, as the revolutions in how fashion shows are presented and sold continue worldwide. In the meantime, London Fashion Week Men’s is a key player in the global menswear fashion scene with the best of Savile row brands such as Chester Barrie and Kent & Curwen showing new work alongside experimental and innovative designers such as Ximon Lee and Sibling.
Brooklyn and Williamsburg may be considered the home of hipsters, but London has Dalston, Brick lane, Shoreditch
Brooklyn and Williamsburg may be considered the home of
hipsters, but London has Dalston, Brick lane, Shoreditch and other urbans villages that are full of trendsetters hipsters and goths: this is certainly a city full of avant-garde inspiration.
More than fifty brands presented collections over four days and London once again offered a well-organised and diverse range of British and international designers. Designers from China, Korea, France, Italy and Scandinavia showed their designs and proved once again that the British capital is being recognised as an international fashion hub. However, notable by their absence this season, were Burberry and Paul Smith. Burberry, trendsetters as usual, announced they will be consolidating their men and women’s shows during the women’s fashion week. Paul Smith chose to showcase his collections in Paris and Milan. Not all the trends seen on the catwalk were new and many were different interpretations of what we have seen before, but there was certainly a twist and a new experimental edge. What should we be looking out for next winter then? Here are some of the key directions for your wardrobe if you want to master the AW17 look.
|Corduroy-wearing hipster at Xander Zhou|
London Fashion Week Men’s is a key player in global fashion with the best of Savile row brands showing alongside experimental designers
Include Leather This season across many runways, leather was present in different shapes and forms. Chinese designer Xander Zhou presented oriental futurism and offered his own quirky interpretation of outerwear alongside sharp tailoring.
|Long, black leather at Xander Zhou AW17|
and offering mid-riff exposure, as the designer said himself: “You’d better work on those abs!” Berthold’s AW17 collection also explores the rhythm of restriction with fuzzy, dimpled, and crisp textures that are taken from torn, soft leather and papers left folded and aged over time. While Berlin-based, Chinese-born Korean designer Ximon Lee showed unconventional outerwear in his AW17 collection: Called Shame, it explored the space between the conscious and unconscious. A strong Seventies vibe was notable with pieces such as long, patent leather coat, flared pants and stand out pieces such as sheer shirts or velvet trousers. A frequent motif was the deconstructed leather pouch or vest, thrown over the shoulder.
A Seventies vibe was notable with pieces such as long, patent leather coats, flared pants and sheer shirts or velvet trousers
The historic British company Belstaff, which has been going for 93 years, offered men's and women's wear with classic silhouettes such as the peacoat and duffel coat, recreated in luxury Melton wool. Notable this season are new vintage
|Leather coats & jackets at Belstaff|
Christopher Raeburn deconstructs materials like bomb disposal uniforms, blankets and camouflage jackets with bright yellow neon splashes
|Christopher Raeburn. Photo:Liron Weissman|
Christopher Raeburn brings another one of his innovative, sustainable collections this AW17 season. Both men's and women's wear were presented and the designs were all about remaking, reducing and recycling. The designer used deconstructed materials including bomb disposal uniforms, blankets and camouflage jackets with bright yellow neon splashes. Even the backpacks had neon protective covers. Women's wear remade pieces came in the form of Utility dresses, parachute parkas and bomber jackets, with a focus on femininity. But a strong men's wear aesthetic dominated in the rest of the range to ensure a unisex offering that compliments the entire collection. Raeburn's pioneering work has brought sustainable design to a more mainstream fashion audience, aiming to combine both a luxury and integrity.
Tuck Your Shirt into Baggy Trousers
|Baggy & bright at Liam Hodges AW17|
A couple of other key trends this season: tucked in shirts and wide trousers ~ forget the skinny jeans
|Suede and rollnecks at Songzio AW17|
One of the most recurring silhouettes for next winter is the rising neckline. The higher the better, with some designers presenting bolder versions of the roll-neck even rising over the face. Songzio’s collection is one example where a high neck was presented throughout the collection. Called Misanthrope, once again the range blurred the boundaries between fashion and art, continuing with the Paint on Black’ concept: each item from the collection inspired by the designer’s original paintings. The fusion of abstract art with modernist clothing is the brand’s unique signature style. From cold sharply tailored suits to romantic volumes, every season is another delicately curated exposition.This dramatic and bold collection was balanced with delicate art prints and presented dense knitwear from capes to voluminous bomber jackets in hues of brown and black complimented by the warm touch of mustang patchwork.
One of the most recurring silhouettes for next winter is the rising neckline, the higher the better
|High necklines at Berthold AW17|
Boys in mini-skirts and women in deconstructed suits with powerful shoulder silhouettes: a rousing flirtation with gender fluidity.
Get Cozy with Crotchet
Ringing true to the original meaning of
| Rising model Barak Shamir in crochet at |
Vivienne Woodwood. Photo: Filipe Phitzgerald