Sunday 16th of July saw the opening of the eagerly anticipated London Collections: MEN SS14, and it was everything we had hoped for and more. A unique assembly of the hottest contemporary design talent showcased alongside established menswear labels with decades of sartorial pedigree; it was the biggest menswear show in the British capital to date.
If you’re keen to get ahead of the game and introduce a little SS14 into your SS13 closet, read on for our guide to the key menswear themes that emerged from this round of London Collections: MEN (LC:M).
1. Oranges and Lemons
Men have embraced colour in recent summer seasons like never before, making it particularly apt that high-octane shades of canary yellow and orange dominated the collections shown at LC:M. From Jonathan Saunders to Agi & Sam, highlighter hues made their presence felt in the form of both tailoring and separates.
Patrick Grant’s E. Tautz displayed a penchant for burnt orange hues, showing an array of knits, sweatshirts and shorts in the eye-catching tone. Shaun Samson brought flashes of tangerine to his collection in the form of shirting, high-gloss shorts and graphic print sweatshirts. Katie Eary’s fondness for orange was distinctly evident, with the hue dominating the collection in the form of oversized statement animal prints and graduating shades:
Canary yellow was the standout tone from Jonathan Saunders’ dynamic collection, whilst mustard and sunshine hues made their mark at Oliver Spencer, Burberry and C.P. Company:
2. Lost Youth
The spirit of youth was apparent throughout many of the contemporary labels, with MAN’s Bobby Abley sending models down the runway with his signature teddy bears strapped to backpacks and garments featuring child like animal prints. This declaration of innocence was playfully complemented by the presence of leather pastel tone crowns and fleur-de-lis patterns that brought a witty air of pseudo-monarchy to the collection.
Inspired by tales from medieval folklore, the collection referenced the Knights of the Round Table, the legend of the Sword in the Stone, and princes and paupers as sources of inspiration, and was delivered with the designer’s typically playful and humorous style:
Matthew Miller and Katie Eary drew upon skate culture in their energetic collections, lending a rebellious edge to proceedings. Whilst we’re sure most men won’t be scrambling to don a faux candy-pink crown anytime soon, we can all easily work a little youthful vigour into our wardrobes with a playful print:
3. Fast-Forward To Futurism
With London the focus for up-and-coming contemporary design talent, it seemed appropriate that LC:M designers looked to the future for SS14.
Kay Kwok’s asymmetric minimalist collection featured leather and neoprene open-sided tops, sleek structured box bags and cut-out sandals that wouldn’t look out of place on the feet of Greek God Hermes, should he find himself reincarnated in 2080:
Agi & Sam’s fabrics, sporting pixelated textured dots and multi-tone tightly embroidered weaves, were inspired by the seat upholstery fabrics of various forms of London transport, giving an all too familiar feeling of fashion déjà vu – you knew you’d seen that pattern somewhere, but where?
Delivered in a superbly modernist fashion, the pairing of these unique patterns with bold/pastel shades and modern cuts was strongly reminiscent of the digital age; if anything it certainly put a delectable spin on taking the 149 to Stoke Newington:
With its sleek, clean-cut lines and noticeable absence of buttons, trims and embellishments, Lee Roach’s offering had an undeniably futuristic feel, sporting ultra lightweight technical cottons in contrasting black and stone, collarless constructions, water-repellent treatments and functional strap fastenings.
The only form of pattern was an overblown brown and neutral tone camouflage motif that resembled a kind of hybrid half-animal, half-military abstract giraffe print: