Rhiannon D’Averc recaps some of the main trends from menswear’s fashion week this January.
There were a lot of trends that made their mark this London Men’s Fashion Week, and one of them had to be the choice of models.
Brands and designers are more and more waking up to the reality that we don’t all have the same body type (well, duh). Changes are being made across the board, with online retailers like ASOS showcasing different-sized models to sell their products, but the catwalk is always a little slower to catch up.
At LFWM, it feels like there is more room for experimentation. Many designers are already breaking the ‘rules’ by showing both menswear and womenswear, while some are daring enough to show womenswear only. Once one of the pillars has been knocked down, why not go the whole hog and break a few others while you’re at it?
8ON8 showcased plus sized models, Art School had their archetypal mix of models drawn from more regular people – birthmarks, odd shapes and all – and Lou Dalton put no limit on age. Also at Lou Dalton, a Sikh model complete with turban joined the lineup. Meanwhile, paria/FARZANEH based the whole show around a cultural exploration, with a juxtaposition between a traditional Iranian ceremony and a very English boys school.
No matter the brand, there was plenty of diversity on show. Maybe the main LFW catwalks could take a little inspiration from all of this – we’ll keep an eye on what they’re up to.
BRIGHT COLOURS AND CAMOUFLAGE
You wouldn’t imagine that there were two trends more different than bright colours and camo – one designed to hide, another designed to make you stand out. However, both of these looks had their place on the LFWM catwalk in spades.
Bethany Williams put both of these looks together, while the vast majority of catwalks were awash with colour. While there were some who chose to stick to a muted palette – like Art School’s reliance on black and white, or the shades of grey at Eastwood Danso others went wild. Bold oranges and soft, yet strong, blues claimed the most attention. Pink is also having a real menswear moment. Don’t be afraid to wear more feminine shades – they are all on offer, from bright magentas and fuschias to baby pink and coral.
Our best tip? Opt for either one or two bold statement accessories, or, if you’re feeling confident, go ahead and grab a full-body outfit in a shade of tangerine. It’s instantly grammable, turns heads, and will show that you know your stuff. Separates can be toned down for outfits when the trend is over.
The catwalks at LFWM are, as previously mentioned, liable to host just as many female models as male. Perhaps that’s why the gender-orientated fashion here is a bit more fluid too.
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy sent out male models in fancy froufrou dresses that told a symphony of ruffles and feathers. Long, satin scarves were draped around necks at 8on8 by GQ, and a long tunic transitioned easily into skirts elsewhere. As for the female models? They were just as at home in utilitarian boiler suits and tailored trousers as they were in skirts and dresses.
There’s no such thing as gender rules at LFWM. Take note. Lads, don’t be afraid to borrow something from your sister’s wardrobe – and ladies, go ahead and wear what feels comfortable. The most important thing this season is wearing what you like, when you like, where you like.
The trend for bucket hats and utilitarian looks has, it seems, still not seen its final hour. This editor would really like to see the end of it, but if you must stick with these trends, then make sure that you update them with a pop of bold colour.
There are a few brands who have maintained the grey-toned beanies and jackets look, so if you don’t like standing out, be aware that you can still make a good impression with well-cut separates that layer up to good effect. Outerwear is all about the functional as well as the fashionable – if it’s not waterproof, why are you even wearing it? This is London, after all.
The play with texture was not as commonly seen this season – so if you do want to give that a try, take a leaf out of Astrid Andersen’s lookbook and put together a giant faux fur coat with reflective workman trousers.
PATTERN AND PRINT
By far the biggest dichotomy of the season was the choice between prints and patterns, or solids. Most designers seem to have come down hard on one side of the line, with very little mixing and matching.
Abstract and bold patterns have been seen on catwalks from Bethany Williams to Pronounce – the latter of whom presented an extremely interesting underbody theme with printed fabrics providing an accent to each outfit.
Whether you opt for something abstract, a traditional check or tartan, or something a bit more outthere (such as the printed faces at Per Gotesson), a bold print is a great way to make a statement if you’re not one for bold solids.
As for the front row, this was also a diverse mix of street style, haute performance, and sharp tailoring. The menswear catwalks might not always attract the highest calibre of celebrity visitors, but those who come certainly come in style.
What was your favourite look from this season’s shows? Take a leaf through the rest of our pages here and pick out your best, then share them with us on Instagram or Twitter @londonrunwaymag.
We’ll also be handing out styling tips, so go ahead and shoot us a DM if you want to get our advice on how to wear this season’s looks!
Read more of Rhiannon’s work on Twitter @rhiannondaverc