LFW Men’s June 2017 Gender-Fluid Themes
A theme you perhaps wouldn’t typically associate at London Fashion Week: Men’s, (given the title), yet throughout the shows a distinctive aesthetic of ‘genderless dressing’ seemed to dominate the many collections, subsequently making quite an impact.
Championing today’s fashion notion of anything goes and absconding traditional dressing archetypes, a number of designers incorporated classically feminine fabrications and silhouettes amongst their menswear shows. None more so than Danish-born Astrid Andersen, who has forever challenged the stereotypes of masculinity. The designer was an early innovator of modern sports luxe, outfitting rappers in tracksuits rendered in lace, and six years later, continues to lead the pack.
For Spring/Summer 2018 she quoted backstage, “Femininity is less about what we see than what we want to see.” Amid the collection we witnessed languid striped silks seen on jackets, shirts, shorts and bombers, sleek two-piece floral tracksuits, micro-fine tailored basketball shorts, luxurious crushed velvet tops and matching trousers and forest green parachute coats. A tweed tracksuit reminiscent of Chanel particularly caught the sartorial eye, albeit making a gesture about competing with fashion’s biggest contenders. Obvious male attributes arrived in the form of killer abs on show, ironically revealed by the wearing of skimpy crop tops.
Bobby Abley’s unique charm, wit and humour was in full abundance, where a familiar cohesion of nostalgic and playful imagery contributed to his modern menswear line. His Spring/Summer 2018 offering included second skin, midriff-baring crop tops and pink ruffled mini skirts styled with Timberland boots. Burgundy athletic hoodies were once again cut very short up the model’s ultra-defined torso with a matching skirt and handbag.
The MAN show saw talents such as RCA graduate Per Gotesson take centre stage, with a collection that featured a variety of knitted string vests, many styled inside out and in a shade of Barbie. Relaxed tailoring was evident, showcasing oversized, flared trousers with bunched up ruffles falling from the hip.
It may have only been Art School’s second season at London Fashion Week: Men’s but with a collection from Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt comprising of queer couture, show attendees were in for a surreal fashion experience. Translating as an “unfolding narrative of a nonbinary paradise”, we witnessed silk and velvet frocks, an all pink nod to bikers, mint-hued two-pieces with fluffy white panels and a diamante infused red sweetheart dress. Amalgamating ‘theatre, friendship and fantasy’, the collection served as the ideal cure to annihilate any post-hangover, with the “Macarena” playing overhead. Inevitably, the show was an indication which challenged conformity and acted as some much-needed joy.
Words by Katie Farley