LFWMen’s SS19 Day 4
KA WA KEY’s SS19 collection presented itself in the form of an emotive performance piece with three male models in blue, red, and yellow overalls taking the bulk of the choreography. They interacted with each other as well as with the other models who were standing in a semicircle around them and wearing key looks of the collection.
The concept was oddly specific; it was the story of a young monk dreaming about being one of the subjects in the works of photographer Ren Hang and so it was entitled “The Picture of a Monk”. We saw this inspiration in the silhouettes of some pieces as hoods and shawls were prominent features. Colours were bright and yet still earthy and textiles were textured but remained unaffected. There was a sense of reinvention and reincarnation whilst remaining grounded and connected with the world. There was also a sensitivity to the clothing which seemed to explore the softer, more sentimental side of masculinity.
By Sophie Lau
KA WA KEY
GQ presents Private Policy & Staffonly
PRIVATE POLICY’s debut at London Fashion Week Men’s entitled “Breaking the Looking Glass” was a celebration of Asia in a modern, unexpected way. Rather than giving us reductive caricatures of Asian culture, they instead chose to blend classical aspects of Asian clothing with Western subcultures, such as Punk, Hip-Hop, BDSM, and Grunge. Mandarin buttons were paired with deconstructed bomber jackets; punk plaids were the basis for traditional Haori jackets.
PRIVATE POLICY used this collection to show us that the way the West perceives the East is harmful (as well as fundamentally false) and that in order to create an authentic identity free from stereotyping, the “looking glass” has to be broken.
STAFFONLY’s SS19 collection was sentimental in nature, exploring modern society’s reluctance to deal with emotions. This sense of hidden feelings was expressed through layering and texture. Colours ranged from jet black and stark white to various shades of pastel, showing us that life contains nuances we don’t always see. Silhouettes were also strange and undefinable with snake-like structures appearing out of nowhere, funnel-shaped collars, and seemingly random panels and straps that served no practical purpose. Perhaps this sense of confusion was designed to reflect our lives and the turmoil we feel when we refuse to acknowledge or accept our emotions.
By Sophie Lau
PRONOUNCE’s SS19 show “Flower Men” took us far away from the UK and to the streets of Kolkata. Inspired by the Malik Ghat Flower Market, this collection was a study of contrasts. Within the bustling urban landscape of the city, a burst of colour and natural beauty is able to thrive and thus we saw monochromatic clothing walking alongside earthier tones of green and brown as well as brighter blues, purples, and pinks which reflected the blooms themselves. We saw classic lines juxtaposed against asymmetrical draping and we saw hand-scratched denim paired with laser-cut pieces, both of which showed us how well traditionalism and modernism can coexist.
Flowers were hinted at subtly throughout with draped skirts floating like individual petals, blown-up floral prints used sparingly, and crocheted petal details appearing on bags or as standalone accessories, which almost resembled leis. Flower motifs were present on selected tops and were painted with faces that were reminiscent of The Great Gatsby’s classic book cover.
This collection thoughtfully showcased the tenderness and strength of flowers and in doing so brought a peaceful duality to the idea of masculinity.
By Sophie Lau
The Barbour International presentation combined its long established biker suit heritage, the first designed in 1936, with plenty of easy-to-wear sports and ath-leisure separates. A pumping soundtrack would often break out into the roar of a motorcycle as the Barbour International short film played out on the big screen. Models were strategically placed around the room in graphic tee’s hoodies, polo shirts, lightweight jackets, slim-cut trousers and shorts in primary shades. Nothing ground breaking here, just well-made clothes with a slight retro feel that can easily be worked into a summer wardrobe.
A first for Barbour International at LFWMen’s was the inclusion of the brands footwear range, from low profile sneakers to runners and slides. These too were pared back and clean bar the odd stripe and Barbour branding. Arriving in nylons, leathers and suedes the collection centres on the brands core ethos and that is to be ‘The Badge of An Original.’
By JoJo Iles
Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY’s show entitled “Emergence” was a high-energy sci-fi spectacle. With live music and performance artists, it was hard to know which way to look. This season, the focus was on the human body, but in a sensitive, exploratory way. We veered away from superficiality and stripped away beauty standards and gender boundaries. Silhouettes were experimental; proportions were played with; tubes and panels protruded and hung in ways that would ordinarily be jarring for the eye but Charles Jeffrey wanted to push our sensibilities and encourage us to embrace the things we usually deem ugly.
Although much of the collection was athleisurewear (we saw tennis dresses, cycling jackets, rugby shirts, running shorts, and jersey tracksuits), there was also distorted graphic knitwear, chalkboard denim, leather breastplates, and quirky petticoats. Some of the pieces looked futuristic, whilst others simply looked alien.
At this show’s core, there was a sense of freedom and the new relaxed, sporty aesthetic suggested liberation. The more important message, however, was one of acceptance, of being at one with our flaws and insecurities and instead integrating them into our lives and admiring them for their often overlooked beauty.
By Sophie Lau
Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY
The University of Westminster presented eight MA menswear graduates in the hedonistic home that we all know and love – the nightclub ‘Heaven’. Robyn Lynch opened with a head-to-toe vision of primary green and a play on elasticated waists and hems. The collection progressed into all white and bright orange juxtaposing traditional knit and soft jerseys with retro sportswear shapes. Befitting of the surroundings Christine Shangqian Xu presented a collection high on gloss, shine and shimmer. Reminiscent of the 90’s club scene, super-wide cut trousers were combined with draped chains over bare chests and transparent jersey.
Priya Ahluwalia meanwhile explored the lifecycle of second-hand clothing by creating complicated patchwork designs using fabrics of varying textures and bold colours. Layered up denim, knit, and patchwork designs were recreated into wearable, relaxed silhouettes. Elsewhere James Bush explored relaxed, drapey tailoring, think 1990’s Armani, meets S&M – while Robert Newman referenced turf and pollen for his show-stopping collection. The University of Westminster is the only educational provider of a two-year postgraduate menswear course. Under the direction of Liliana Sanguino, the graduates have been taught by some of the most significant tutors in menswear including Ike Rust, Matthew Miller, Simon Foxton, Charles Jeffrey, Ben Reardon, Liam Hodges, and Alex Mullins, and from the eight graduates on show they have been doing a stellar job.
By JoJo Iles
University of Westminster MA Menswear
Blindness’s SS19 collection explored the many emotions surrounding the notion of “First Love” with designers Kyu Shin and Ji Park wanting to convey vulnerability and sensitivity, as well as the plethora of other contrasting feelings we often encounter. For instance, there’s sometimes a sense of confusion even though falling in love should be the most natural act. Oftentimes couples feel that their relationships are tumultuous and yet being with a partner can also make you feel more stable and more secure than you otherwise would. Blindness explored these conflicting emotions through combining unexpected fabrics and textures- we saw hard and soft, light and heavy within a single look. We saw romance reflected in flowing, exaggerated style lines; old-world courtship in opulent corsets; and the constraints of relationships in tailored pieces. The fantastical dreaminess of new love was also seen in ornate patterns, voluminous ruffles, and strings of pearls.
Although Blindness always advocates cross-cultural, genderless clothing, this season their choice seemed more meaningful than ever as it conveyed the diversity of love and the beauty of love knowing no boundaries.
By Sophie Lau
For those wanting to showcase at LFWMen’s on a limited budget then take note of the Mr.Start presentation. Key pieces were hung up against a blank wall while two models posed and regularly changed to bring each piece to life. Music and G&T’s provided additional accompaniments while a short Mr.Start film played intermittently. This was a pared back presentation where the clothes; tailored jackets, raincoats, classic shirts and handmade knits, did all the talking. The overall feel was classic city chic as visualised and designed by Philip Start, who was also, by the way, celebrating the labels 10-year anniversary based on Rivington Street in Shoreditch.
By JoJo Iles
Reports Sophie Lau and JoJo Iles