LFW Men’s 7th Jan – Day 2
PHOEBE ENGLISH MAN
The Phoebe English MAN collection was set against wall of the brand’s toiles tied to a wooden frame, with more scattered across the floor – a clever reminder alluding to the creation process of the finished garments the models were outfitted in. This season English collaborated with knitwear designer Helen Lawrence, adding a new layer of lambswool cable and chunky gauge knit made into jumpers, scarfs and hats to the offering in assertive red and dusty blue. Waxed cottons were also in abundance, made into simple monotone shirts and drawstring trousers elevated by unexpected turn-up details and scallop edges. Models held boxy tote bags with post-box handles, which were too made out of glossy navy and black cottons which had slight, but much welcomed, bin-bag vibes. Another difference to English’s offering compared to past seasons was that the models stood static in pairs, having indistinguishable conversations with each other. If there’s one thing to take away from this collection, it’s that a head-to-toe red look topped off with a red cable knit jumper does, indeed, look fire. – IH
J JS LEE
With J JS Lee’s AW18 collection came her first foray into menswear. Already known for her sleek and androgynous pieces in womenswear, her menswear carries much the same vibe. Full of classic tailoring with contemporary details, there’s a sense of humour and whimsy in each look. Much of this season is centred around the deconstruction of the jumpsuit, with heavy cotton twill and wool being used for cropped or wide leg silhouettes. Trousers have braces attached to them, which have been fed through welts or zips in jackets so that they peek through and emanate the essence of a jumpsuit without being too literal. Suits cover a variety of bases – jackets are either single or double-breasted and either structured or relaxed; trousers are either tapered and cropped or wide and pleated. In terms of innovative outerwear, there is a long length trench coat in a heavy cotton twill that has a detachable quilted lining (perfect for when winter months become more temperate!) and there is a wool coat with buttons at the waist, allowing it to be worn either as a long coat or as a jacket. It is worth noting that this season’s collection was showcased in an exhibition style, with pieces hanging on either side of a video installation showing an interview between a young aspiring journalist and a world famous sportsman. This perhaps shows who the J JS Lee customer is: a modern young gentleman who can be both stylish and professional. – SL
Imagine the delivery man/woman of your dreams and you have the very essence of Michiko Koshino’s AW18 collection. Having discovered a photo of a Japanese horse-drawn delivery cart from the 1800s, inspiration this season came from the humble courier. As to be expected from the brand, the clothing is functional as well as dynamic, translating perfectly into a workforce uniform that is visible and able to survive inclement weather. Washed silks, nylons, wool knits, and heavy cottons are used, resulting in comfortable, sturdy, and warm pieces; the colour palette is rich and seasonal without being drab, consisting of purples, blues, white, and black. As always, a sense of humour is present, this time with ‘customer service’ quotes featured on the back of garments.
Although the brand is synonymous with inflatable clothing, this time a subtler approach has been taken as it has been incased within other fabrics, thereby providing all the insulation without any of the PVC appearance. The styling of the entire presentation was also iconic- the models wore rolls of duct tape and parcel tape as bracelets; they were wrapped in either plastic sheeting or bubble wrap; and to top off the whole aesthetic, they were also carrying various packages ready for delivery. Who wouldn’t want to open their door to such stylish postal workers? – SL
Christopher RÆBURN’s AW18 collection “IMMERSE” is inspired by the beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans. This isn’t simply a case of artistic inspiration, however, but more a thought-provoking design concept as conscientious clothing rests at the brand’s core. By reworking neoprene immersion suits and winchman coveralls, as well as collaborating with cold water surf brand Finisterre (who are known for their sustainable clothing), it is clear that Ræburn’s line is not only innovative but also reflective of the future of our planet and our duty to protect it.
This season, pieces are functional and stylish whilst still retaining elements from their original design. A women’s anorak and men’s overcoat crafted from immersion suits still have waterproof zips and emergency whistles, for example. An anorak, coat, and trouser made from RAF helicopter winchman coveralls remain water resistant, breathable, and warm; an RAF helicopter emergency pack has also been refashioned into a swish bag with straps sporting the REMADE branding. Russian and Danish Naval blankets have been transformed into a variety of pieces, including overcoats, a bomber, a top, and a trouser. Certain motifs appear throughout the collection, such as the giant squid and the albatross, both of which act as a reminder of the important message of the collection, and bold tape with “REMADE, REDUCED, RECYCLED, RÆBURN” emblazoned across it makes frequent appearances on clothing and accessories. Non-reworked pieces include casual-wear made from organic denim, organic poplin, and organic cotton. In terms of footwear, Christopher RÆBURN has once again collaborated with Palladium (branded as PALLÆDIUM) to create innovative footwear made from recycled material; fun design details include carabiners and lanyards being attached to the back of shoes.
This season’s Christopher RÆBURN collection is based strongly upon responsibility and principles, showing us that fast fashion is most definitely not the way forward. – SL
Alex Mullins achieved the ultimate with his AW18 collection – produced clothes that made me think. As I was watching the show unfold, I could not help but construct a narrative in my head to run alongside the collection which transitioned between camel workwear to psychedelic tie-dye to head-to-toe white to broken photographs projected across silk and cotton poplin. As the show began, tailored workwear in greys and beiges were interrupted by a bright yellow patterned glove or patch – in my head this was the dull office worker who was poorly hiding his creative streak, his desperation to rebel. Mullins then moved the looks to an head-to-toe white look – a break from this monotonous lifestyle and into the new. Then, a surprise to everyone, psychedelic multi-coloured tie-dye started creeping into outfits in the form of circles and eventually peaking to a momentous full tie-dye spiral suit that somehow managed to look bloody great; in my mind this was the office workers head-first immersive dive into creativity, and, hey, maybe an acid trip too (stay away from drugs though! Drugs are bad!). Then the psychedelia stopped and we were given a cacophony of effortless and incredibly stylish looks – from a denim jumpsuit to a multi-coloured jumper to red striped trousers – almost as if the said office worker was learning how to balance his creative side with the practicalities of reality.
Then the collection took another (and its final) turn bringing back the head-to-toe white denim but this time were collaged with smashed and broken photographs that were reminiscent of last season’s 90s-perfume-ad-inspired collection of the good old Alex Mullins that we know and love – and turned out indeed to be images of muses from it; in my little narrative this was perhaps said rebellious office worker looking back of his past identity and deconstructing it – almost a self-analysis, a symbol of moving forward. The collection was indeed a journey. Later when I read the press release I was pleasantly surprised that I had sort of got the right wave-length; Mullins was inspired by exploring ‘the relationship between the right and left functions of your brain’ Logical, systematic, mechanical, smart clothing – balances with – imaginative, chaotic and spontaneous’. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection: a stand-out show for sure. – IH
Reports by Sophie Lau and India Hunnikin