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London Collections: Men SS14: Re-occurring Themes

On Sunday 16th of June, London Collections: Men Spring/Summer '14 opened to many eager eyes.  The highly anticipated collection was everything many had hoped for and more.  The hottest designer talent (and models) showcased alongside established labels in what was the biggest menswear show to hit the British shores to date. 

So if you are as keen as I am to introduce some of SS14 into your wardrobe then continue reading.  So what did we learn from this three day spectacular?

We were given a refreshing summer feel throughout the collections as soft pastels and blue, green, red and pink powder tones ran throughout.  Pastel tones worked their way throughout traditionalists Hackett's collection in the form of elegant roll neck knits and tailoring while Christopher Raeburn shocked us all by turning his back on his signature military style and crafted powder pink parka jackets while Richard Nicoll's continued his fondness of blue.

For the more traditional brands, vintage and retro eras were a key source of their inspiration.  Having said that, I can only think of one standalone brand: Hackett.  Hackett continue to impress me each year and the fact that they celebrated 1960's photographer Terry O'Neill through this dapper collection makes it even more outstanding. 

Mesh, lace and sheer fabrics were really strong this year also (don't worry, there wasn't any S&M happening on the catwalks).  Traditionally these fabrics are pretty feminine but Christopher Raeburn worked the trend into his designs by using contrast mesh sleeves, whilst Astrid Anderson gave a masculine edge to these fabrics by pairing them with urban sportswear. 

As always, metallic caught my eye, but for all the right reasons.  Having played their part in SS13, these fabrics were reinterpreted and used as embellishments.  Nasir Mazar showed silver trimmed backpacks while Shaun Samson included metallic topped trousers, hats and anything you can think of. 

In recent summers men have embraced all the colour that has been thrown at them, these collections intend on continuing that trend.  Brands such as Johnathan Saunders, Burberry and Agi & Sam were dominated by yellows and oranges while Katie Eary continued her obsession with orange and produced a collection dominated by eye catching oversized statement animal prints.

One of my favourite collections was inspired by tales from medieval folklore.  Throughout the collection the Knights of the Round Table, princes, paupers and the legend of the sword in the stone were key sources of inspiration and presented in a humorous and playful style.  Youth was portrayed through many contemporary labels like MAN.  Bobby Abley sent his models down the runway with his signature teddy bears on backpacks or garments.  A playful innocence was portrayed throughout and this was welcomed by the presence of leather pastel tone crowns. 

It goes without saying, this year’s London Collections: Men was sartorial excellence.  The audience was given a sense of unity throughout and this brought a strong feeling of cohesiveness to many of the shows.  Of course many of the looks that I picked may be a little let’s say outlandish for the everyday male, these themes will transform for more commercial forms.  However, I would not complain if they remained the same.  Bravo to yet another dynamic event that is sure to inspire many.