Ah London. If only I could say that in a Russell Brand accent. Sigh. They say London is the moral, political, intellectual, physical, literary, artistic, commercial and social centre of the world. Apparently now. To be honest though, you wouldn't find so many distinct aspects present in many other cities; in no other city are so many peculiarities observable. Ships come from every clime, bearing so many productions of nature, the fruits of commerce and the results of labour. Railways literally converge to it. Some would even say that art, science, invention and discovery seek it out as their true home. Even if you don't want to get caught up in any of that mambo jumbo, a visit to London these days is almost a necessity for everyone - even if it is just to go see London Fashion Week Men's. . .
Topman kicked things off on [Day-1] and of course, they knew how to throw a show. Bringing back all the memories of beer-soaked carpets and pool playing landlords - this was a show about the British 'lad'. From psychedelic prints to bucket hats to laddish logos - this was a show that set out to evoke all kinds of memories. Things should be a lot more simpler on the eye at a Craig Green show though. Key words being 'should be'. The British menswear designer of the year had his fair share of showstoppers. He was even quoted in saying that this collection was like "English pub carpet meets Aladdin". Green has always been one for counterbalance though so for all that flair, we were graced with a little quietness throughout. As the day continued you could see that it was a very strong day for new talent.
Liam Hodges came back in style once again this season with a collection all about force and power. This was a collection full of slogans that made politics sit with fashion. With things like "Looking for a vocation in the decline of civilisation", "Ideology is a myth" and "This year" - this was personal. And then of course there was Charles Jeffrey. Held as part of the MAN young designer collective, his label 'Loverboy' gave us a huge theatrical moment. Think chaos and control. Now mix it with eloquent tailoring and party mayhem. This was a show where the collection was great on its own, but the staging took us to a different universe.
[Day-1] wasn't even three hours in and you could already see the fascinating power shift that has been happening in London menswear. Major labels like Burberry, Coach and Alexander McQueen have all withdrew from such events, but still the buyers and press continue to flock in like sheep. People are now more interested in these independent young designers. They have more fight in them. More ambition. Their work can well and truly stand on its own. And so the excitement continues. . .