Men’s Fashion Week and Burberry
Dapper as a dandelion, I flung myself with gusto into London Collection’s Men. June and February now sees menswear taking to the very centre of the fashion stage, having grown from initially being an afterthought of a day tacked onto London Fashion Week, to its own glorious, full Technicolor entity.
My kernels of fashion prediction having previously been some sort of hit, I had been tasked by Metro to give their readers my guide to the week, and a double page spread came out the day before the 4 day event. A near full page height picture of David Beckham in his Belstaff leathers seems to have pleased many on the Northern line, and so I was welcomed with open arms by British Menswear’s best.
Years ago, I was determined to put wide leg trousers front and centre in my wardrobe, and started with some Oxford Bag copies that in fact were found in the tall girls section at Topshop. My fashion story has come full circle, and though not 1930s, at the Topman Design show we saw fabulous, Northern Soul flares in every colour – from black to dusky baby pink, they were not strictly 70s as wide from the thigh down, I will be getting them all. Depending on how the HIIT training is going, I may pair them a la the show with skinny 70s T, or I might plump for round-necked knits and jaunty silk scarves to get that 70s Soho look.
Hardy Amies showed in the St Pancras Hotel, sensitively restored and back to its Victorian comfortable splendor rather than the dereliction seen in Spice Girls Wannabe video (the building, not the moves). Much the same could be said for the collection – sharp and most definitely grand, but with modern touches (sheer suiting, biker looks) and some reassuring sharp tailoring. Army green may be their colour de jour. Over at Richard James – it was prints galore as jazzy suits made a splash, the fabrics spilling over to the pump shoes – a festival for the eyes. Lewis Hamilton took notes of what to be seen in in Monaco next summer.
Next up, back to the Old Sorting Office for some YMC, with a washed denim jumpsuit most likely slipping into my Spring ‘16 wardrobe. Casley Hayford is always one to trend spot at, and the star motif white jacket piqued my interest, as did the metallic socks – how did I not think of wearing those before now? Glittering at the ankle as well as in conversation is totally fashion forward.
Presentations really upped their game this season. Thomas Pink put on a glorious presentation at the ICA, all Cecil Beaton at Ashcombe, with 1930s aesthetic straw hats, pretty silks and witty motifs. What looked like a family crest turned out to represent Elephant and Castle (literally an elephant on top of a castle). An immaculate white blazer on close inspection was made from white denim – smart subversion is their new MO. Down by the river at the Old Billingsgate Market, Belstaff turned the riverbank into the North African desert, with a Desert Rats theme for both collection and presentation. With Moroccan mint tea, sand and khakis, they showed us a glorious range of brown motorcycle jackets Indiana Jones would be proud of, buffs and sage greens, 1940s construction and my favourite, a sand coloured suede cape. Capes are truly my weakness.
Dressing myself for the social whirl that goes along with LCM was aided by Favourbrook the waistcoat makers, and E Tautz. I wore both to the E Tautz show, where I was very happy they kept the wide leg trousers (do you think I might have an addiction?), and was so happy to see Patrick Grant growing stronger each season into a vision that is manages to be both complete and ever inventive. I rocked Tautz blue wide legs to the D Squared cocktail party at Canada House, along with an electric blue Bugatti Jacket and Carlo Pazolini white shoes. It was packed, and buzzing, and the only fashion party I have had to bring a passport to get entry too – let’s hope it doesn’t spark a trend. Tateossian threw the best party however, at Ronnie Scott’s to support the Elton John AIDS foundation. David Furnish was on fine co-hosting duties with Robert Tateossian, and Maverick Sabre got everyone dancing. I caught up with the always fabulous Samantha Barks, and then hopped into my BMW ride for the night to scotch over to the Pretty Green party.
The highlight of the week for me though, was the live orchestra at the Burberry show. My, they really know how to pull it out of the bag – it was a baking hot day, and the show was in a marquee, without sides, in Kensington Palace Gardens. The production was beautiful – English garden floral displays, Burberry blankets, ice-cold champagne or Pimms, and immaculate staff – just how a summer show should be. Goosebumps rippled though the fash pack at Rhodes’s live version of Vienna with a FULL symphonic orchestra. DJs just won’t cut it from here on in. I wore: Wan Hung Cheung, vintage Alexander McQueen and Oliver Peoples.
As last treat though, why not look up the Tommy Hilfiger presentation. Going to their London HQ on Knightsbridge, I started by touring the collections, all laid out in a civilized TH fashion – thus far, thus good. Until I was ushered through to the other room for a ‘treat’ – my oh my – 8 Tommy underwear models, in nothing but the latest pants, with abs you could grate parmesan on. I didn’t know where to look! So naturally I got in the middle and made them take a picture with me. It’s a hardknock fashion life…