This week CUB brings you a round-up of the London menswear shows that truly caught our eye – some not in such a dazzling way. Following the provocative quality of some of these collections, this list is in no particular order, neither chronological, nor alphabetical or of preference. I just really don’t like order – you should see my room – so here you go have a tiny subversive list, start from the middle, from the 5th listed, for the naughtier ones, start from the bottom but for the true anarcho-punk professionals, don’t read it at all. Enjoy! (or not).
The year of the poncho, funky and psychedelic prints and Pocahontas fringes accompanied by cool shades and multicolored pashminas and hippy reinterpretations of the classic Burberry check. It is not a coincidence that Creative Director and CEO Christopher Bailey named the collection ‘Classically Bohemian’. The vibe is effortlessly cool as it is effortlessly and remarkably looking like Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent. Really, Burberry? Really? Perhaps not the most inventive way of shaking up the good old classics. However, it will be interesting to see if the ‘manbag’ widely featured in the collection will become a more prominent trend. Any takers?
The looks we can find in the latest Sibling collection aren’t surely for everyone, not many men will have the confidence to be seen is so many shades of pink but perhaps what Syd Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreery had in mind was a complete subversion of the common attributes and features of contemporary standards of masculinity. The use of a strong Schiapparelli pink in soft faux furs teamed up with huge teddy bears, whether dragged along the catwalk by the models or positioned on their jumpers in form of a childish brooch represent conflicting images of tenderness opposed to the mainstream perception of ‘what it means to be male’. Such a disruptive look is something that was initiated by the punk movement and this army of fuzzy pink troublemakers is very much appreciated. Copies of Kasabian’s latest album 48:13, featuring the same color on the cover, should be sold with the collection’s pieces to give them an extra kick – if they ever needed one.
Welcome to the ‘Jeremy Scott Christmas Extravaganza Special’. The American designer never fails to indulge in and surprise us with colorful and bright collections. For this season we were catapulted to a futuristic Narnia, this time waiting for us at the other side of the magic wardrobe there was an arctic spaceship. The show featured bright orange jumpsuits, neon yellow technical trousers and zebra/Dalmatian fake furs that would rightfully make Cruella De Vil queen of the South Pole. It won’t be difficult to spot Moschino fans during the skiing season.
While Noel Gallagher might take his frustration out on Ed Sheeran for a weakened rock music scene and the predominance of ‘polished pop’, the Britpop/70s mod look is coming back on the catwalks with a vengeance. Feathered haircuts, oversize coats, full on tartan suits have finally trickled down from a larger trend in high-end designer clothing to the much more accessible price range of the Topman collection. Expect to see a lot more rockstars strolling down the street, and to be honest, who wouldn’t want to? Hopefully Gallagher can find a bit of solace in that.
Craig Green’s collections are somehow a cathartic experience; they are pure and minimalistic while being powerful and refreshing at the same time. The simplicity of colors such as black, red, navy and white is channeled through modernist designs. There is also something covertly sensual and intriguing about the oblique shape of the neckline in some of the skintight long sleeve t-shirts. The fact that the models display the designs wearing socks, gives the show an aura of humility and lightness. It is interesting how Green’s collections are charming and captivating without being loud or abusive to the eye, a skill few designers can be said to have.
The looks from the latest McQueen collections have a gloomy and gothic quality to them and this is not a negative or inappropriate thing at all. The theme of the war is explored and the suits modelled by vampiresque soldiers have the words Truth, Honor and Valour written on them casting a heroic light as a tribute to the World War I centenary. It is truly a sartorially excellent collection coming from Sarah Burton but perhaps that equally beautiful Comme des Garçons show from last year is too fresh in my memory to fully indulge in the new McQueen army. Not too sure if I’m ready to enlist just yet.
With this collection the Liverpudlian designer truly poses the attention on the effects of our beloved economic crisis. Cans of coke, the representatives of a malfunctioning capitalist system, appear on jumpers with an alteration of the logo, where coke turns into broke. Models wear plastic bags over their heads – strangely reminding of Shia LaBeouf’s red carpet antics – while they also feature on more of the knitwear with the slogans “save me” and “thanks for nothing” or the repetition of the word “broken”. Considering the choice of words, perhaps Shannon’s message is that we live under a system which has made us “broke” and “broken”, from which we need to be saved from and that has basically given us nothing while tricking us into thinking that it has given us more.
It’s incredible the extent to which streetwear is underestimated or sometimes considered not to really belonging to fashion. Well, it does, so deal with it. The ‘bad boys’ featured in Mazhar’s show, with their shiny tracksuits and bomber jackets are exactly representative of fashion’s true spirit: innovation and subculture. David Bowie’s song ‘Fashion’ perfectly summarizes this. “There’s a brand new dance but I don’t know its name, that people from bad homes do again and again. It’s big and it’s bland full of tension and fear. They do it over there but we don’t do it here”. Yes, those are the people that don’t really get street wear and are slightly scared by it. But then all of a sudden “There’s a brand new talk, but it’s not very clear, that people from good homes are talking this year. It’s loud and tasteless and I’ve heard it before. You shout it while you’re dancing on the whole dance floor”. So don’t be shy or close-minded, embrace the diversity and be bold because at one point you’ll want to wear those clothes.