London Collections Men A/W 16: Winners and losers
London Collections Men is one of the biggest menswear events in the world and has been instrumental in helping to create the global buzz that is surrounding the world of men’s fashion.
Basically what I’m saying is that it’s really important, all the best British talent are there and it’s going to help set the trend of what’s to join your wardrobe over the coming year.
As important as it is, for some reason I have been asked to report on the event. I’ll let you decide as to whether that was a good idea at the end. Let’s crack on and have a look at LC:M A/W 16 shall we?
Best Overall Show: Oliver Spencer
When choosing my best overall show I usually go for a mix of innovation and wearability (fashion buzzword alert) because fashion is all about creativity so as much as I enjoy dressing like your Dad, things get stale and need to move on quickly. On the other hand though a collection needs to be wearable in the real world where human beings live; as much as I enjoy having human beings strapped to me (I’m looking at you Rick Owens) it’s not really the appropriate attire for when I’m popping down to the shops for an Ice cream.
This year Oliver Spencer brought that to the table, while some of it was predictably mad (hello striped sweater vests) on the whole the collection was very wearable and with a few minor adjustments you could see it hitting the highstreet tomorrow.
It’s easy to love Oliver’s use of rich browns and coppers as well as the excellent combination of patterns, from stripes to checks, with it being implemented particularly well on the outerwear. The whole collections channelled the 70’s in a very positive way but felt really contemporary, Oliver Spencer continues to impress.
Best tailoring looks- Dunhill
Our Next award is all about tailoring. See tailoring for me is a lot like a beautiful woman, I love it but too often just from a distance. See as much as I’d like to strut around in great suits all the time the cripplingly depressing pocket dimension that is the infinite void of my wallet prevents me from doing otherwise. Still though I can live vicariously through overs and L:CM Dunhill allowed me to do just that.
There was a lot of impressive tailoring on display at L:CM with Hardy Amies and Duchamp coming to mind but for me the best of the lot was Dunhill. It is of course a British event and Dunhill came with a collection so British it almost hurts. As a card carrying vagabond I imagine that this is what people who went to public school dressed like at all those fancy dinners they go to. Perfectly tailored I really enjoyed the double breasted suiting in navy but what really stole the show for me was the eveningwear. Particularly the double breasted velvet jackets in black and copper. If I ever get invited to a black tie event I’m definitely going to wear velvet. It’s the shortbread of fabrics.
Best casual look- Sibling (Men’s)
When I say casual I mean so casual they could be pyjamas. I was really impressed by Siblings show this year, with crazy bold prints, excellent cuban collar polo shirts, and long billowy robes the collection was very impressive.
Now I used to box about a hundred years ago and the clear boxing inspiration behind this has maybe made me a little bias, but boxing seems to be the go to inspiration at the moment with loungewear specialists Hamilton and Hare launching a similarly themed collection earlier this year. Sportswear is clearly still a big influence.
Best Collection theme- Belstaff
Look, sometimes we all like manly stuff. And that’s okay, sometimes we need to grow a beard pound some whiskey and beat our chests. You know what’s really manly? Exploring frozen mountains on a motorcycle. I don’t have motorbike, in fact I don’t even own a bicycle (I can do some sweet tricks on a scooter though) and the closest I’ve been to an actual mountain was when I went past Mount Fuji on the Bullet Train but don’t worry because Belstaff are here to keep my dreams of ruggedness alive.
They’re collection based on the aforementioned polar explorers adds an extra slice of rugged to a brand that was always fairly many anyway; I love the big coats with the fur trim and shearling lining worn with the leather motorcycle pants and big heavy boots. In real life the only thing I’d be able to pull off is the outerwear but I’m really impressed by how the whole Belstaff collection takes you to a particular time and place while still remaining contemporary and wearable
And now that nonsense is over, let’s take a look and see if we actually learned anything from L:CM A/W 16. Here are the top six biggest trends that you that be aware of in the coming year.
- Relaxed trousers: Look, the age of the super skinny fit is over and while they’re will always be a place for tasteful skinny fits out there the wind is blowing towards a more relaxed feel. This has been the case for the last few shows and continues to be the case now; the look was really evident in the Topman show which is always a good indicator of what’s going to be big, if the high streets are getting into something then you know it has legs.
- Copper: Last year was the year of Camel, with camel being the go to colour if you wanted to add a little bit of spice to an outfit but this year is going to be all about copper. That Browny/Orange colour looks great and it’s not something we’ve seen much of before. It also invokes images of the 1970’s the current decade Du Jour.
- Silk jackets: Yes silk, that softest of fabrics was big this year at L:CM this year as well as shiny metallic fabrics. The easiest way to wear silk this year is to get a souvenir jacket, kinda like a bomber jacket but with crazy detailing on; loud and a great way to make a statement. Trust me when I tell you they’ll be everywhere in a year's time.
- Shearling: Shearling, which is basically the posh way of saying “sheep hair” had a big moment at the end of 2015 popping up on collars and jacket linings anywhere it was cold enough to wear it. Shearling will continue to be popular this year but it’s going loud. What was once a lining is now moving to the outside of your clothes to create sumptuous furry looks.
- Overcoats and Hoodies: Overcoats have always been cool and they’ll always look good worn over your favourite suit but we are living in a post-Yeezy world and now overcoats are all about that slouchy fit. L:CM continued this trend with numerous collections like Mackintosh and Agi & Sam showcasing this trend. This year it became the go to thing wear a hoody underneath your overcoat to dress it down. Thank you Kanye.
- Sportswear: There’s nothing to say here except that sportswear was huge last year and it’s going to be even bigger this year which is great if you’re a sneakerhead like me.
So L:CM A/W 16 is over and we are heading full stride into the fashion calendar with Pitti Uomo happening right now it’s an exciting time to be in the menswear game. As usual I’ll be here keeping a beady eye on things so you don’t have to.