As mentioned earlier in the week, one of the real highlights of LFW was the launch of NEWGEN MEN. The exciting initiative rightfully places menswear right at the fore front of fashion and provides a platform for the very best menswear talent. James Long and Carolyn Massey were of course the inaugral recipients of the the award but what of the designers who graduated from the MAN platform before this new initiative came in to place. Fashion156 posted a nice little 'Where are they now' feature back in March where they rightly praised the Topman/Fashion East MAN showcase and updated their readers on the progress of their graduates. At that time, there had been a total of fourteen designers who had taken part in the MAN showcase. Names like Aitor Throup and Kim Jones were still familiar and prominent but there were a number of talented designers who had fallen off my radar somewhat. The best example is Hans Madsen.
Danish native Hans Madsen graduated with an MA in Knitwear from the Royal College of Art in 2007, recognized for his well-crafted, conceptual and approachable pieces. Since graduating Hans went on to show his debut AW08 collection as part of MAN and returned the following season with his SS09 collection. Since moving on from showing as part of the MAN lineup, he has continued to hone in on his raw edged and ever so slightly romantic take on street-influenced menswear. Despite his designs being available here in London at b Store, I have to confess that he had fallen off my fashion radar. So I was extremely pleased when I heard the news (thanks to Dazed Digital) that FAE (First Among Equals) an independent purveyor of obscure labels will give Madsen his first American debut with his AW09 collection. This piece of news reminded me how much I love his nordic influenced designs. Here's hoping that he returns to London Fashion Week as part of an even larger Menswear lineup next season.