Apologies for the delay in posting about our exploits at Menswear Day we were sidetracked by window shopping, curry and beer yesterday. The Day itself was a huge success and the amount of design talent on show both on and off schedule just goes to show how far menswear has come over the last few years. It was great to take our seat and watch the momentum and excitement grow, the future of menswear design in London appears to be blindingly bright. Over the next few days we aim to take you through some of our favourite collections, taking a sneaky closer look where possible. First up, Omar Kashoura...
Over the last few seasons I have felt that he belonged on the schedule and after he was given the nod for AW10, he certainly did not disappoint. I was fortunate enough to preview the collection two weeks ago but it was amazing to see it come to life at Bedford and Strand. Both of us were left wide eyed and open jawed as the bearded models casually and confidently paraded themselves around the bar area in their Kashoura created adaptable city finery. As mentioned in the previous post Omar Kashoura drew inspiration from his own city lifestyle to create a collection designed for every day survival in a tough urban environment. Kashoura revisits the idea of outfitting the modern gentleman and has created a collection that adapts with the demanding lifestyle of the wearer. Items have a multi functional purpose. Trousers come with expertly hidden ankle cinch detailing for the morning cycle to work. Reversible, transferable items enable outerwear to become inner wear. A midnight blue metallic zip up sports jacket evolves in to a tailored blazer taking it from day wear to evening depending on the needs of the wearer. The bags, again a collaboration with the talented Jarah Stoop, continue this theme, designed to go from bike to office, day to night, with practical messenger bags becoming smart satchels.
Kashoura's collections never fail to showcase his tailoring talent, his ability at sourcing the very best technology rich fabrics and his attention to detail. The desire to protect ourselves from the edgy, foreboding nature of the urban landscape is also key, as emphasised by the padded detailing used on shirt bibs, collars and elbow patches. The padding creates a stark contrast to the sleek nature that eloquently flows throughout many of the pieces in this technically complex jackets. Jackets and tailored pieces are cut flat avoiding the extra volume of collars and pocket flaps maintaining a clean and polished look, something which is quickly becoming part of the designer's signature style.
In addition to the need for adaptable and functional pieces, Kashoura looked to the city for his palette inspiration. Midnight tones, moody greys and icy blue sit alongside woolen jersey flecked with bronze and dark glossy metallic jackets. An Antarctic inspired print is used to soften the collection and sees a fusion of pastel pinks, mauves and greys which combine and introduce a curious, dreamy feel to this extremely modern and urban landscape inspired collection.
I have to confess that as we watched Kashoura's modern gentleman paraded themselves around the bar area both myself and EJ were salivating over a number of pieces that we'd love to see in our own wardrobes. As well as invoking a desire to purchase his collection, Kashoura ended our Menswear Day exploits in true style and reminded us of the plethora of menswear design talent bubbling away in the capital.