Thursday, 26 February 2009

What an afternoon...highlights from LFW

Yesterday was a whole lot of fun...tiring but fun. There was just so much to take in (I think I turned on to auto pilot more than once whilst I was tweeting during the shows) and I was far from disappointed from what I saw. With the expansion of the menswear shows, the expectation levels were high but I think the chosen few designers really excelled themselves. There was something for everyone, a healthy balance between designers who created highly wearable collections and those who pushed ideas to their limits. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts over on the Fashion156 blog because I was typing those when I was both excited and weary eyed. This will be the first of many posts documenting my thoughts and experiences (I still badly need to go through my photographs)...but until then, please see my highlights.

After being given her solo show, all eyes were on Carolyn Massey hungry for something special, she did not disappoint. Whilst creating one of the most wearable collections on offer all week she also threw in enough excitement and interest to leave me almost breathless (hence the slowdown on twitter during this show). Carolyn is undeniably a designer who really cares about the history of menswear and fabric research which she combined perfectly here to create timeless pieces which would add so much to any man's wardrobe (but certainly mine)!

Through his interpretation of old world masculinity J.W Anderson dragged us into a brave new world. As well as creating imaginary uniforms for old voyages Anderson played with traditional formal dress with his printed pencil cotton suit which posed a faux tuxedo and the tringular body hopsack tweed coat which was cut as a cape.

James Long surprised me most by his varied collection. In recent seasons Long has become one of the most exciting designers showing at LFW but this collection saw the designer take a giant leap forward. As the first few looks were unveiled I began to settle in a state of awe at the sight of neutral toned nomadic warriors dressed in some truly beautiful knits parade down the runway but then James Long slapped me in the face with a burst of claret which raised my state of awe to some truly dangerous levels.

Midway through the afternoon I escaped the tents and found time to grab a drink and a breather at the Fashion East/MAN House. As well quenching my physical thirst I quenched my ever present thirst to be challenged and to marvel at exciting clothing. In the basement of the house, Jaiden rVa James presented a glimpse into a rabble collection of the insane, institutionalised for their various acts of perversion and clothed in straight jackets and bondage trousers to floral printed kilts and shirts. Exposed zips played a significant part in a number of key looks which only heightened the exploration in to the darkest facets of sexual desire. By delving into a collection of damaged minds and uncovering some dark secrets along the way they have created one of the highlights of LFW. I for one would love to see more men experiment with such a playful exploration of masculinity, I'm certainly attracted to their kilts and floral print shirts which were contrasted with pleated panels which played with texture and colour. Katie Eary was in the dining room of the House and created the most sinister tea party imaginable as she went all out in her biggest commission to date. She literally nailed her love of all things macabre to the walls in the form of abattoir-esque meat hooks and farmer's tools which helped display her collection which contained gold pig skins, human sized dutch caps, knitwear looking crystal and gaffa tape trousers and fur pieces. Many pictures of both of these collections will be posted in the next few days.

In summary, I was surprised by the extent and consistency of leaving impressed show after show, so much so that I craved a lie down after a second visit to the MAN house on Cromwell Road. Lets hope that next season at LFW menswear is given an even bigger platform to showcase the talented designers out there because this afternoon although leaving me tired, left me wanting more.


~ Faith said...

One can never go wrong with neutral toned nomadic warriors.


Giancinephile said...

As for me I seriously fell in love with Lou Dalton!

Q.E.D. was a good addition to the shows. Rozalb de Mura (did I spell that right) was also good.

And for variety and wearability, I seem to have enjoyed the few menswear looks from John Rocha and Topman Design!

Anyways where waaaaaaaaaaaas Carola Euler amidst all the action?

Matthew Spade said...

oh wow the CM collection looks great, il have to look for more pictures online. il check your 156 review out abit later on too, it's a wicked website.

i look forward to more photos and comments about the show. i'm so going to try and get to the show next year, it's possible that i might be working in london so it's not unrealistic.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Faith: I couldn't agree more. These looks were stunning.
Giancinephile: You have such fine taste! I too love all of the shows mentioned, espcially Lou Dalton but I missed these shows. I will write up a full review including the ones I missed later this weekend.
Mat Ahoy: Fashion156 has some great backstage images online already and I'll be writing up Carolyn's photo diary as soon as I get the images through from her. I'll be posting up some more images soooooon.

Unknown said...

Top coverage! Katie Eary is so immensely talented.

/Male Mode.

TheSundayBest said...

To paraphrase Tim Blanks, these would be good looks if you're battling alien monsters from another dimension. In other words - fugly.

Anonymous said...

Cillian: I expect big things from her over over the course of the next two seasons.
TheSundayBest: We agree on so much but it is point where we disagree most. Tim Blanks is an aged gentleman, he has seen so much and I have the upmost respect for him but I find his perpective on many shows to be dated and yawn inducing. What is the point in focussing on ready to wear fashion and dismissing anything else which strives to be different? For me, the whole point of Fashion Week is to create looks which inspire and provoke a reaction and London provides this more than any other city. London designers ftw.


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