London Collections: Men – AW14.

Marking the start of AW14’s global unveiling, London Collections: Men kicked off its fourth season with some serious panache.  Fashion commentators have branded this season’s collections ‘surprisingly wearable,’ with many designers striving to rework classic pieces and scoring highly on practicality and mass appeal in the process. We’re viewing this season as an encapsulation of classic masculinity, but with plenty of pieces fit for pillaging and plundering for ourselves in the coming months.

Lou Dalton

Once again setting the bar for her fellow designers, Dalton’s working man inspired collection nailed the nerve wracking task of officially launching London Collections: Men.  Influenced by the farmhands of her youth, Dalton’s collection focused largely on wardrobe staples of Fair Isle knits, western jackets and bleached distressed denim. Her work fused utility and pragmatism with an awkward sense of formality; tough camo-printed shirts contrasted with beautifully soft cream cashmere sweaters and three-piece suits in practical khaki. Dalton continued the vein of pragmatism and wearability with oversized camel coats to bring warming solace throughout the winter months, functional cord trousers and resilient denim shirts.

Images courtesy of London Collections

Christopher Raeburn

The Christopher Raeburn collection expertly combined classic pieces, such as bomber jackets and sweatshirts, with an intrepid arctic vibe.  Simple sweatshirts acquired polar bear emblems, jackets were heavily padded and the sheepskin coats of the collection almost resembled huge polar bear pelts (which we loved). A low-key colour palette was injected with survivalist hues of khaki and grey, inspired by the Last Days of the Arctic exhibition. The logo jumpers and military style bomber jackets, in particular, exude a laidback, cool aesthetic which will not doubt ensure mass market appeal for this collection when it hits the rails.

Images courtesy of London Collections

Burberry Prorsum

We never thought we’d see the day when a string vest became a central player in a Burberry line up but oh how wrong we were! In almost every ensemble, the white string vest provided a contrasting focal point to an otherwise polished collection, clearly visible beneath brightly printed kimonos, shirts and knotted scarves, smart velvet jackets and Burberry’s signature trench coat.  There was a huge mix of sartorial references in this collection; the smartly tailored twill trousers, printed scarves and vests gave the impression of an effeminate down on his luck aristocrat, whereas the Navajo jackets, printed blankets thrown over shoulders and fur jackets told of travellers headed across the globe. From the loosely knotted scarves to the woven blankets oh-so-casually thrown around the models’ shoulders, the cultured and eclectic collection provided a rich tapestry of imitable looks to draw on.

Images courtesy of London Collections

Kent and Curwen

Simon Spurr seriously held his own amongst the fashion heavyweights as his first season as Creative Director of Kent and Curwen got underway. The collection, influenced by British naval dress uniform, stayed true to the brand’s signature sharp tailoring, fusing classic wearability with contemporary sensibilities. It was difficult to miss the blatant military element, from the collared pea coats and tailored blazers to the abundance of classic military hues in navy, khaki and camel. There was also a nostalgic element to the collection; the tough biker jacket, as well as the roll neck jumper and blue blazer combination, straight out of a Jean-Luc Godard flick, were among some of the classic pieces Spurr reworked with a contemporary twist.

Images courtesy of London Collections

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