London Fashion Week Menswear SS17September 30, 2016
Back in June, designers presented their thoughts on what men should be wearing next year. As expected, there was representation from all corners: athleisurewear and suiting, workwear and normcore. There was knitwear in the form of cardigans and sweaters with a 90s vibe, accentuated by Henry Holland’s Raver prints. Stripes and checks were also in evidence. Layering featured heavily and since this is London we’re talking about, known for its quirk factor, the man skirt was also on show. Here are my pick of the most fun, the most wearable, and the most downright horrible looks for London Fashion Week Menswear SS17.
House of Holland at London
Henry Holland made his name in printed t-shirts and these have reappeared for his menswear SS17 collection. Tongue in cheek prints with variations on popular brand names – “Ravers” for Quavers, “All Nite” in the Marmite logo design – look exactly like those I remember from the 1990s, printed on t-shirts and hoodies. Dungarees and baggy Bermuda shorts are very 90s raver too, but the track suit bottoms that match the tees are slim and not roomy. The models were draped with beads and smily faces, and one, a white boy with cornrows and cute 50s sunglasses looked exactly like “Fruitloop” from classic 90s movie Hackers. Sweet.
The collection heavily featured longline suits, mixed up with fun holiday sweatshirts and bomber jackets emblazoned with palm trees, anchors, and surprised seagulls. It moved into a red and green theme with denim jackets proudly displaying the England rose, a terry towelling playsuit, and then we were onto Nick Cave territory with satin lapelled suits with waistcoat. A kind of Americana theme followed with guitar and horse appliqués on a range of items including silky shirts and zip up track suits. Johnny Cash in athleisurewear seemed to have been the vision.
Phoebe English Man
Phoebe English presented a small, tight edit of pieces which would all work well together as a capsule wardrobe. Her palette was carefully limited to block colours inn indigo, cream, white, dark grey, blue grey, black and khaki with only a grey and white stripe as a concession to pattern, and her silhouette was baggy and awkward, seemingly inspired half by hospital scrubs and half by an English tourist trying Middle Eastern clothes on top of his own.
Xander Zhou at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Xander Zhou is one of the more outrageous offerings, with outsized garments with trailing sleeves, shrunken, cropped or layered tops, multi collared jackets and ribbons and belts flapping everywhere. Most interesting are his pink hoodies-as-dresses.
Bobby Abley at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Bobby Abley is definitely taking cues from Jeremy Scott. Models walk down the catwalk carrying vinyl teddies and wearing tabards with an embroidered genie lamp and faux Arabic lettering pronouncing “Rub me the right way”. Monkey heads and flame patterns also appear on hoodies and tracksuit bottoms along with Disney’s Aladdin and bad Persian carpet prints. There are tiny pink and blue swim shorts, faux fur coats, and horrible womenswear including nasty corsets. Really messy, not remotely witty.
Universal Works at
Universal Works offer very very practical, wearable clothes. They’re never going to set the internet alight but they are infinitely marketable. Low key bomber jackets, unlined suit jackets, chinos, shirts. Bermuda shorts is as daring as it gets and a yellow neckerchief the loudest colour in a sea of olive green, beige, and discreet navy. Think High Street retailer Gap.
Craig Green at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Craig Green is making some tremendously interesting deconstructed menswear. Layers and layers of handkerchief hems cover anoraks in exquisite colour schemes of peach, pink, white and beige with a pop of sky blue, or more rowdy teal, turquoise, emerald green and black with scarlet as the accent colour. Some of his designs resemble re-made hippy quilts, some are more sedate pinstripe but with flowing trousers slit to the knee. Really innovative and I suspect one to watch.
Oliver Spencer at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
You can tell that Oliver Spencer is doing a 1990s inspiration because his first models come on to the catwalk wearing those little round glasses and soon there’s a lanky, unkempt one who looks like later-stage Jarvis Cocker. Knitted cardigans abound, carefully unmatched with checkered shirts and velvet trousers, long scarves, bomber jackets and even bucket hats. However, Oliver Spencer seems unable to truly get into that mismatched Oxfam shop 90s thing and his colour palette is carefully considered Dad tones: burgundy, navy, and mustard; olive green, grey and black. Patterns are restricted to pinstripes, stripes and plaid.
Agi & Sam at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Agi & Sam position themselves square in the middle of menswear trends: neither too outrageous nor too conservative. This translates into cheerful tangerine bomber jackets with check trousers, t shirts with Del Boy prints, safari jackets, zipped brocade jackets and some truly horrible cow hide jackets. Agi & Sam are also flirting with the gender blurring thing, and their men wear skirts and flowers behind the ears as well as… Are they brightly coloured washing up gloves? Anyway, the catwalk is shared by female models, and in the spirit of equality, they have to wear the horrible cow hide jackets too.
Hardy Amies at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Hardy Amies has been in business for such a venerable amount of time, producing classic garments since 1945, and we wouldn’t expect him to suddenly come up with a lime-green mankini. Accordingly, his show was full of immaculately cut suiting in blue, sand, black, white and check, but the silhouette is slick and anything but old fashioned. Trousers are narrow but not skinny and the jacket hits either at the top of the hip or top of the thigh for the more long line version, and come in either single or double breasted versions, worn with t shirts or a more formal shirt underneath. Casual denim style jackets and blousons were also shown but on the whole, Hardy Amies was all about the precise tailoring.
JW Anderson at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
JW Anderson is all about the blurring of gender lines, and his menswear for SS17 included fluid cropped trousers and silky scarlet mackintoshes that certainly wouldn’t have looked out of place in a womenswear collection. Man bags that looked a great deal like handbags further played with the rules. Apart from that, the collection was all about layering, with colourful oversized shirts atop the fluid trousers and equally colourful denim style jackets on top of those. Knee length hoodies, shirts and jumpers also appeared, some with trailing arms. Accessories included goggles, crowns, and some very desirable wrestling boots.
Christopher Kane at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Christopher Kane’s womenswear is known for being wildly inventive so it comes as a surprise that his menswear is so tidy and neat. Carefully buttoned up black mackintoshes give way to suits that give way to Bermuda shorts suits, each element designed from the same monotone print. There is also an all-red outfit, in exactly the same shade of scarlet, including man bag, and further all-grey-tweed and all-one-print outfits too. Not only the man bag but even the socks are in that print, an elegant broken vertical stripe in bright colours. The design re-appears in monotone and in size variations. Overall colours are clean beige, black, white and scarlet, along with a pleasant lavender and grey. Standout accessory? (Bespoke) socks with sandals aren’t going to go unnoticed.
Sibling at London Fashion Week Menswear SS17
Sibling’s shows are always fun. This time they gave us knitted swimming trunks in bold patterns topped with matching knitted sweaters and cardigans, knotted stripy shirts, dressing gowns and beach towels emblazoned with “Sibling”. A kind of open-necked shirt combined with swimming trunks was a theme. Slouchy white trousers with unbuttoned white cardis worn over nothing at all were definitely summery, while more unusually lacy white Bermuda shorts and little lacy vests made an appearance. Very cute lacy bomber jackets were available for both men and women, who were sharing the catwalk. Dresses and skirts for the women were not replicated for the men but the same colours, fabrics and prints flowed across the entire collection for both genders resulting in a fun, wearable show.