Fashion Week

NYFW SS14: Day 3

NYFW Day 3 got off to an infinitely more sprightly start that the previous two mornings thanks to an uncharacteristically sensible decision to skip the parties in favour of an early night and a somewhat unsuccessful attempt to make a dent in my emails. My first show of the day was Lacoste at Lincoln Centre so I guzzled as much coffee as possible and steeled myself to enter the mayhem.

NYFW SS14

I wore: Tibi top & skirt, ALDO sandals & Mulberry bag 

Indeed the place was absolutely teaming and the show queue resembled some sort of well dressed protest march. Thankfully I found myself standing next to Caroline Issa and Susie Lau and pretty promptly we were whisked through by a London PR amid evils and not-so-subtle sighs from the antsy show goers around us. The FROW boasted a bevvy of industry names including Caroline, Susie, Mira Duma (so freaking beautiful in the flesh it’s ridic) Susie Menkes, Hanneli Mustaparta, Leigh Leizark and Robbie Meyers.

There was one hell of a delay in starting and the combination of excessive air con and minimal clothing situation resulted in an extremely un-chic case of goose pimples. Finally a deliciously French male voice came on the speakers and sent everyone to their seats for the show to begin. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be happening right away thanks to a rebellious FROW-er refusing to uncross their legs (crossed legs get in the photographers way) but eventually the bellows from the pap pit took effect and whoever the offending party was decided to play ball. What ensued was a collection so flawless it wiped away all Lincoln Center induced stress with cleaner-than-clean lines inspired by those seen on a tennis court and the precision of a perfectly executed serve. Given Lacoste’s sporting heritage, it makes sense for x to include an element of athleticism in his collections but doing so inevitably runs the risk of repetition, especially given fashion’s fixation with “sports luxe” over the past few seasons. Gratifyingly, there was none of that here and the SS14 collection felt fresh and contemporary with none of the naff accoutrements so often associated with the trend. Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista may have referenced tennis skirts and polo shirts but they were nothing like those you’ve seen before.

NYFW SS14

Lacoste SS14

With sculpted yet soft silhouettes in fabrics including neoprene, crispest cotton, leather and, most delectably of all, brushed suede this was about as haute sport as it gets, albeit in the most understated of manners. Colours ranged from tennis whites to powdery pastels and strong shades of burgundy, navy and green. Sheer panelling cropped up here too and, in a slightly geeky way, I relished the comparison between Lacoste’s take on what is clearly going to be a major look for SS14 and what I’d seen from the likes of Helmut Lang and BCBG.

After a quick trip to the nearest Starbucks I hopped on the subway to 34th street for show number two, Prabal Gurung. As you might remember, I died at the designer’s insanely awesome take on military couture last season so was excited to see what he had up his sleeve for SS14. Well, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. As soon as I entered the venue which had been decked out with black benches and an iridescent, box structure in the centre I knew we were in for something special. After the obligatory half hour delay a troop of models clad in what just a glimpse informed me were exquisite creations trooped out to radio silence and lined up inside the aforementioned “box”. The music struck up and one by one they walked out of the box and around the rectangular catwalk. I can’t even begin to do justice to the collection with my description but you know me, I’ll give it a go.

NYFW SS14

Prabal Gurung SS14

Couture silhouettes married with incredible technical fabrics ranging from double bonded cotton to laminated tulle, Napa leather and screen printed translucent PVC. Cinched waists and ladylike hemlines were combined with a colour palette including acid brights and sugary shades of candy pink, lilac and saccharine green further adding to the modern day Marie Antoinette feel. Indeed, while Prabal’s latest offerings were mesmerisingly stunning there was air of subversion lurking not too far beneath the surface which, aside from the unbelievably amount of skill and imagination it takes to deliver something like this, is what made the show so compelling. Those who criticise New York Fashion need only look to Prabal Gurung to be proved very wrong indeed.

NYFW SS14

Prabal Gurung SS14

Once I’d recovered from the state of sartorially induced awe Prabal’s show had put me in I realised that I had a couple of hours spare before my next engagement, a rare treat during fashion week! Naturally I frittered most of it away stopping in shops and accidentally getting on the wrong subway line but it was still a relief not to be rushing from place to place at a rate of knots. Not that what I had on that afternoon was exactly stressful, in fact quite the opposite. Remember PRISM by Anna Laub’s rooftop presentation at The Standard last September? Well this year they did it again and the whole thing was possibly even more awesome thanks to the A-MAZING collection and chilled out ambiance, not to mention the fact I knew a lot more people this time around so didn’t have to lurk in the corner on my lonesome.

NYFW SS14

NYFW

Prism NYFW

In between catching up with various familiar faced fashion week-ers, indulging in a cheeky 3pm cocktail in the sunshine and chatting with the lovely (and ridiculously gorgeous) Anna herself I was in no rush to leave. Eventually the models left their perches and, still fantasising about owning a pair of PRISM pastel shades, I reluctantly decided to hit the road before I actually got kicked out.

Day 3 was definitely an enjoyable one. Great shows, evenly spread out with no need to run around like a lunatic or go anywhere near Lincoln Center. My final port of call was Pier 57 for Tibi. Much like Marios Schwab in London, I always feel a little nostalgic about this particular show because it was the first one I ever attended in the city. Since that first fateful trip to NYFW I’ve been at the Tibi show every season since and Amy Smilovic’s collections just keep getting stronger and stronger. I think it’s fair to say that the Tibi aesthetic has changed definitively since the days when it was known for pretty print dresses were Amy’s calling card. But if the AW13 collection really hammered the minimalist point home, this season marks the return of something a little softer. Don’t get me wrong, the clean lines and air of fuss free simplicity that have put Tibi ahead of the pack in recent years but there was an element of femininity this time around which I absolutely adored.

NYFW

Tibi SS14

Oversized motorcycle jackets and boxy shapes were offset by adornments of white embellishment, delicate prints and lace inserts. For SS14 it’s evidently going to be all about the slouch and there was plenty of nonchalant, fluid fit tailoring here alongside laser cut cotton, sheer panelling (yes, more!) and fringe trimmings. The palette was an earthy medley of neutrals with pea green a’ plenty and the odd pop of tantalising tangerine. Overall Tibi’s latest offerings were a perfect culmination of Amy’s hard graft and the brands aesthetic evolution. Wearable, covetable and just the ride side of androgynous with a prevailing feeling of ease guaranteed to make you wish you were wearing it.

Much as I’d have loved to stick around post show and carry on catching up with fellow attendees The Elgin Avenue’s Monica Beatrice Welburn and Sandra’s Closet founder, Sandra Bauchnecht I had places to be and people to see so sprinted off into the New York night. As those of you who follow me on Instagram may have spotted, that evening I took the ferry to Governors Island for the Parisian Ball organised by my lovely friend Sharoni. This post is now verging into essay territoty so I won’t give you a blow by blow but I will tell you that there were vintage funfair rides, renowned Djs and countless fabulous attendees involved, in other words it was epic.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 5 Comments

NYFW SS14: Day 2 Part 2

Picking up where we left off yesterday, after spending an hour or two re-caffeinating and attempting to catch up on emails I felt infinitely less frazzled by the time I arrived at off-site NYFW venue, the Skylight at Moynihan Station for the Rag & Bone show. Inside the amazing venue the atmosphere has taken on a party feel and I had a good laugh catching up with the London team before taking my seat on the second row and counting how many people were sporting Rag & Bone’s distinctive Harrow boots. I lost count pretty quickly as every other person was in a pair, the leather trouser count also swiftly reached double figures. I’ll admit, I felt a bit of a prat in my pink floral frock but hey, at least you couldn’t miss me. Luckily I wasn’t alone in my day glo outfit choice, Purple Fashion Creative Director, Paula Goldstein was wearing an incredible, neon orange Matthew Williamson ensemble and happened to be seated next to me, no doubt confirming all stereotypes about “quirky” Brits.

NYFW SS14

Rag & Bone SS14

Eventually the lights went up and Sam Rollinson opened the show in an gobsmackingly chic ice white number with black accessories and crisp pleat detailing. This clever subversion of a preppy-in-theory style set the time for a truly ingenious show. What I personally adore about Rag & Bone is that they do the whole androgynous, downtown thing brilliantly but still offer pieces that appeal to blouse aficionados like myself. Admittedly there weren’t many tops that could really be termed “blouses” in this collection but Markus Wainright and David Neville’s slick take on urban tailoring offered fluid silks in palest blush and pops of neon that got my heart racing.

NYFW SS14

Rag & Bone SS14

Evidently fashion’s obsession with all things 90s won’t be disappearing anytime soon but Rag & Bone’s take on it felt different and infinitely more up my street than what we’ve seen before. Polo shirt style collars and cricket jumpers came reimagined in leather and neoprene with softly sculpted silhouettes that subverted associations with prep. Bias cut, shimmering spaghetti strap slip dresses were paired with fierce ankle boots and luxed up satchels in shades of lilac and cream had just a hint of school girl about them, a look I’d like to be all over come spring. Crop top fans will be happy to hear they won’t be going anywhere either and Rag & Bone’s leather version had “cult hit” written all over it. Owning pretty much any of this collection is guaranteed to make you feel incredibly smug about your sheer hipness and as for those croc accessories, where, when and how can I pre order?!

Day 2 was certainly a marathon and at 6pm, I still had two more shows ahead of me. After grabbing a high speed bite to eat and while attempting to Instagram and answer emails simultaneously I headed downtown for Helmut Lang at the Pace Gallery.

NYFW Helmut Lang SS14

Helmut Lang SS14

Shuddering at the memory of the snowstorm outside Helmut Lang last season I took my seat and waited for the show to begin. On the FROW were the usual coterie of Editors, Helmut clad hipsters and a moody looking Taylor Momsen. After a few minutes I was bumped up too which, being the petty loser I am, made me very happy indeed. It also enabled me to really appreciate the incredible detail, skill and quality of material involved in creating such a powerfully minimalist collection. Stark, crisp and cut with razor sharp precision, paired with pool sliders (also evidently sticking around for SS14) and the most incredibly python clutches. Leather was expertly manipulated to the point of resembling tailored cotton and zip detailing added just a touch of athleticism. Another major trend I’ve picked up on, or rather would have been blind to miss, is sheer gauzy fabrics with strategically placed silk panelling. Helmut Lang delivered a toughened up take on the look with such a no nonsense feel to it you’d almost forget that the wearer has virtually no clothes on.

Helmut Lang NYFW SS14

Helmut Lang SS14

We all filed out of Helmut Lang and for some unknown reason I set off towards MIlK Studios at speed without bothering to check if the show was actually there. Surprise, surprise it wasn’t and I had the very annoying experience of walking back the way I came to the SUNO NY venue, Centre 548, literally 50 metres from Helmut Lang’s. Rather frustrating, not to mention painful thanks to the chronic blisters I’d already acquired but I certainly wasn’t going to give up, go home and miss the SUNO show! Centre 548 is a truly awesome venue but good God is getting everyone in a long process. The Chelsea loft is accessible only via a freight lift which has to be operated by a rather angry man in uniform, only fits about ten people and moves incredibly slowly. That said, once everyone’s in it’s totally worth the hassle and the white washed, open plan space provided was simply perfect for showcasing the explosion of print which have become SUNO’s much coveted trademark.

NYFW SS14

SUNO NY SS14

Well it was prints I wanted and prints I got! Table cloth patterns have never looked so covetable but they weren’t the only eye popper on the menu by a long way. The collection was a riot of texture, colour and pattern, gloriously clashing in a way that should be wrong but is oh so right in the capable hands of Max Ostwerweis and Erin Beatty. The duo served up pleated crisp cotton, laser cut leather, pink and metallic floral brocade and shimmering metallic embroidery. How all that can end up exuding a cool tomboy vibe is beyond me but somehow Max and Erin manage it!

NYFW SS14

SUNO NY SS14

We’ve seen a lot of in-your-face prints and bold colour these past few seasons but SUNO does the joyful stuff I love in a way that feels fresh, new and totally fash forward. Boxy silhouettes and Nicholas Kirkwood shower sandals add a touch of geek chic in a deliciously uncontrived manner and if the deafening applause that followed the finale was anything to go by, I wasn’t the only person smitten. For me, SUNO NY’s SS14 offerings epitomised what makes them so in-demand and earned their well deserved CFDA award this year; skill, boundless imagination and the balls to go a different way to every other label, refreshing and inspiring to see. I think it’s safe to say that SUNO just rocketed right up my most wanted labels list!

Love Ella. X

Images via Style.com

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 2 Comments

NYFW SS14: Day 2 Part 1

NYFW day two got off to a rather unfortunate start thanks to a foolish decision to crash at Serena’s apartment. Had I not totally slept through my alarm I could have happily trotted the 5 minutes back to Prince Street in time to groom and get some much needed work done. As it was, I woke up with precisely half an hour until I had to leave for the Peter Som show, forcing me to make a horribly panicked dash home to squeeze in a high speed shower and shovel some porridge down before heading to MILK Studios.

NYFW SS14

I wore: Kate Spade New York dress, Karen Walker sunglasses, Kurt Geiger sandals & Michael Kors bag

I arrived just in the nick of time and Som’s latest offerings certainly made neglecting my overflowing inbox worth it. I’m not sure how best to describe a collection that combined everything from graphic prints and androgynous tailoring to sheer chiffon and pastel blooms yet somehow felt utterly cohesive. Eclectic yet measured, fashion forward yet wearable, Peter Som struck the perfect balance between picture pretty and directional with messy chignons and lace up brogues adding an air of effortless nonchalance. Print and pattern came in plentiful supply including eye boggling graphic swirls, wide stripes and florals. How Som managed to dream up all this and not neglect texture – matte, silk, neoprene, glitter infused tweed to name but a few – is beyond me. What can I say, the man covered all bases to create a collection that will appeal to many while still exuding an air of niche, fash pack chic.

NYFW SS14

Peter Som SS14

We piled out of MILK Studios to be greeted by hoards of photographers and after navigating my way through the fray I made a beeline for Starbucks. Caffeine becomes less of an indulgence and more of a necessity during fashion month! One venti triple shot skinny latte later I felt I’d actually woken up and trotted through the streets of Chelsea excited for show number two. To be honest awakening from my zombie state was probably less to do with the three shots of espresso in my coffee and more to do with the fact I was headed to the Kate Spade New York Presentation. As you all know all too well, I have a bit (hello extreme understatement) of a penchant for the Manhattan bred harbinger of all things preppy and playful. I completely and utterly adored last season’s homage to the Big Apple so was intrigued to see what Creative Director, Deborah Lloyd concocted for SS14. After all, “Taxi” clutches and New York skyline prints aren’t exactly something you can do time and again without running the risk of things getting more than a little repetitive. Well, I’m happy to say that Kate Spade’s latest array of sartorial delights retain the air of tongue-in-cheek chic we all know and love while offering something new thanks to this season’s inspiration, European travel. This wasn’t an oblique reference though, the collection charted the Kate Spade girl’s journey through Capri and Paris then on to Monaco via the kind of just-the-right-side-of-kitsch detailing I’m always delighted to see. The Chelsea loft space had been transformed into a luscious garden complete with vivid green, immaculately groomed hedges, wrought iron cafe tables and lemon trees, a motif echoed in the prints, palette and accessories of the first ensembles.

NYFW SS14

NYFW

NYFW SS14

NYFW SS14

NYFW SS14

NYFW SS14

NYFW SS14

From eye-popping yellow and Limoncello motifs it was on to Parisian inspired looks which were very much in keeping with my own (inaccurate) idea of what natives of the French fashion capital wear, delicate lace numbers, creamy A-line minis, shimmering rose gold jacquard and dainty dresses, each more adorable than the one before. Finally the collection looked to Monaco with wide stripes, full skirts and chequerboard clutches. I left the presentation craving a holiday, preferably kitted out head-to-toe in Kate Spade.

One of the things I always find fascinating during fashion week is how you can go from one show or presentation to the next and be smitten by such utterly opposing aesthetics. This would really reach its pique during day five (coming soon, well soon-ish) but I had a taster on my second morning with the transition from Kate Spade to Jenni Kayne. As you might remember from my interview with Jenni, the Californian designer is all about ease. No trussed up, cinched waisted stiletto clad fuss and muss just simple garments you can run around town in. While this is true of her designs, I fear it doesn’t do justice to Jenni Kayne’s design prowess. Her pieces may be straightforward and utterly wearable but they are also precise and beautifully crafted with hits of pattern and luxe fabrics adding just the right dose of intrigue. I was particularly enamoured by the tweed skort suit and coffee colour crocodile midi skirt, easy elegance if ever I saw it.

Jenni Kayne NYFW

NYFW

After Jenni Kayne it was back to Soho for my first BIG show of the week, Jason Wu. Jason Wu’s shows are never anything less than fabulous. The venue, the FROW and of course the collection are guaranteed to be the stuff of fashion dreams. This time around it was held in Soho and the A List attendee quotient included Jessica Pare (AKA Mad Men’s Megan Draper), the Courtin Clarins sisters and Anna Wintour to name but a few. Thanks to a more intimate venue than last season, the people watching opportunities were par excellence and I spent a happy half hour ogling Wu frocks until the show began.

jason wu

Jason Wu SS14

Accurately titled, “A Dialogue Between Construction And Ease”, Jason Wu’s latest collection was a masterclass in mixing evening with daywear and structure with (haute) slouch to create looks that really felt like a departure from the last few seasons’, admittedly stunning, va va voom power dresses. Karen Elson opened the show in a shimmering bias cut number which smoothly ran into an array of looks combining iridescent paillettes with pared back safari style tailoring in soft, neutral hues. The prevailing aesthetic was soft, sensual and tastefully luxurious with rich textures ranging from buttersoft leather and sumptuous silks to sheer chiffon and gossamer fine knits. While there were a more than a few truly show stopping, floor sweepers, Wu also offered his women an array of separates, jumpsuits and luscious crocodile accessories. The show closed with monochrome gowns that managed to be dramatic in the most understated possible way and a deafening round of applause from the attendees.

Day 2 part 2 coming soon!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 4 Comments

NYFW SS14: Day 1

Right, enough messing around, let’s crack on with the New York Fashion Week coverage. Day 1 of NYFW SS14 kicked off with Nicholas K up at Lincoln Center. Having got home sometime in the wee hours thanks to a night that turned out to be rather more fun than intended (click here for a reminder) my mind wasn’t exactly at its sharpest, always a great way to start seven days of shows, or not. Having decided there was no WAY I’d even attempt the subway without an iced latte in hand I found myself running late and leaping on completely the wrong train in a state of panic. When I finally realised my mistake it was all I could do not to burst into tears but melting down so early in to fashion month would have been a bit pathetic so instead I leapt into the nearest taxi and spent the next 20 rather expensive minutes stuck in mid town traffic. This anxiety overload turned out to be entirely unnecessary because, as I’m sure you’ll remember, New York shows run notoriously behind schedule and I arrived in time to spent another 20 minutes in my seat feeling slightly foolish. But enough about my blunders, let’s talk fashion.

NYFW SS14

I wore: Related top, Tibi Shorts, Mulberry bag, Carrera by Jimmy Choo sunglasses & Vince Camuto sandals

Admittedly Nicholas K isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I suspect I’d look more than a little ridiculous attempting to pull off the urban nomad look. That said, the brother sister design duo have a clear aesthetic which they reliably nail every season. Their latest offerings were utility luxe through and through. Think lashings of drapery in neutral, earthy hues, organic fabrics and loose layering. Drawing inspiration from shamanism, the designers created an array of abstract prints inspired by the smudging fan traditionally used to ward of evil spirits. I could imagine seeing a lot of this adorning the waiflike forms of models hanging out in downtown cafes. Under no circumstances to be paired with knee high socks, ballet flats or anything that could conceivably be in my own wardrobe.

NYFW

Nicholas K SS14

Still mildly traumatised from the most stressful journey of all time, I decided to make a high speed Starbucks dash (yes, another one) before show number two. I know that just a few days earlier I’d been praising the New York heat but I’m going to have to go back on my word now. If you’re sans driver then a few shows in to the day you’ll inevitably start feeling like a sweaty lumberjack which is never helped by that fact Olivia Palermo is more often than not perched opposite you looking so immaculate you want to melt away entirely. Thanks to my walk-subway-taxi-sprint journey I was feeling pretty icky before things even started which wasn’t helped by the insanely long coffee queue which left me legging in back into Lincoln Center so as not to actually miss BCBG Max Azria. The FROW included a bevvy of immaculate editors and celebs including Olivia Palermo (looking as polished as ever), Joanna Hillman and Nina Garcia, naturally all sporting the a spot of the label. When a contemporary brand’s been around and hugely popular for 25 years I can imagine it would be easy and no doubt tempting to continue churning out the same stuff season after season. Well, the husband and wife team behind BCBG aren’t afraid to mix it up and the results this season were impressive and perhaps, dare I say it, a little more directional than what we’ve seen before.

NYFW

BCBG Max Azria SS14

As I soon learned, tailoring is a major buzzword for SS14 and the Azria’s articulated a wearable, city chic take on it with dipped hems, dropped waists and silhouettes that appeared both soft and sculpted all at once. The show opened with an array of pale hued, crisp cotton ensembles including collarless shirt dresses, low slung wide leg trousers and cropped shirting with voluminous sleeves. From there it moved into marbled and floral prints in billowing chiffon freshened up by way of sheer panelling, another major SS14 trend, it’s cropped up everywhere! Between the effortless-yet-precisely-executed summer layering, origami folds and cocoon trench coating BCBG Max Azria’s latest offerings built on the air of nonchalance we saw for AW13 and were worlds away from last Summer’s trussed up bondage vibe while a final few embellished numbers no doubt reassured the label’s less trend conscious customers that they’ll still be able to pick up a cocktail frock or three come Spring.

Anyway, stress and sweat (ewww) aside, morning 1 was actually a total breeze. Three shows all in the same venue, just what you need when your feeling like a cat nap could, or at least should, be impending. My final show was Richard Chai Love and having never attended one of his before, I was rather excited

NYFW

Richard Chai Love SS14

I’ll admit, I didn’t know a great deal about the designer before this but this collection made me want to change all that. I always find it fascinating to see the same styles, or “trends” crop up in God-knows-how many shows with each brand’s own spin on it. Layering, sheer panelling, structured yet slouch silhouettes are all, or so I know realise, hotter-than-hot looks for SS14 and Richard Chai offered them up in cleanly cut linens, fluid silks and barely-there gauzy fabrics. Besides ice whites (which, I’ll be honest, don’t entirely get my pulse racing) paired with crimson the designer delivered a selection of stunning prints including aztec inspired geometrics, picture pretty poppies and marbled greens that, on closer inspection, had a little tartan involvement going on. The show finished up with a dark and dramatic finale of billowing black chiffon, skintight leather bikers and oil slick effect sequins. Funnily enough I met the lovely Richard at the Phillip Lim for Target party that evening so got the chance to congratulate him on a great show in person!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 2 Comments

London Collections Men, SS14: Part 2

In case your wondering why there are only two parts to my London Collections Men diaries this season rather than numerous days, it’s because grim determination alone cannot vanquish a case of “acute ulcerative pharyngitis”. When the second morning dawned I was no longer able to eat, drink or even talk and had to admit defeat, go home and curl up in a small ball of pain and self pity. But picking up where we left off, I still had a good few hours of fun before my number was up so after replenishing my caffeine and paracetamol levels I was off to presentation number three, Mr Hare & Mr Start.

London Collections Men

As anyone who knows anything about menswear will be well aware (hey rhyme), Mr Hare and Mr Start respectively deliver just about the coolest shoes and suits a fashionable fellow could wish for. So combining their SS14 collections within the gorgeous setting of Soho members club, the House of St Barnabus, was pretty much the best idea ever. I arrived to be greeted by uniformed waiters proffering trays of freshly poured champagne. While I know it’s never too early for a drink during fashion week, on this occasion I decided to forgo the bubbles given the number of painkillers I had consumed already. The presentation was every bit as brilliant as I expected. The first room featured a line up of exceedingly good looking gentlemen sporting Sr Start’s sportier tailoring, perfectly complimented by colour-popping footwear from Mr Hare. A walk round the corner brought me to a smaller room where a row of dinner jacket clad mannequins showcased the brand’s effortlessly immaculately awesome eveningwear. Here I bumped into Mr Start himself, the lovely Philip, who kindly talked me through the looks and vowed to get me into one of his women’s shirts, a promise I’ll definitely be holding him to.

London Collections Men

London Collections Men

London Collections Men

After a quick squidge of Brix’s adorable pug pup (yeah, I’m not great with animals) it was on to the final room where the atmosphere was akin to a drinks party. Everywhere I looked there were so-hip-it-hurts people sipping champagne, snacking on Crudités and admiring the array of Mr Hare designs on display. I fell particularly in love with a rainbow hued line up of espadrille esque styles in softest suede. If anyone reading this knows Mark Hare, please BEG him to start doing women’s shoes asap!

London Collections Men

London Collections Men

After a happy half hour’s mingling at the House of St Barnabus it was time to hit the road and head back to the Topshop venue for Richard Nicoll. Regardless of whether it’s women’s or men’s fashion week, the atmosphere outside a show like this is always electric. Once inside and crammed into our seats I took a look at the FROW. Everyone from Suzy Menkes to David Gandy was in attendance, unsurprising given that Richard’s been a golden boy of British fashion since Dolce & Gabbana bought up his entire Central Saint Martins graduate collection eleven years ago. The collection itself was a testament to the designer’s skill at combining creativity with commercial appeal. This luxe Summer leathers, modern tailoring and rubberised printed sweatshirts with Kenzo level cult potential while python jacquards in delectable shades of lilac and metallic blue elicited an audible “wow”. Directional, fashion forward yet fundamentally wearable, in other words Richard Nicoll all over.

London Collections Men

Richard Nicoll SS14

Last but certainly not least on my schedule was a show I was particularly excited about, Agi & Sam. As you probably realised from my previous London Collections Men posts, I love love LOVE this label. Quirky prints, bold hues… It’s just so, well, “me”. Evidently I’m not the only one to have fallen hard for the design duo’s charms and the beautiful Bloomsbury venue was jam packed with equally beautiful people, sipping champagne (yes more) and awaiting their latest collection with baited breath.

London Collections Men

Unusual FROW-ers at Agi & Sam

Opening with the phrase “Boris said we shouldn’t do it. But we did it anyway”, the show notes promised proportion play, patterns and pleats, or at least that’s what I garnered from them anyway. The collection itself delivered all of the above and then some. Admittedly the kooky, cute prints of seasons gone by where notably absent. But much as I’d adored those playful foxes, SS14′s block colours and graphic patterns provided the perfect palette for Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton to display their technical prowess. The designers took a risk on tech fabrics, sculptural silhouettes and sporty, streetwear touches but fortune favours the brave, or at least it did on this occasion.

London Collections Men

Agi & Sam SS14

Urban dandy, wrong yet so right, Agi & Sam delivered another gobsmacker of a collection and, although I didn’t know it at the time, provided a perfect final show for my London Collections Men SS14 experience.

Love Ella. X

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