Fashion Week

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

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week Leave a comment

London Collections Men, SS14: Part 1

Throughout my six seasons of fashion week-ing I’ve been lucky enough never to go into it ill. Hungover, sure. Stressed, of course. But actually, genuinely, doctors trip worthy ill? Never. Or at least I hadn’t until LCM SS14. Somewhere between end of term deadlines, doing all the various work-y things I’d been putting off until meeting said deadlines and partying like it was 1999 purely because the sun decided to make a (very brief) appearance, my immune system failed me. As LCM approached I was a snivelling wreck with a mouth full of ulcers and a handbag full of assorted antibiotics and painkillers. But of course, the fashion calendar cares not a jot for lurgies so come Sunday morning I was clad in my Peter Pilotto pencil skirt and off to the shows. Deathly though I felt, I did get some satisfaction from the fact that unlike everyone else I was not suffering the after effects of the previous evenings opening parties, thank god for small mercies eh?

London Collections Men

I wore: Skirt: Peter Pilotto, Jacket: Gap, T-Shirt: Zoe Karssen, Necklace: Anne Bowes Jewellery, Bag: Mulberry, Shoes: Vince Camuto, Plasters: Corner shop

After spotting a few of my favourite fashion fellows loitering outside the Hospital Club, we all headed inside for the opening brunch hosted my Dylan Jones and Dermot O’Leary. There’s nothing like a morning mingle to lift the spirits and by the time we set off for presentation number one I felt almost human again.

London Collections Men

John Smedley SS14

Menswear expert I’m most certainly not but I know which labels I love and John Smedley is one of them. Last seasons funky fair isle knits went straight on the wish list and the latest collection contained an endless array of striped tees in kalaidescopic colours. The models were suitably gorgeous in that wholesome, clean cut, preppy way I personally adore. Staged around retro gym equipment, the collection was a chic reimagining of old school sports gear with cute polos and two tone joggers a’plenty. There was a fair amount I fancied taking home with me, and I’m not (just) referring to the models.

London Collections Me

John Smedley SS14

One of the nicest things about LCM is how totally relaxed it is. Much as I adore the dizzying, adrenaline pumping pace of women’s fashion month, three days of casually strolling from show to show with plenty of time to stop for coffee and gossip is a total treat. After a lunch that should have been leisurely but was in fact extremely painful thanks to my ulcer sitch, I tottered through Covent Garden to the St Martins Lane hotel. As you may remember, I adore the place and have spent many enjoyable evenings wining and dining there. For the duration of LCM the hotel had joined forces with MR PORTER to host a mini oasis of phone charging facilities and fabulousness AKA, a blogging suite. With my iPhone battery depressingly depleted I made straight for the suite and indulged in a spot of down time lounging on the king sized bed. Tempted though I was to call it a day, slip into some MR PORTER pyjamas and order room service the next show on my schedule was one I wouldn’t miss for the world, Ada + Nik.

London Collections Men

Ada + Nik SS14

Nik Thakkar is not only a great friend of mine but one of the most multi talented, insanely driven people I know. Not content with owning his own branding consultancy, Nephew London and cult blog, KARL IS MY UNKLE as well as presenting, judging and doing about a zillion other very impressive things, Nik decided to team up with Ada Zanditon to design a menswear collection. As for the collection itself, well, Ada + Nik outdid themselves. Luxe, directional and super sexy without even hinting at tack, every luscious leather piece or slice of razor sharp tailoring was the epitome of fashion forward modernity. A while back I heard rumours that the collection would feature “ethically sourced human hair”. Naturally I’ve been pestering Nik to tell me more ever since (he didn’t) but having finally seen it adorning a jet black tee I can assure that while it may sound weird, it certainly works.

Judging from the responses I spied around the fash packed presentation, I wasn’t the only person to be seriously impressed. Huge congratulations to Nik and Ada, I predict great things ahead.

Up next was my first catwalk show of the day, MAN at the always awesome Topshop venue. For those who don’t know, MAN is the menswear equivalent of Fashion East, the emerging designer support initiative responsible for launching the careers of Jonathan Saunders, Gareth Pugh, Richard Nicoll and Simone Rocha to name but a few.  As one would expect, the FROW was a veritable “who’s who” of industry insiders and I immediately spotted Paula Reed, Natalie Massenet, Dylan Jones and Caroline Rush. But my people watching was soon to be curtailed as the lights dimmed, heralding the first of this season’s chosen three, Bobby Abley. One of the many brilliant things about watching a MAN (or Fashion East) show is the experience of seeing three collections as diverse in style as they are similar in innovation. This was certainly the case with the SS14 line up. Ravensbourne graduate, Bobby Abley kicked things off with a collection that combined kitsch, cartoon prints with high tech fabrics and sportswear silhouettes. Sugary shades and teddy bear prints gave things a playful, pyjama esque feel all the while underpinned by the kind of skill that allowed gossamer fine sheer jersey to come adorned with tweetie bird motifs as if by magic.

London Collections Men

Bobby Abley SS14

Designer number was another newcomer to the MAN catwalk, Dublin born Alan Taylor. A glance at the show notes promised an exploration of “how we perceive the world around us”, a tall order but one that Taylor was evidently more than capable of. At the LCM Opening Brunch that morning, GQ Editor Dylan Jones had described London as the “global home of menswear” and designers like Alan Taylor are proof that might bold statement might have some truth to it. The young Irishman’s SS14 offerings consisted of incredible, reworked tailoring. Classic tweeds and hand painted linens came crafted into a series of oh-so-stylish contradictions; rough hewn yet sleek, clean cut yet unfinished, traditional yet powerfully modern. Taylor’s designs were organic, imaginative and experimental but so skilfully executed it appeared effortless, any menswear designers reading should watch out for this one!

London Collections Men

Alan Taylor SS14

Last but not least was Craig Green. I don’t know whether you remember my post on Craig’s AW13 collection back in January (how time flies!) so to recap briefly, it was bold, brave and brilliant involving sculptural and slightly scar head pieces. Based around the concept of “chaos and control”, Green’s SS14 show took things to the next level. Head dresses were bigger, colours brighter and the designer’s trademark focus on DIY had resulted in an incredible fusion of digital printed and hand-dyed fabrics. Masterful material manipulation and textural juxtaposition married with mesmerising originality. The jury’s still out on whether anyone will or indeed can wear most of it but Craig Green’s sheer talent is undeniable… Budding Gareth Pugh of menswear perhaps?

London Collections Men

Craig Green SS14

By this point my deathly, lurgi situation had made a comeback so I headed to Boots where I demanded the strongest painkillers money could buy (they didn’t help) before making a much needed Starbucks trip. I’m also going to leave this post here in the interest of not actually boring you all to death, more show reports (and pictures of hot boys) coming your way tout suite!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 6 Comments