Wearing: Mahe Jacket, Tibi Dress, Charlotte Simone Sole, Mulberry Bag, Karen Millen Boots, MAC Lipstick
LCM AW14 day 2 got off to a slightly painful start after a not so early night before spent at the M&S x Shortlist party followed by a few hours carousing at Soho House. But thankfully once I was suitably spruced and on the road with a latte in hand, all thoughts of fatigue were forgotten and I made my way to Covent Garden with a spring in my step at the magical hour of 1pm…
First on my agenda was YMC whose refusal to adhere to conventional trends in favour of wearable, lovingly created staples I’ve always respected. They also do phenomenal knitwear, which I respect even more. I have to admit, I was a little dismayed when the first array of looks were rather more sportif than usual. Admittedly, we’re talking wonderfully luxe athleticism articulated in leather and softest wool. Ok, in retrospect they were rather lovely but it was the richly textural knitwear and flawless, paired back outerwear that got me going. That’s the thing about YMC. They don’t make a statement, end up splashed across all the media or flood our instagram feeds. Nor do they want to. It’s a brand based on a desire to create great quality clothes that you can wear and love effortlessly for years, and that they always deliver.
Next up was Agi & Sam, possibly my favourite menswear label largely because I usually want to wear all of it myself the second I see it hit the catwalk. The duo’s AW15 offerings where rather different to their jovially printed, dandily tailored fare. But while I didn’t lust after these pieces in quite the same way I had for the fox prints, blazers and basset hounds of yore (by “yore” I mean AW13, of course) this was an impressive feat of creativity and fearless imagination. Inspired by a trip to the designer’s childhood homes and research conducted in their former primary schools, Agi & Sam offered up haphazardly deconstructed overcoats, velcro fastenings, primary colour blocked knitwear and loose silhouettes styled, in some cases, with lego face masks. It was certainly a show that made everyone sit up and pay attention and while its more directional nature might seem scary to some at first, there was an awful lot to admire about Agi & Sam’s AW15 collection.
Agi & Sam AW15
After leaving Victoria House it found myself with a welcome break which, unsurprisingly, I spent in Starbucks. It’s lucky I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions as any attempt to give up coffee would have been put paid to by London Collections Men! Caffeine levels replenished, I headed back to the Old Sorting Office for show numero tres, Oliver Spencer. In London, menswear designers seem to largely fall into three categories. The directional, the extroverted and the understated. Oliver Spencer falls firmly into the latter. This season he looked to artist and sculptor, David Nash, whose focus on the natural environment of his work led Spencer to offer up a medley of tactile textures in earthy neutrals, charcoals and greys juxtaposed with creams to echo the effect of charred wood. The diverse model line up that has become this designer’s catwalk calling card sported an array of looks that had a modern, clearly articulated direction and aesthetic without being runway only clothes that would alienate consumers. The super soft lamb skin bomber jacket in rich midnight blue was, the alpaca overcoat and oversized roll neck sweater were stand out pieces while an array of abstract floral jacquard looks ended the show on an almost dreamlike note.
Oliver Spencer AW15
Next up came another break… Good God women’s fashion weeks are going to be a shock to the system next month! This time I hit up The Hospital Club for a much needed vino blanco with a few photographer friends and some slightly strange Quinoa Cake things that made me feel very confused. Before I knew it time had flown by and I was back off to The Old Sorting Office for my penultimate show of the day, Christopher Raeburn. This one was a later started but having founded myself seated next to my New York pal, Style Director of DETAILS Magazine and all round wonderful human being, Eugene Tong, I didn’t particularly care about the wait. It soon transpired that the delay had been caused by the number of people who had turned up, with the PRs even having to haul in extra chairs. This boded well but also put even more pressure on Christopher to deliver with this show. Luckily, he delivered. Of course he did, Raeburn is a star of the London menswear scene and rightly so. Anchored in the designer’s remade ethos and entitled “Survival”, AW15 was one of my favourite Christopher Raeburn collections to date. Reburn characterises his work as “function” married with “desirability and fun.” Now, these aren’t usually terms that sit together so well in the world of fashion, especially when you throw sustainability into the mix but the designer’s ability to merge the lot no doubt accounts for some of his well deserved success. This season he offered up life jacket inspired neon orange outerwear, tailored denim, ombré print puffas with matching pants and rucksacks as well as a Insta-frenzy inducing shark motif than extended to knitwear, scarves and accessories. It was, in my opinion, his most sophisticated collection to date with neat bombers, smart layering, elegant separates and even luxed up faux fur sweatshirts.
Christopher Raeburn AW15
Darkness had fallen upon day 2 of LCM AW15 but I still had one show to go, and it was one I was very excited about, Ada + Nik the brainchild and creative endeavour of two of my dearest amigos. My little (well, not so little at 6 foot) brother would be joining me so after an increasingly angry wait for him outside the tube station we grabbed a plate of chips (quinoa cakes hadn’t done it) before heading on to the ME Hotel. By the time we arrived the place was packed fit to burst with people jostling to get in and feast their eyes on what many titles have (rightly) dubbed one of the most exciting new labels in menswear had in store. They were not to be disappointed. The show opened with a starkly striking, subtly powerful film by haus of magdalen. Since its inception just a couple of years ago, Ada + Nik has been all about noirishly glamourous masculinity, fusing directional silhouettes, flashes of flesh and hyper luxe materials. For AW15 they lost none of the high octane, oil slicked rebelliousness that captured the attention and affection of the menswear world – not to mention the likes of Miley Cyrus, Angel Haze, L’Officiel, Vogue and GQ – ‘s attention. Yet I couldn’t help but feel that Ada + Nik’s AW15 collection was possibly a more commercially viable proposition. Alongside editorial-catnip Rick Owens redux leather layering, semi sheer pleated skirting and peek-a-nipple mesh we saw slouchy knitwear, neatly tailored bikers and ponyhair panelled leather jackets so luxurious I just wanted to reach out and stroke them (and had the previous day at the showroom). It was a show that earned a standing ovation and proved beyond any shadow of doubt, or my bias as a friend of them both, that Ada + Nik won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
Ada + Nik AW15
Love Ella. X