Christopher Raeburn SS15
Picking up where we left off yesterday, after a lovely hour or so spent drinking rosé and having a catch up with Naomi, it was time to head back to Victoria House for the Christopher Raeburn show. Raeburn is a very interesting and admirable designer. He made his name concocting garments from military parachutes and the REMADE ethos continues to guide his work today. Brand Raeburn is one of equal parts integrity and innovation and I’m always intrigued to see how he moves his work on each season while remaining true to this ethos, not to mention flabbergasted by his ability to transform waste fabrics into covetable clothing. SS15 saw Christopher look to The Desert Boneyard in Arizona, a spectacle of up to 4000 military aircraft awaiting reappropriation and just about the most fitting source of inspiration for him you could possibly imagine. This saw Christopher’s signature REMADE parachute fabric used extensively alongside MIG fighter pilot flightsuits transformed into contemporary garments and aeroplane motifs adorning casual cool tailoring, t-shirts and mesh separates in a palette of classic military aviation colours. Certainly not your average utility dressing and the wearability of Raeburn’s pieces belie the labour intensive process behind them. All in all it was a concise, coherent collection of the highest quality and a stellar show from Christopher Raeburn.
Nicomede Talavera SS15
Up next was the MAN show, the menswear counterpart of Lulu Kennedy’s pioneering Fashion East programme which launched the careers of Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Roksanda Ilincic to name but a few. With London rapidly establishing itself as a hotbed for innovative modern male fashion, there’s always a real atmosphere of excitement and anticipation around the MAN show. This season’s line up kicked off with Nicomede Talavera (fantastic name!) a Central Saint Martins graduate who made his LCM debut just last season but has already gathered an impressive selection of stockists including LN-CC, Joyce and Comme des Garcons Trading Museum. SS15 saw Talavera experimenting with fabrics and silhouettes layering leather tabards over patchwork sheaths over trousers and finely pleated asymmetric skirts skirts with artfully frayed edges. Gingham, cotton and silk came combined with neoprene, mesh and glossy calf hair for a spliced mash up of references and pieces that felt at once both chaotic and perfectly pulled together. With more than a passing whiff of JW Anderson about it, Nicomede Talavera delivered the kind of conceptual collection that you’d expect from a MAN show but is not for the faint of heart.
Liam Hodges SS15
Up next came Liam Hodges, a kent born Royal College of Art alum introducing his wares to the catwalk for the very first time this season. Drawing inspiration from Kibbo Kift, a peaceful scout-like movement from the first half of the 20th century Hodges offered up khaki shorts and sweatshirts adorned with badges and pillarbox red patches paired with chunky caterpillar boots. It wasn’t all boy scouts though, as the press release explained, Liam Hodges work is a “big butterfly net full of whatever Liam’s been slobbering over online.” In this case that incorporated Wild Wild West flavour by way of feathers confections, leather chaps and rangers hats alongside seriously touch leathers and stomping biker boots.
Bobby Abley SS15
Last but certainly not least, was Bobby Abley with a collection that sent instagram into overload. Opening with distressed denim tracksuits in slate grey, Abley at first appeared to be making a stark move away from the cartoonish prints, candy hues and extreme accessories – aggressive mouth pieces for for AW14 and crowns the previous season – that made his name. But while the colour palette may have been somewhat subdued in comparison to previous seasons and a definite grungey, skater vibe about the clothes, disney faces soon appeared sending the fashion fellows on the FROW into paroxysms of sweatshirt induced joy. Telling the tale of Ariel through reworked sportswear in shades of deep sea green, purple and black interspersed with bursts of red and lilac was a smart move for Bobby Abley, moving his aesthetic and narrative forward while retaining the element of playfulness we’ve come to know and love.
Jonathan Saunders SS15 (and women’s Resort 2015)
After a resounding round of applause we filed out of the Topman venue, but not far, as Jonathan Saunders was presenting his men’s SS15 and women’s Resort 2015 collections at the other end of that same building. Saunders’ shows have become some of the hottest tickets in town and his pieces the most coveted, featuring on the backs of some of the world’s most stylish women and the editorials of every publication worth its salt. The merest of glances at his work will demonstrate why this is so. We took more than the merest of glances at his presentation this LCM as the clothes, oh those clothes, were quite a sight to behold. In a mouthwatering palette ranging from rich mustards through soft, dusty pastels to burnished silvers and midnight navy shades it was a masterclass in contemporary, cool elegance and how to cater to a stylish so-and-so’s entire wardrobe needs with just one collection. My bank account quivers at the thought of making pre orders but, then again, Saunders’ designs are the very epitome of investment pieces.
Richard Nicoll SS15
From there, it was time to make the blissfully short stroll to Victoria House (God I wish the women’s shows were so conveniently located) for another homegrown designer whose clothes are making waves across the globe. Richard Nicoll isn’t about the glamour and the glitz, the conceptual and the unwearable by any lesser dresser than Daphne Guinness. His are pieces that sit comfortably within the everyday wardrobe of a sartorially clued up urbanite. They come without bells and whistles but are in fact all the more compelling for their reality and just so immaculately, intelligently executed. For SS15 Nicoll served up a collection that communicated exactly what his brand is all about. Organic washed cottons, softest jersey, gingham and chambray were combined with shimmering silver pieces, highlighter bright tailoring and plasticized fabrics making for an ingenious juxtaposition between the handmade and the high tech. It was an exquisitely modern and well thought out take on simple summer basics; short sleeved cotton shirts and matching tailored trousers dip died yellow for an ombre effect, utility pocketed boiler suits concocted in gingham, patchworked shirts and deconstructed macs. All commercially viable and utterly wearable looks but beautifully and imaginatively articulated in a way that felt unmistakably Nicoll. The press release had promised “urban classics” and I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Ada + Nik SS15
As you may have gathered, LCM day 1 was a long one and it was by no means over yet! After things wrapped up at Richard Nicoll we wandered along to the St Martins Lane hotel for my penultimate show of the day Ada + Nik. This was one I was particularly looking forward to, not only because Ada and Nik are both dear friends but also because theirs’ is one of the most exciting up and coming menswear labels around. Despite it only being their second season showing, the hotel was packed with eager attendees including some pretty major names in fashion. But if their last collection was impressive, it was nothing on SS15’s Carpe Noctem. Weighing in at over 60 pieces, this was badass luxe at its very best. Think urban streetwear staples – the bomber, the tracksuit, the tank top – reimagined in high spec fabrics ranging from hydrophobic cotton to antibacterial sneaker-net alongside structural outerwear and stand out pieces such as high gloss waistcoats and a pair of buttersoft leather dungarees. From the casting to the soundtrack to the art house film released alongside it, no detail had been overlooked in the production of Carpe Diem and I think it’s safe to say that the future looks very bright for Ada + Nik.
My final port of call was One Embankment for the DKNY presentation and party. The collection was cracking, as was the night that ensued, but I’ll be telling you more about that another day.
Love Ella. X