Image by The Nyanzi Report
I swear to God fashion weeks are coming around faster and faster by the season! It seems like just yesterday I was battling the elements for the AW14 shows. Not that I’m complaining, it’s no secret that I adore fashion week. Spending a few days prancing around in fancy attire watching gorgeous people wear even more gorgeous clothes, what’s not to love? In other exciting news, this season I achieved the impossible, waking up on day 1 sans hangover having made the totally out of character decision to skip the opening parties and tackle my obscene to do list instead. Suffice to say, I was the smuggest person on the planet. With only 3 days on its calendar, LCM is a walk in the park to outfit plan for. I’d pinched the most incredible printed co-ord from Matthew Williamson (sharing the shoot pics soon!) and couldn’t resist wearing it straight away. Choosing which sunglasses to wear proved less easy. I so wanted to go for my oversized pink shades from Matthew but a glance in the mirror proved that I did look like a cartoon character so I opted for a more sober (well, ish) pair of tortoiseshell Ferragamos instead. The weather forecast had clearly been having a laugh at my expense and it was cold, windy and grey outside, a far cry from the sunny 20 degrees promised. I resolved to be chilly all day and get on with it, especially considering the permanent through draft that came of not actually being able to put my arms through the sleeves of my jacket thanks to the bold shoulders of the top underneath. In this instance I was genuinely shoulder robing out of necessity, not (just) because I’m a fashion wanker, and paid the price.
First on my agenda was Lou Dalton at the BFC showspace in Bloomsbury. There was a distinct back to school mood in the venue. The air was buzzing with a combination of excited “so nice to see everyone”‘s and “shit I feel deathly”‘s from those who’d overdone it the night before. Aside from the clothes and shows that’s one of my favourite things about fashion weeks, the reunion esque feeling of catch ups and adrenaline and “we’re all in this together”, especially when it comes to the second leg of the women’s shows. Having taken my seat, my attention turned to the press release. SS15 was promised to be “all about control, defining who we are as a brand”. This was a pretty exciting proposition as Lou’s been hot property for a fair few seasons now and there’s a certain point where a talented young designer transitions to become a real brand to be reckoned with, think Christopher Kane or Jonathan Saunders a couple of years back. So, I wondered, could SS15 be Lou’s big move? The opening looks confirmed that yes, this certainly might be it.
Lou Dalton SS15
Opening with immaculately tailored cotton jacquard the collection was a formidable feat of contemporary, casual tailoring with hint of athleticism. Modernising classic staples is a recurrent theme in menswear, and womenswear for that matter, but Lou’s take on the blazer, the bomber, the man, the army field jacket felt fresh without becoming reworked out of recognition or wearability. Details held true to the garments earlier incarnations, with keepers pockets adorning trench coats and snug hooded parkas striking a savvy balance between technical fabrics you as sculpted mesh and hear sealed patches, and a feeling of organic crispness articulated in crisp cottons, dry wool and lightweight checks. Indeed, texture played an understated bit powerful role in the show, combined with a palette that encompassed crisp ice whites, salmon pinks, pastel hues and earthy neutrals through to bold pops and rich burgundys, lending a transeasonal air to proceedings. Hooded grosgrain bombers paired with tailored shorts offered a sporty take on tailoring that didn’t feel terrifying adding to my overall impression that while this was a “fashion” collection, and a strong one at that, they were also clothes that could translate into reality for the non fashion man.
After that excellent start I was off to a presentation I was particularly looking forward to, Nicholas Kirkwood. As London’s kind of sculptural high heeled creations, one might wonder how easily Nicholas could turn his hand to men’s footwear. The answer, very. The split second I entered Mercer Street studios I fell hard for a pair of shiny metallic blue brogues. I then learned Kirkwood will be making an identical women’s version and mentally subtracted a substantial amount from my bank account, those babies will be mine. Combining artisanal techniques with a very modern aesthetic, Nicholas Kirkwood’s SS15 collection is quite simply sublime. By reinvigorating men’s classic shoe styles with technical sports fabrics, rubberised and foiled laminated leathers and treated micro soles in an array of unexpected hues he delivers an utterly original take on luxury footwear.
Nicholas Kirkwood SS15
Next up was Topman so I headed back towards Holborn – I’m making out like this was a long journey, in fact the men’s shows are all practically next door to one another which is awesome – where throngs we already gathering outside the Old Sorting Office. The Topshop, or in this case Topman, venue is always a good place for a bit of a mince and I ran into a few of my nearest and dearest within seconds. Said nearest and dearest persuaded me to join them in a vodka cocktail which turned out to be lethally strong and perhaps a bit of a mistake in retrospect. But, as I’ve said before, fashion week is a bit like Christmas or your birthday AKA one of those occasions when a stiff drink 11.30am is not only acceptable but practically mandatory. Eventually we took our seats and I took a look at the show notes. Topman’s SS15 collection was entitles “Seventies Nineties” which filled me with equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation. That kind of thing could be brilliant, or could go hideously wrong. Luckily the mash up of influences, colours, textures and decades that ensured fell largely into the latter category and the soundtrack that accompanied it was par excellence.
Resisting the temptation to day dream of Ashton Kutcher in That 70s Show and miss the actual fashion show I focused on the graphic knits, spread collars, patchworking and other retro-reloaded fare on the catwalk. Initially I was dubious about the extreme flares (very interested to see what brave boys adopt them next Spring!) and some of the seventies references did feel a bit literal but the throwback aviators, corduroy, psychedelia patterns and cropped silk kimonos were balanced out by modern layering, genius matching suitcases and print lined, shaggy fur trimmed parkas which had “sell out in seconds” written all over them. As for the glittery green disco tailoring that finished things off, that I want in my own wardrobe.
Just noticed that my word count has now passed the 1000 mark so I will leave the second instalment of LCM SS15 day 1 until the next post! Just as Naomi and I left the second instalment of the shows for a while and hit up the Topman pub…
Love Ella. X