Image c/o The Urban Spotter
So finally we’re on to LCM SS15 day two! It won’t be as long as day one, I promise. Having left the DKNY x Esquire party at the saintly hour of half 11 (clearly I’m getting boring in my old age) I was up bright and early. This was largely because I had to work on my Diesel collaboration and attempt to make a dent in my overflowing inbox but despite leaving myself a good hour to do so, and pre planning my outfit, I still found myself sprinting to the tube in a blind panic. The Piccadilly line then decided not to play ball so it was a very tense journey, hovering by the doors and constantly checking my phone. I don’t know why I always get so stressed out about these things seeing as no fashion show in the history of ever has started on time but still I did, arriving at J.W. Anderson an anxiety stricken mess and nearly breaking both ankles in the process. J.W. Anderson is one of the hottest tickets on the London Collections Men schedule and the fact there were a handful of empty seats in the house hinted that perhaps not everyone had been quite so sensible the night before. I wasn’t complaining though as the fact that the venue wasn’t an uncivilised level of packed afforded us a fantastic view of Anderson’s boundary pushing creations.
J.W. Anderson SS15 (images via Style.com)
The show opened with an array of tabard like woven tops adorned with dreamy abstract landscapes by renowned textile artist, and fellow Royal College alum, John Allen. From there, the collection journeyed through contorted pinstriped tailoring – warping the ordinarily conservative stripes across jumpsuit esque one pieces with low slung bow tied belts – raw hemmed blazers, off the shoulder tops, and knitwear of the highest quality cropped into vests and pulled tight by zips. It was a clever deconstruction of typical menswear pieces with a definite femininity to it, gender bending is a fine art in the hands of J.W. Anderson. But while SS15 saw the Irish designer challenge and perhaps even provoke, Anderson cleverly delivered more commercially viable pieces there than previous seasons (hello louchely tailored trews) without compromising the unique vision that made his name.
We all filed out of the show onto the streets of Bloomsbury and I made a beeline for Starbucks to grab a vat of something hot and caffeinated. Did I mention day 2 was freezing? And, as you can see, I was not attired for the weather but it was June for Christ’s sake and I certainly wasn’t going to be sheltering in some form of coat! Giant pint of sweetened latte – or as my Dad not entirely inaccurately calls it “sock juice” – in hand, I headed to Covent Garden where Orlebar Brown was staging a presentation in his Floral Street store. Outside the cobbled pavement was packed with jauntily attired fashion boys sporting carefully styled facial hair, multiple prints and mankle flashing trews, and a few bemused builders probably wondering what fresh hell they’d stumbled into. After skipping the artisan coffee stall positioned outside in the interest of not actually over-caffeinating myself to the point of exploding, I made to venture in. The first thing that caught my eye, ok the second after the beautiful semi naked models holding their leashes, were an array of dogs sitting in the window. What a stroke of utter genius; hot, unclothed boys and adorable pooches, how better to instantly win over a crowd consisting almost entirely of gay men and women!? Then of course there were the garments themselves which were, as always with Orlebar, delectable. Brown may not be providing anything overly challenging but what he is providing is so unbelievably on the money. This brand is all about stylishly tailored swimwear, that is “not a swim short, but a short you can swim in.” And indeed, each pair of shorts – or polo, t-shirt, jacket, pair of cargo pants… Brown does way more than just beach gear – is a slice of immaculately crafted eye candy in glorious highlighter hues and an array of playful prints that operate from beach to bar and beyond. In short, it’s exactly what I’d want my boyfriend to wear… Y’know, if I wasn’t terminally single. Actually it’s exactly what I want to be rocking on holiday too, which is handy since Orlebar Brown now does womenswear.
Orlebar Brown SS15 (images via Style.com)
I left the Orlebar presentation feeling considerably perky and found myself with a couple of hours to kill before my next show. I didn’t have to think hard about where to loiter, it was straight to Whistles followed by a very leisurely lunch at Itsu reading GQ Magazine which, BTW, I absolutely love. Appetite sated, phone charged and a half arsed attempt to work given up on, suddenly it was time to head to the City for the Hackett show. I can’t help but feel that LCM must pose something of a conundrum for heritage brands like Hackett. Classic, good quality, British staples are their stock in trade but when on the same schedule as the conceptual likes of J.W. Anderson and the modern minimalism of Richard Nicoll could sway even the most stalwart Creative Director to push the boat out a little too much. Of course, you’ve got to move things on season to season however alienating their loyal, and perhaps not catwalk savvy, customer is a real risk for a brand like Hackett. Well, I have to say they navigated this particular minefield masterfully by doing what they do best – timeless tailoring and elegant casual wear – but adding a contemporary edge. Not too much mind, while there were a few sculptural leathers and shimmery shirts the majority of what we saw on the catwalk was time tested. Exquisitely cut double breasted suits, perfectly tailored trousers, gold buttoned blazers, cricket sweaters and the crispest of shirting. In a colour palette that spanned from ice whites to rich navy and light tweed via salmon, olive, orange, cobalt and pillarbox red it was a lovely show to behold and an unmistakably Hackett collection.
Hackett London SS15 (images via Style.com)
Once we finally all managed to pile out of the venue I decided to “pop” home and cram a couple of hours work and a sneaky outfit change in. Why, oh why do I never learn this is foolish? It inevitably ends in flogging halfway across London, managing to answer about two emails and then suddenly realising I’m hideously late and making a mad dash to whatever I’m meant to be at next. Obviously, that is precisely what happened. Having decided to order an Uber to the Moschino show I was forced to abandon my car thanks to the standstill traffic. Then, having endured a commuter tube (for non Londoners, this is basically an hell full of passively aggressive angry people) I was legging it to the venue when *drumroll please* the entire heel snapped off my Diesel gladiator sandals. After a very unsuccessful attempt to patch it up with some sellotape I borrowed from a Chinese restaurant nearby, I gave up and decided to style it out on one heel. Missing Moschino was just not an option.
Much like everyone else, this was a show I’d seriously been looking forward to. Since Jeremy Scott joined the brand Moschino’s “it” status had skyrocketed thanks to his highly instagrammable catwalk debut and the fast food inspired accessories that swiftly replaced Kenzo sweatshirts in the must-have (and then share extensively on social media) stakes. That sounds like I’m being disparaging, I’m not. I thought Scott’s first collection for the innately irreverent Italian house was inspired, especially at a time when so many people are craving a tongue-in-cheek take on fashion. And I also want quite a lot of it. Forgetting about my
personal imaginary shopping list for the time being, Jeremy Scott’s Moschino menswear SS15 show was everything you’d want and expect from it, and then some. With the likes of Lindsay Lohan poised on the FROW, the show opened with a suit (no shirt underneath, natch) emblazoned with retro soda labels, setting the tone for a mash up of iconic symbols, street, pop and rave culture plus lashings of 80’s maximalism. Cameo’s from female supers’ including Lindsay Wixen, Charlotte Free and Lily Mcmenamy added to the buzz about proceedings.
It may have been all ghetto gold, highlighter hues and logomania but Scott’s re-appropriation of luxury symbolism – think logos with more than a passing resemblance to Chanels’ created from interlocking smiley faces and Hermès orange ribbon applied to orange denim – provided a witty take on the phenomenon which you can read into as much as you wish. Similarly the gold dollar sign covered suit which caused people to practically fall off their seats as they leapt for a (square framed) picture, those could almost be seen as playing on the idea of expensiveness in a Warhol0esque manner. As for emblazoning “Fauxschino” across hoodies, that was just bloody brilliant. Brash, branded and fabulous, the whole thing was a riotous, rambunctious coming together of bad taste and great design with plenty of commercial pieces that, sans styling, cool kids will wear dawn ’till dusk the second they can get their hands on them.
Love Ella. X