I wore… Skirt: Whistles, Blouse: Boutique by Jaeger, Shoes: Kurt Geiger,
First up was Hackett London held in the magnificent setting of Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House. As you know all too well, I have a major weakness for all things preppy and as expected, Hackett served it up in spades. East Hampton chic came in the form of crisp, cotton tailoring in fresh neutrals and pastel hues with more low key looks featuring colour-popping chinos and my beloved Breton stripes. But this wasn’t your standard All American prep. Double breasted jackets, polished brogues and paisley prints had an air of English dandy about them while Summer knits and linen trousers oozed cricket player cool. Hackett’s SS13 offerings had more than a passing whiff of Great Gatsby about them by the way of slick, twenties style suits complete with polkadot handkerchiefs and perfectly coiffed hair. I was particularly keen on Hackett’s selection of shorts suits, a look I’d soon realise would be the unsung hero of menswear fashion week. All in all a deliciously dapper collection brought to perfect close by a troop of mouthwatering male models clad in pinstripes and bowler hats.
After stopping for a brief chat with the gorgeous David Gandy (who luckily remembered me from the Scottish Fashion Awards, or at least pretended to) I hot footed it up to Holborn for show number 2, Topman. Despite having stiff competition from the likes of Burberry and Christopher Kane, the Topshop show is always one of the most in demand on the London Fashion Week calendar, so I wasn’t surprised by the crowds outside their inaugural menswear collections show. With an A list FROW guaranteed, the pressure is inevitably on for the high street giant has to bring it’s A game to the catwalk and it certainly did so on Friday. Much as I loathe 90s fashion, Topman managed to rework fluoro brights in a way that felt sleek, chic and thankfully a long way from Screech’s sartorial disasters on Saved By the Bell. Think Saville Row meets streetwear with neon knits, grungy touches and shorts suits ‘a plenty.
Next on the agenda was Oliver Spencer, but not before I’d revitalised myself with a delicious (and free, yay) lunch in the press lounge. London Collections: Mens was based at ultra cool, media industry members club The Hospital and I have to say, I’m a big fan of the venue. Having regained my strength and toyed with the idea of doing some work then decided just to mingle instead I headed back to the Topman venue for show number three. Spencer’s SS13 show was a masterclass in colour blocking offering up relaxed tailoring in bold, block hues… Naturally, it included a shorts suit or two. The collection was all about re-worked classics, with perennial style staples, such as the linen suit, the parka and the trusty trench given a 2013 makeover with aztec prints, super bright brogues and rolled up trouser hems. Hints of heritage in the way of waistcoats and smart checks were brought bang up to date with utility touches and clever layering of parkas over suits. Oliver Spencer is definitely the designer to look to menswear that’s both fashion forward and fundamentally very wearable. Extra points for sending a couple of bearded oldies down the runway, I do love a silver fox!
It turns out that menswear shows are no more likely to run on time than womenswear shows – boys, take note – and Oliver Spencer started so late I missed my next show. Well, it was probably a combination of that and my impractical footwear but during fashion week flats are a BIG no no. So instead I made for the nearest Starbucks (being in Central London, there were about ten within a 20 metre radius) to replenish my caffeine levels. One venti, skinny, extra hot, triple shot latte (yes really) later I was back on the road but after somehow managing to get ridiculously lost in Soho managed to only just make it to my final show of the day, Spencer Hart. I’m a sucker for a bit of spectacle so I was thrilled when a troup of lycra clad dancers took to the catwalk and treated us to a FAME style performance. But their exuberant prancing and pirouetting posed a stark contrast to the collection which was the epitome of understated tailoring. Spencer Hart is renowned for his craftsmanship and his latest offerings were certainly no different. But elegant though it may have been, there was nothing old fashioned about Hart’s collection and subtle details such as oversized pockets, contrast coloured trims and 7/8th length trousers (another major menswear trend for SS13) kept things strictly modern. From casual summer tailoring in pale hues to super, sleek black tie looks, Spencer Hart provides a suit for every occasion leaving no excuses for male scruffiness in future.
Love Ella. X