Category: MENS

London streets were scorching on Saturday afternoon as we headed into the welcome cool darkness of the BFC presentation space. Looming ahead of us in the blackness were softly lit layers of sand-coloured nylon, forming a sun baked desert for the reveal of Qasimi's SS18 men's collection.

Beyond the material, shadows moved towards us, projecting silhouettes of loose clothing into the room, before the models stepped out into the light and formed groups staring out into the audience.

Entitled Free Fall, the collection was the perfect juxtaposition between intricate attention to detail and simplicity. Layers of classic shapes made up a casual uniform, each one made unique by subtle handcrafted features mixed with modern fabric technology. Drawstring pockets gave ruffled movement to an overcoat; clever seams created soft ruching and zips added another dimension to the designs.

Colours and textures gave an interesting depth to the collection, drawing the audience in to it as the groups of models swapped round in front of us. Waffle sat underneath silky nylon while coated canvas contrasted with dense piqué. The palette reflected the nomadic Bedouin tribes of the Middle East that inspired the collection – the sunburnt siennas and cacti khaki greens speak of their desert environment. Nuanced flashes of colour injected a modern feel into the designs, with minty greens and blushing pinks appearing in coats and shirts, accompanied by deep red and blue pinstripes.

Accessories were practical yet with a stylishly simplistic edge – effortlessly cool woven duffels with leather detailing were slung over models backs and carried on arms, finished off by sandals in neutral shades.

Qasimi's SS18 man is far more than what he seems on the surface; oh-so-practical and comfortable layers reveal an acute attention to detail and an unexpected modernity whilst also nodding to tradition. His look appears casual, thrown on to face whatever landscape he may encounter, but is in fact carefully curated piece by piece to create a complete look that encapsulates many different facets of his personality.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography

 

On Saturday afternoon at the BFC showspace, crowds of the London fash pack were clamouring to get beyond that exclusive door for the Charles Jeffrey Loverboy show. Since his graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2015, Jeffrey has taken the fashion world by storm, immediately catching the eye of Fashion East's Lulu Kennedy, where he has shown for the past three seasons. Inspired by, informed by and synonymous with his club night of the same name, Jeffrey's Loverboy shows have swiftly become the must-see of fashion week.  And now he's standing on his own to showcase his SS18 collection, everyone is even more desperate to be part of the fun.

The buzzing audience quietened as the lights dimmed. Dancers covered in swathes of pink fabric weaved down the catwalk, followed by a group of fluttering cardboard shapes, setting the scene for what we knew would be a weird and totally wonderful show. As the music reached crescendo, the group of cardboard shapes dispersed to frame the runway, revealing the first model to stomp around the room.

The phrase 'playing dress-up' would simply not do the collection justice – it was more along the lines of an Alice in Wonderland-esque trip through every kind of costume your inner child could ever have imagined, but with a more debauched undertone. Tartan-clad punks walked after regal duchesses, followed by space-age twins and the man on the moon. Gender was an illusion, trousers were optional and face-paint was a must, whether pale with colour shading or full-on glitter and sparkles.

As the cardboard shapes grooved on, the queen of the collection arrived – a tall figure dressed in a tailored white dress, covered in primary coloured drawings and stars that seemed to take up the whole room, staring us down with a playful smirk as she floated around the catwalk.

If seeing each look separately was fun and enjoyable, seeing the whole collection marching down the runway together was a hedonistic delight, especially as they were followed by the designer himself raving down the catwalk in shorts through glittering confetti. Jeffrey is often ascribed as creating clothes to help deal with the harshness of real life, and this collection felt like the perfect antidote to recent events with its almost defiant sense of fun and meshing of styles, concepts and historic references.

As Jeffrey excitedly dashed off-stage and the lights came up, it was hugely disappointing to realise that now we all had to go back to reality. In just a few short minutes, this talented designer had put on a veritable orgy of fashion, history and art, all combined into something that had an astounding euphoric effect on everyone in the room. Despite his relative newness on the scene, it seems certain that he is sure to go down in fashion history, emulating LFW's darling Pam Hogg's cult reputation as craziest and most outrageous show of the season. We can't wait to visit whatever world he dreams up next.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography

St James is the undisputed home of British men's fashion. The milliner, the tailor, the luxury shoemaker – Jermyn Street holds some of the finest brands in English heritage fashion. So it seems only right that every season this buzzing road becomes an open-air catwalk for LFWM, showcasing the best that menswear has to offer.

The sun was shining, a gentle breeze was blowing and as the clock struck eleven, the beat of Jain's Makeba marked the start of the St James's Jermyn Street show. Now an institution of mens fashion week, each season the shops and designers that call this area home come together to showcase their new season offerings to a packed audience.

As the likes of David Gandy and Jim Chapman looked on, the models appeared on the runway. Curated by GQ's fashion editor, Grace Gilfeather, the show was split into sections – lightweight suits and linen from Emma Willis and Hawes & Curtis with colour pop accents kicked off the summer tailoring edit.

Velvet blazers and silk robes announced the move into an ode to Jermyn Street's heritage, complete with pocket squares from Harvie & Hudson and Crockett & Jones loafers.

Dunhill introduced a more casual vibe with bomber jackets and roll neck sweaters, accompanied by Aquascutum and Barbour. Colours were subdued, ranging from soft greys to neutral beiges, with the odd flash of coral or turquoise adding warmth to the curated selection.

We finished up with pool side chic – shorts from Jigsaw and Turnbull & Asser got shorter and shirts became unbuttoned for a relaxed style.

As the models filed off the catwalk, the crowd seemed buoyed by the show they'd just seen – there really is no better way to shop the current season than outside in the sunshine to some great music. Everyone soon dispersed in groups into the shops on Jermyn street, where live models sat in windows displaying some of the pieces we'd just seen and others for SS17. In a fashion week world where usually we are only spectators, there is something quite special about the St James's Jermyn Street show – it feels just that bit more interactive and immersive, adding a new element to proceedings.

 

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography

 

The name Stephen Webster is synonymous with fine jewellery – some forty years in the business has made him the go-to guy for timeless designs that scream sophistication and luxury. This summer his pop-up exclusively for men arrives at Harrods, looking to reestablish the relationship between men and this unique art form that has so long been dominated by women. On a sunny Saturday afternoon of LFWM, we headed to Mayfair for an exclusive preview.

Strolling around the Stephen Webster showroom at 130 Mount Street, gin and tonic in hand, was nothing short of divine. Surrounded by the books and artworks that inspire him, mirrored walls and plush carpets, his new menswear designs were showcased in glass cabinets, separated into collections.

Celtic-inspired crosses and chains, accented with emeralds, sat across from his Beasts of London themed designs, featuring glowing ruby red eyes. Each collection was the perfect combination of exquisite design and menswear aesthetic – beautiful depictions of aggressive bulls and roaring bears become signet rings; chainmail weaves itself into dark bracelets and snakes slither into supple black belts.

Always one to experiment in combinations of his jewellery talents with other objects, a cabinet in the far corner of the room contained chefs knives featuring animal textures and elements visible in the jewellery, as well as vape pipes encrusted with intricate jewelled details.

Describing menswear as the fastest growing category in the sector, Webster sees this first dedicated men's fine jewellery boutique in Harrods as the antidote to years of distance between men and these finer things in life. And as we stepped back out into the midday heat of London's streets, we couldn't agree more. With LFMW turning five this year, the buzz in the presentation had been about how refreshing this season has been with new additions, such as Webster's, to the schedule – we hope to see it as a permanent feature in the seasons to come.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

To celebrate the first birthday of Ted’s Grooming Room’s Lancaster Place store, Ted is generously offering free ‘Cut A Long Story short’ haircuts worth £28.50 on a first come first serve basis all day on Wednesday 15th March 2017.

The Lancaster Place store reflects Ted’s love of the shining stars on the silver screen and encourages every man to feel like a suave movie star from Marlon Brando to Paul Newman. With their genteel manner, perfectly coiffed quiffs and impeccably stubble, Ted has always been struck by the style and grace of movie stars and TV heroes. Ted believes the modern London man should settle for nothing less than star quality.

www.tedsgroomingroom.com