Category: MENS

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In the heart of Westminster, inside the QEII Centre, a dry desert scene provides the backdrop for Belstaff's SS17 presentation. Amongst the earthy dirt track, lie abandoned tyres, racing bikes and a rusty green Chevrolet on which models are perched looking effortlessly cool.

The theme was inspired by Bruce Brown's influential 70s film, On Any Sunday, that chronicled the international sport of motorcycle racing. Like the film, the collection celebrates the carefree attitude of the guys and girls from the bike tracks. Taking key references from this along with Belstaff's own archive pieces of the same era, a celebration of vintage design is transformed with contemporary innovation.

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Just like the brand's from the late 60's, the collection experiments with leather dyes and patterns, resulting in uniquely customised clothing. A hand-waxed jacket mixing mustard stars and stripes takes inspiration from flat-tracker Keith Mashburn, known for riding in black and yellow. A red striped leather plays tribute to the diamond-quilted shoulder jackets designed by Belstaff in the 1970s.

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The coloured leather concept continues with the introduction of new additions in rich tobacco, summery blue and burnished black. The palette is sun-bleached, reflecting the distressed, vintage finishes applied to the fabrics. White jeans are decoratively frayed and torn in purposeful ways and fabric is patched together in panels. There's a very tactile, hands-on feeling to the construction.

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Leather shirts feature tie-up fastenings and trousers include ribbed sections - a pattern continued within the knitwear. A women's jumper is pieced together in different textures of cream knit creating beautiful surface interest. The hard motorcycle look is slightly softened for women's line with the addition of printed silks and lace.

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This season, Belstaff introduce a complete accessories line too, inspired by the concept of adventure travel. Their signature Colonial bag (a celebrity favourite) has been updated with leather trims and new hardware. Limited edition aviator sunglasses are designed in collaboration with Native Sons and come in two finishes - antique gold or matte black. Models also wear neck ties and scarves to complete the biker look.

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SS17 proves to be yet another success for the luxury brand's spirit of adventure ethos. Mixed with their rich heritage, the collection embodies the fearless explorer and fashion enthusiast's dream creation.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Courtesy of Jason Lloyd Evans

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Upon entering 180 The Strand on Monday for the unveiling of Katie Eary’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection, my attention was already captured hook, line, and sinker. Fluorescent orange (I’m sensing a burgeoning colour trend from LCM) nets and buoys stretched across the length of the catwalk, intertwined with lobster traps. The setup was indicative of the spectacle to come, just as indicative as the excess of fish emojis Eary used on her Instagram prior to the show, and the barracuda-ridden invitation. That’s right, this season was all about the dark, murky depths of a starry sea, and I do mean dark.

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‘Begbacuda,’ a mash up of Francis ‘Franco’ Begbie’s name (you know, the psycho one from Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting) and the vicious-looking barracuda, summed up Eary’s inspiration. Welsh’s new book for 2016, The Blade Artist, revisits Begbie who, although not for lack of trying, can’t seem to put his violent past behind him. Although the combination might sound kind of ridiculous, it actually really worked. Eary reveals, ‘All the subjects I’m inspired by are a reminder of reality, even if they originate in classic fiction as the kind of inspirational characters we normally dare not admit relating to.’

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When the male and female models strode out, they looked as though they’d all freshly emerged from the sea, with wet, slicked back hair that would give Begbie a run for his money. Slivers of colour, reminiscent of purple and pink reflective fish scales, coated segments of the models’ strands. I chatted to Oliver Proudlock, of reality television series Made in Chelsea fame and founder of clothing brand Serge DeNimes, after the show about our mutual admiration for the look. In jest, he likened it to the consistency of PVA glue. Fudge Professional was in fact responsible for creating the slippery sheen, while make-up artist Bea Sweet gave models mirror shine eyebrows and aquatic eyelash drops.

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‘Let me slip into something more comfortable,’ whispered in my most seductive voice, is the best way I can describe Eary’s SS17 collection. Stars, stripes, and predator fish were mainstays of the designs. In salmon and navy hues, slinky dressing gowns, slips, and eccentric pajama-style shirts blurred the lines between whether the clothes were intended for sleeping or for a different kind of nighttime activity altogether. When clothes look that good, I doubt you’d want to waste them on slumber.

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Silk shirts, fur coats, and trouser slits harked back to a former time, while the ellesse sliders planted us firmly back in the present. One of the innocent-looking fuzzy jumpers illuminated under black light shouts in aggressive capital letters, ‘RADGE C***,’ a Begbie insult – naturally. I like the idea of something lurking in the water just out of our psyche’s awareness. That unhinged undertone might not always be on the surface, but cross it at your peril, just like the creatures of the deep blue sea. Giant metal chains looped through the models’ trouser belt loops and cutout star vests are reminders of this disturbed sense of rebellion.

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I could see Begbie wearing all of Eary's designs and challenging anyone who so much as looked in his direction with a slightly manic, unblinking stare and a scathing, 'What are you looking at?!' (definitely with more expletives) – a natural-born barracuda.

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Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Phoebe Fox | Fashion Week Photographer | @_phox_

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The Prosecco was flowing, finger sandwiches and mini scones (delicious by the way) were making their rounds, and everybody looked like somebody. There was merriment and entertainment to be had in the form of a live band with jazz singer Collette Cooper, who shimmied in sequins. It sounds like the kind of party Jay Gatsby would throw, and in some ways it was. Chester Barrie’s LCM presentation on Sunday, 'Summer in the City,' at The Waldorf Hilton was an opulent affair. In fact, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s character was probably raising a toast in jubilation from beneath the pages of his book.

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Then, of course we can’t forget the clothes, oh the clothes, tailored with divine precision. What else would you expect from a brand with 19 Savile Row as its address? Simon Ackerman founded Chester Barrie in London in 1935. He left England for the United States, but returned to create an English look to take across the pond, and the rest is history. The ultimate in classy dressing, Chester Barrie has been worn by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Cary Grant, and Frank Sinatra.

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The models wearing the Spring/Summer 2017 collection exchanged jokes jovially while maintaining an air of nonchalance. They were assembled on a patch of artificial grass, complete with a white picket fence. The American dream was recreated in London if you will. The models bounced tennis balls on rackets and perched in perfection on a garden set of chairs, with matching tables nearby. Two of them were wearing tinted sunglasses inside, but of course they made it look impossibly cool.

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Chester Barrie prides itself on classic tailoring, luxurious fabrics, and a close attention to detail. The brand has taken the traditional and revolutionised it for the modern gentleman, for the man who wants to make a statement with his look, even if it’s a subtle one. For example, I was amazed by the variety of pocket-handkerchiefs on display. From flowers, to paisley, to animal silhouettes of little red monkeys, cream giraffes, and what looked like baby blue monkeys (I kid you not), they really had it all.

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Some of the new offerings from the brand included extravagant polka dot ties, lightweight suits in wool, silk, and linen blends, and a bold mauve jacket and hot pink shirt pairing.

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However, classic styles such as pinstripes, double breasted jackets, and trusty tuxes firmly held their ground amongst the revamped ones, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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All that was missing at the emporium was the elusive Mr. Gatsby himself, but model Johannes Huebl made a good substitute. He was gone before he was ever even there, yet he radiated an undeniably magnetic presence. There really just is something about a man in a suit, and Huebl knows how to work one better than anyone.

Now old sport, who do I need to speak to about having Chester Barrie design a women’s power suit for me?

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Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot/Chester Barrie | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

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3…2…1…we had liftoff at Christopher Raeburn’s fashion show on Sunday, held at the British Fashion Council’s official show space, 180 The Strand. The British designer sent both men and women down the catwalk, with a vision influenced by George Lucas’ first ever film from 1971 – THX 1138. The film charts a terrestrial dystopian future, but if Raeburn’s collection is anything to go by, it’s a future that doesn’t look too entirely bleak as long as we’re dressed for the voyage.

For Raeburn’s graduate collection at London’s Royal College of Art in 2006, he used upcycled fabrics at a time when the concept was still emerging. The method requires repurposing old products into something entirely new that often surpasses its old counterpart. This sustainable aesthetic has continued to drive Raeburn’s designs ever since he launched his brand in 2008.

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He is best known for creating outerwear from de-commissioned parachutes. For his Spring/Summer 2017 collection, his REMADE ethos took flight once again, where Airbrake parachute material was reimagined as shorts, skirts, and of course, his trademark outerwear. Flame-resistant Nomex, a textile worn by astronauts, firefighters and military personnel alike, was incorporated into one of the parkas. Who knows when that might come in handy…

Sticking to a utilitarian palette of greys, whites, blacks, and blues, with blood orange accents, field and bomber jackets were laden with functional straps and pockets. The footwear, mainly an array of practical metallic and chrome sandals and trainers, was designed in collaboration with Clarks.

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Raeburn is giving fuel to fashion’s casual movement with high fashion hoodies, tracksuits, and backpacks. They looked like the sort of thing off-duty models could easily slip into after a show. The horizontal hoops around the arms and legs were reminiscent of high-visibility clothing. It’s an appropriate comparison, seeing as Raeburn’s loungewear staples certainly will get you noticed, leaving no room for blending into the background. In terms of womenswear, I particularly liked the see-through skirt with black rings orbiting the hem.

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In a three-way Venn diagram motif that continued to pop up on t-shirts and jumpers, 'remade,' 'reduced,' and 'recycled' all led back to Christopher Raeburn as the linking element. In a feature on sustainable fashion in a U.S. issue of VOGUE, the magazine urged its readers to 'remember the four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, and Raeburn.' That sounds like a philosophy we would be happy to follow – to the moon and back.

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Speaking of which, Raeburn’s got the whole world in his hands, or rather, he’s got the moon on his designs. La luna made a big, bold appearance against the black backdrops of jackets, shorts, dresses, and jumpers.

What’s next for Raeburn? I would say to go where no man has gone before, but his innovative approach to fashion means he’s already managed to pull that off. In that case, it looks like it’s to infinity and beyond for this beloved designer.

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Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

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SIBLING brought their brand of intricately crafted knitwear and a fun spirited runway show to the beaches of Miami, in their first combined men’s and women’s show. Entitled ‘Wish You Were Here’, the show featured models walking down the runway to early nineties hip hop, in SIBLING’s usual cheeky fashion.

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The show began with a model whipping of his towel to reveal a pair of brightly coloured swimming briefs, setting the tone for the rest of the show. Being an ode to the Californian summer it was full of swimwear and chiselled models who were told to be playful and charming. Utilising an All-American inspired colour palette of white combined with red, cerulean blue and a hint of lime green, seen in abstract prints on cardigans and pullover jumpers. Many looks were accessorised with towels in similar prints or with SIBLING sprawled across, all being hand knitted Italian yarn.

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White mesh was used to create bell shaped capes that played with texture in the form of tufted pastel shapes protruding from the sides. Underneath we saw tightly cinched corsets, similarly seen in looks with bomber jackets over the top rather than capes. Corsets were seen on both female and male models, as were the same candy-hued stripes in boxer robes and zig zag patchwork. Sunglasses in a similar shape to the abstract leaf print were debuted, in collaboration with Linda Farrow.

sibling_ss17_0018Words: Andre Bogues | Fashion Week Press | @andredevb

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot