Tag: LFWM

Topman, more than most other brands, has always understood its clothes in the context of how and where they are worn - and their SS18 presentation and accompanying exhibition was, of course, no exception. "Transition" is an exploration and a celebration of the way modern men interact with each other and their clothes. From the first wistful indolent images by photographer and model Nick Offord through to the brand's own collection shown in the final presentation space,  we inhabited a Bildungsroman. Traversing the various rooms, a number of upcoming artists shared their sensory experiences of modern masculinity woven together less as an exhibition and more as a coming of age story. We saw men and boys taking on new clothes, new names, new experiences and learning how to live and love with other men.

The collection itself had a very youthful zeal.  The boyish models with shimmering eye make up and brightly coloured glitter-slicked hair, had their their slender frames accentuated by belted waists and padded shoulders.

The loose tonal grey and white cottons interspersed with dashes of red and orange nylon harked back to the 80's.  However it was the shoulders and shell suits and that located this collection within a distinctly New Romantic tradition.

Despite the quite tonal palette, The wide cut of the trousers with multiple asymmetric pleats and the way the  fabrics hung lightly and loosely created a very modern feel. This was not a bunch of boys from the 80's looking to the future, these were boys from tomorrow's world looking back.

The jarring patterns, stripes and colours seemed exuberantly thrown together as the models themselves by turns lounged, fidgeted and chatted amongst themselves. You got a sense you were looking at a the beginnings of a futurist party where a bunch of trendy kids had really run with an 80's throwback theme.

As the music and spoken word duo The Rhythm Method came on, their front man (in this instance, embodying the character of "Salad Cream") paced the stage with a camp confidence and melodramatic delivery reminiscent of  Suggs or Squeeze and asked if anyone had ever felt drunk and horny at a house party. This writer couldn't help but fondly remember the boldness of youth and how He had picked up stupid nicknames and drunkenly slurred "I love you man" every Friday and Saturday night for a year or two.

Words and images: Mitchell Cooper | Fashion Week Press | @catsandjackets

WATCH THE TRANSITION SS18 FILM

The Berthold catwalk show at 180 The Strand is a collection made up of predominantly black menswear and womenswear. That’s why when the primary colours yellow, red and blue start to make an appearance, the impact is all the more striking. They crop up subtly in the details before they dominate the pieces from head-to-toe, as if they have completely engulfed the previous darkness and left in its place rays of sunshine.

The symbolism originates from a darker subject matter altogether. Research for the collection involved gathering photographs of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Liberia and Nigeria.

In one of the photographs, a group of young boys wear shorts with oversized pockets and belts that dwarf their frames. Yet still, they pose confidently, as though they are men – faking it until they make it, but betrayed by their ill-fitting clothes and youthful faces.

For Spring/Summer 2018, Berthold recreates these contrasts and documents the life-defining transition from boy to man. Enlarged sleeves are left loose to hang, extending past the models’ fingertips. Funnel necks are paired with cropped tunics and wrap front trousers are billowy rather than fitted.

Technical fabric and cloth, cottons and summer wools ensure you’ll stay cool in the heat rather than absorb it in all of those dark layers. Blankets (picnic, anyone?) are draped over cross-body bags. The bags – whether they’re oversized with several pockets or small and sit across the waist – make it easy to dip your toe into colour if you’re not willing to take the plunge just yet.

The colours allude to the optimism and brightness of youth. For the female models, sharp, geometric eye makeup created by Maria Comparetto is worn in the same primary colour palette.

The abstract graphic print reimagines shapes from traditional costumes. Influence is derived from the theatricality and majesty of the Dinka tribe in South Sudan, the Bashada people of Ethopia and the Ndebele and the Khoisan people of Southern Africa.

Now, we too, can join a tribe of our own – the Berthold tribe.

Austrian-born Raimund Berthold is the man behind the brand, which was established in 2009. He is now based in London and received his master’s from Central Saint Martins in 2005.

Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Berthold

The Ben Sherman catwalk show at Two Temple Place is an intimate affair and one that allows the models to strut their stuff for the collection deemed the ‘Peacock Revolution’.

The name is taken from the 1960s term ‘Peacocks’, used to refer to men who adopt a distinct and colourful dress sense.

On arrival, the seats are gifted with goody bags filled with Ben Sherman cleansing soap, moisturising soap and body lotion with piercing citrus, bergamot, floral and musk notes – along with a British flag pin. Models sport similar ones on their jackets.

Peacock feathers are showcased in glass cabinets in the lavish wood interior. Guests are split across three rooms for the models to navigate.

The Spring/Summer 2018 collection is a flurry of patterns inspired by the Bohemian and psychedelic movements of the Sixties. The models bring sass and swagger to printed shorts, deconstructed summer blazers and soft linen separates.

Where it can be, the models’ hair is worn long and shaggy, topped with a bucket hat, while their eyes are shielded with sunnies or oversized geek chic glasses.

Indigo and denim are the designated shades for outerwear, paired with brick and tan, while jerseys and shirting come in burnt sienna and pineapple – ideal hues for the summer months.

Suede jackets, a hooded parka, lightweight wool drawstring trousers and a warped gingham shirt are the standout pieces of the collection – seen in dark denim, claret reds and soft pinks.

Daring patterns, such as florals, can often be overpowering, but Ben Sherman tones them down with classic stripes and checks. The peacock pattern is a particular highlight as an ode to the collection’s overarching theme. Peacocks wear peacocks with aplomb.

Inspiration is also drawn from the music and festival posters of the Sixties. The Ben Sherman aesthetic is not lost, as it injects originality into the traditional shapes. A two-toned black and orange jumper bursts with flowers to spell out the word ‘MOD’ – the mods being a British youth culture known for making the Ben Sherman shirt part of their uniform.

The legacy of Ben Sherman, which was first launched in 1963, lives on five decades later. There is no better brand suited to design a collection dedicated to the decade of its inception. ‘Peacock Revolution’ reintroduces what was popular in the Swinging Sixties to a new audience of men ready to adapt the styles and make them all their own.

Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Ben Sherman

The Saturday night slot at fashion week is always one of our favourites. The second day vibe is more chilled, everyone is getting into the swing of the season and the rest of London are relaxing outside in the sun. And what better way to join the party than by heading to a gathering hosted by Tinie Tempah, complete with a banging playlist, some of his closest friends – oh, and some new season styles?

The wheels of the LFWM Mercedes-Benz sports car fleet screeched as the best of the men's fashion scene arrived at the Old Truman Brewery to see the What We Wear SS18 presentation.  Having made his debut last season to much acclaim with a sleek and sporty collection that matched his own impeccable style, Tinie Tempah is back for more with Bring Your Game.

Locker room benches and courtside seats flanked a basketball court in the middle of the room where groups of guys dressed in sports luxe athleisure threw a ball about, scoring three-pointers, while spectators looked on, chatting between themselves over a beer. At the sound of a whistle, the models swapped in with another group, joining the watching crowds.

Seeing the clothes up close allowed us to appreciate their design even more; what first appear as a range of sports-inspired separates reveal themselves to be beautifully created fashion pieces. T-shirts and shorts are made in technical fleece fabrics; button-up jackets hug the form in buttery soft mohair and tracksuits get a glamorous shine. Each outfit was finished with What We Wear  branded socks, along with gold rimmed glasses from Cutler and Gross and a remake of the iconic Converse One Stars, that added that extra special something to the whole collection.

The line between models and guests blurred further as the evening went on, demonstrating the collection's greatest asset: wearability. Coveting teal shorts with a luxe shine finish because you can see how great they look on someone playing ball and laughing with friends is a far cry from staring at them on immobile models looking intensely into the audience – with just one simple shift, that often difficult-to-negotiate glass ceiling between real life and high fashion has been broken down.

By the time we left, there was no clear distinction between who was wearing the clothes and who was there to see them being worn – models were dispersed throughout the room chatting to friends, Insta-famous onlookers were shooting hoops and Tinie Tempah was wandering through the crowds, saying hi to friends, family and fans alike. As Aston Gohil amped up his playlist, it was clear that this party wasn't going to be over any time soon. Not only has Tinie Tempah nailed the art of the follow-up collection, presenting a series of designs that are as versatile as they are aesthetically pleasing, but he also got that Saturday night vibe of fashion week just right.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Tasmin Dacres | Fashion Week Photographer | @tasm0n_d

“We Shall Not Wilt” is the bold and powerful statement BODYBOUND makes for its presentation at 180 The Strand and the message is received – loud and clear.

Taking inspiration from the protest marches, anti-war slogans and flower power movements of the Seventies, BODYBOUND recasts the humble flower as a symbol of rebellion.

The timing couldn’t be more apt, as we are marking the 50th anniversary of 1967’s Summer of Love, which is when the hippy phenomenon bloomed. With London Fashion Week Men’s entering its fifth year, there is clearly more than one cause for celebration.

The speakers blast a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as the models stage a catwalk show before allowing us to examine the mixture of dainty and raw details up close.

This includes embroidered barbed wire peace signs, flower patches and military pockets and boots, with the addition of platforms.

Since BODYBOUND draws on trends from the Seventies, it’s a given that the brand delivers denim – here it’s worn overdyed – wide-legged grunge trousers and round sunglasses. They have all been adapted for the modern man, which means they’re not overly nostalgic, but they’re still unmistakable tributes to the era. As well as the navy blue colour palette, blacks, greys and whites mainly feature.

The collection strikes a good balance between the politically-charged undertones of the barbed wire patterns and the fragile vulnerability exposed by the sheer see-through fabrics.

Not once do we question the masculinity of the collection, however. It is masculine to its core, but where it blossoms is with a nod to florals and with unexpected elements, such as the scarves tied around the models’ necks.

‘NO FIGHT, NO FUTURE’ and ‘WE SHALL NOT WILT’ are mantras reiterated and embroidered on the pieces. Models clutch a small bouquet of flowers each – defiantly, but hopefully. As we know, flowers are not all sweetness and light. Some come packed with thorns. In this rocky political climate, perhaps one of our best outlets for expression is through fashion. After all, BODYBOUND shall not wilt anytime soon.

Textile designer Kim Wilkins and photographer Pliny Champion launched BODYBOUND in 2012. They were selected by Yohji Yamamoto as finalists of the Hyères Fashion Award. Wilkins attended Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. He has been a consultant menswear and knitwear designer for brands including Katie Eary, Matthew Williamson and Alexander McQueen.

Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot