It was a matter of business behind-the-scenes at Fashion Scout’s ‘One to Watch’ show as models backstage whizzed by in a daze of textured, tailored white in preparation for Youjia Jin’s catwalk. Hair was mostly business in the front and party in the back, with a done-but-undone plaited up-do that had us itching to backcomb our own locks, as well as slick Wednesday Addams middle partings left loose and wild from the nape down. Jin’s collection was all about the strength of women, sartorially and otherwise as adrogynous suits were given a fierce feminine edge thanks to the addition of sheer fabrics and gentle draping. Punky cerise pink and deep sea turquoise wigs finished off an under-the-sea meets sports-luxe vibe from Cassandra Verity Green’s collection, as models sported red-trimmed perspex two-pieces, oversized knitted collars and funky cut-out monokinis. CVG’s collection also saw the triumphant return of the bubble backpack paired with everyone’s sunshine favourite: the tennis dress. Amidst the maritime madness we spied Kelko Nishiyama’s Fashion Scout collection, a refreshing mix of prim, proper and punk as pearled mohawks stood tall atop ornate prints adorned upon shirt dresses and leggings. Contrasting pleasantly against Green’s pearled and punky romanticism was Min Wu’s sugary sweet offering. Wu’s signature play on proportions was all to prevalent as sheer spherical jackets were paired with candy stripe midis and perspex overlays.
One last peek at backstage and we took our place on the FROW just in time to see Youjia Jin deliver her final message in the form of a finale model muscle flex. Who run the world? Girls.
London Collections Men is a time to see extra dedication to the sartorial flair than on an average Monday, particularly for worshipping tailoring and I am not just talking about the chaps. I found these fine fashion devotees on various locations, on and off schedules. The first people who's outfit struck me were these two bloggers, Toni Tran and Martell Campbell. Toni of menswear blog Fashitect was wearing a beautiful bespoke suit with eye catching vintage brooches and Martell, stylist and fellow blogger was fashioning a hat from the legendary Lock and Co and clothing from Joseph Homme. They looked so fantastic we kept them by our sides for as much of the remainder of the evening as we could and it was a sad occasion when we had to part.
At the same stylish party, it was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of stunning model and talented designer, Jacqui Akrofi, the jacket was designed by her and she supplemented her creation with pieces from American Apparel.
These three were doing street style amongst themselves before I got drawn in and essentially gatecrashed. On the left is Zokaya Kamara of the blog sidewalkdarlings looking effortlessly chic and colourful in in Alberto, Zara, Kangol and River Island. Then Angelique Davis looking as pretty as a picture in her Vintage Dress, she did well to source at an absurdly cheap price from Petticoat Lane Market. Stephen King is our fellow on the right looking relaxed and understated in a mixture of Nike, Zara and Topman.
These two looked great in their pastels, culottes, sandals and slim fit short shorts. They were extremely shy and busy so I have no identifying information but as they say a picture can speak a thousand words and I was particularly loving the unicorn, not sure if its a handbag or a toy, but it is a brilliant look all the same.
Words and Images: Carly Florentine| Fashion Week Press @CarlyFlorentine
Charlie May displayed her Autumn/Winter 14 collection in an all-white showspace at the Oxo Tower, South Bank. Upon arrival guests were surprised with a white, square box containing a tasty crodough from the Rinkoff Bakeries inside. For those of you wondering what a ‘crodough’ is, it’s a mix between a croissant and donut, something I’d never come across before!
May took inspiration from her hometown, Devon, for this collection, focusing on the rugged, windswept environment. Models hair was swept to one side and make up was pale and fresh-faced. Textures from the landscapes were reflected in the Monglian fur and pony skin used within the collection.
Interest was created in the garments through the details from small tucks at the neckline to exaggerated, long ribbed sleeves and oversized roll necks. Refined, panelled outerwear was worn over cosy knit and paired with wide leg trousers, giving off an overall effortless look.
Some interesting pieces included skirts with structured mesh overlayers, oversized fur cuffs and trousers with slits across the knees. The outfits were completed with white, chunky, tread sole trainers and schoolboy felt hats in collaboration with milliner, Gigi Burris.
The overall look was minimalist with clean lines and monochromatic colour scheme juxtaposed with navy. The fit was relaxed with the use of soft tailoring, giving off a slight androgynous feel.
KM&B’s first menswear collection showcased at The Covent Garden Hotel in a cosy suite. Champagne was served on arrival as guests were invited to view the garments. The AW14 range is a collaboration between the label’s Cameroonian designer, Olivia M’bia and British designer, Emma Griffiths.
A strong theme of paneled leather and refined minimalism is evident at first glance. A closer inspection reveals intricate attention to detail in the shape and cut of the garments with deconstructed tailoring taking a forefront.
Formal pieces like the classic shirt are given a twist such as the addition of a mandarin collar. This is presented alongside sportswear from lightweight trousers with long ribbed cuffs to soft jersey t-shirts. Garments are fashioned from fine wool and cotton from Cameroon, providing work for local craftsmen across a range of charities.
Leather is staple fabric in this collection, be it soft nappa from Cameroon or tough calfskin used on jackets. The jackets are embellished with paneled leather applique and small leather details also feature on trousers for pocket flaps and buckles.
As I speak to designer, Emma, she picks out her favourite items – an appliqued bomber jacket and grey jersey t-shirt with leather across the shoulders, ‘I love the structure the leather adds to the shoulders despite it being a soft piece.’ Finally, I ask her how she would describe the KM&B aesthetic, ‘slimming, flattering and versatile…Suited to every kind of man.’
New to the scene, bespoke brand Thom Sweeney is the sophisticated, modern gentleman’s dream. Created by Thom Whiddet and Luke Sweeney, this is one up-and-coming label you need to know. Fans include Beckham and ambassador, David Gandy.
Sweeney’s LCM presentation was based in their Mayfair store and featured their second collection. The store has an air of elegance, with intricately crafted suits displayed on rails and glass cabinets containing a beautiful array of ties inside. Old English armchairs and ornate, black-framed mirrors add character to the place. Clients here can sit back, relax and enjoy the bespoke experience.
Suits vary from day-to-eveningwear featuring checks in Italian wool, relaxed tailoring in refined colours such as navy and forest green, and chunkier knit that’s still miraculously light to wear. 3-piece suits teamed with knitted ties create a sophisticated, layered look. The overall aesthetic is light, comfortable and slim line with immaculate detailing.
New to this season are softly tailored overcoats and light cashmere sweaters. The cashmere overcoat (available in black, grey or navy) is a key piece this season. One of my favourites was the relaxed, pale blue suit - a highlight amongst the darker palette.
Sweeney’s mix of the bespoke craft with a contemporary aesthetic makes for a unique, elegant and modern brand.