London Fashion Week: Men’s Day spring/summer 2012 round-up

Men’s Day closes London Fashion Week, and, truth be told, it’s a pleasant tonic to the champagne and melodrama of the womenswear shows. There’s less of the egos and snippy front-row politics, and, maybe this is a genetics thing, but the men Just Get On With It, calmly queuing and – shock! – walking from show to show, instead of being chauffeured 100 metres down the road, as the ladies are wont to do.

Saying that, Topman’s front-row did turn into celebrity watch: Jamie Hince, Mr Hudson, Mark Foster, Alex Zane, Rick Edwards and Thom Evans (aka Mr Kelly Brook), plus Sir Philip and the Green clan triggered a tide of flashes.

But that interlude doesn’t detract from the point that, on Men’s Day, the clothes take centre stage. So, what of them?

Call it the London 2012 influence, but everyone seemed to have sportswear on the brain – see the bomber jackets at Lou Dalton; plastic rain macs at Matthew Miller, a new name on talent platform MAN’s schedule; and nylon parkas and smart jogging bottoms at Christopher Shannon, who is carving a healthy niche in luxe sportswear.

More subtle – and beautiful – was E Tautz’s take, the Savile Row label headed up the dandyish Patrick Grant. The early 20th century Olympics, when men came attired for the games in their own clothes, before the tracksuit became uniform, was the starting point. Hence, “track pants” came loosely tailored in wool and structured linen; a T-shirt’s cobalt pocket referenced the cycling styles of the time; and lots of unstructured linen and silk jackets appeared in blues.

Speaking of blues, that was another keynote: dark colours. Save for the neon yellow and pink T-shirts at Martine Rose, another upcomer fostered by MAN, and the pink and lilac trousers (yes, really) at JW Anderson, currently the fashion pack’s wonderkid after his sophomore womenswear show last week, there wasn’t a whole lot of sun in these summer collections. Black was the predominant hue at Dalton – which makes sense when you realise that the miners’ strike of 1984 was the raison d’être of her pieces.

Thoughts were on sunnier things, though, at Topman and Shaun Samson. The far-flung shores of Mexico inspired Samson’s poncho-style striped shirting, while Topman’s silk tops and shirts with Ikat prints were Moroccan in tone. If the latter’s offerings are a hard sell, they’re nothing compared to its pyjama-style trousers. Or its patent burgundy embossed clutches – has the metrosexual man evolved enough to tackle one of these?

We give you until next season for the answer.


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