Thursday, 23 February 2012

London Fashion Week: Fashion East Mens AW12

 A few introductory glasses of chamagne and chit chat with various designers, it can only be Fashion East.

William Richard Green
Inspired by the late 80’s football scene and the wayward hooligan culture and how it was later affected by the 90’s rave, William Richard Green’s AW12 collection was a uniform display of simple shapes and unfussy detailing. As always, the fabrics remain native and are sourced purely from British mills, with Green’s signature polka dot featuring both in lining and in print. Undeniably masculine, the shape is strong and robust with a basic monochrome palette injected with blocks of neon orange.

Christopher Shannon
Capturing the essence of youth and casual delinquency, Christopher Shannon had his models perch in a beaten up old bus shelter. The shades were all very neutral; simple black, greys, and whites that all carried a chain motif to symbolize the stereotypical images of street dwellers. High-tops were prominent once again as a street emblem. Classic and cool, Christopher Shannon represents working class adolescence.

LF Markey
Hanging from the branches of trees secured by dirt and autumn leaves, L F Markey  presents her collection of mens shirts and tees, made from only the finest materials. Simple, geometrical and practical, Markey used bold colour combinations to create a playful and perfect ready to wear collection.

Tom Ryling
With a slogan like ‘our house falls down. Slain to pieces on the floor. Pick them up, start again’ plastered across the wall, we were intrigued as to what Tom Ryling would have to offer for AW/12. The answer, fabrics that have the appearance of being broken down and remolded. Holed sweatshirts, firework-effect prints, neutral colours with injections of orange and gold. The designs on show had a feminine flare about them, with rolled up cuffs, sleeveless oversized white t-shirts with metallic print, and mid-drift revealing jumpers. Layering was promoted on all accounts. The tree branches dominating the room represented the body as a bare canvas, the body in winter, and the body as whatever you want it to be.

Kit Neale
Walking through the exhibition, we come to a room in which Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ is playing and several models heavily clad in bold prints are singing along and eating crisps. Where are we? We’re at a very relaxed Kit Neale AW12 collection, characterized by a sense of urban realism where multiple layers are key. Abstract and vibrant prints inspired by his own father’s allotment rule in pieces covered in radishes and carrots, the male counterpart to Dolce and Gabbana’s SS12. Print on print is very clearly still on trend this season and even more so in the male department.

With “not quite enough time” to complete the entire four seasons inspired makeup, the models have to make do with snow sprinkled eyebrows and beards to set the scene for his polar collection. Fur tails, lining and hoods-a-plenty, this collection was the most seasonal and practical yet also one of the most imaginative. Collarless shirts and excessive layering in block burgundy, green and geometric print contrasted against bare chests and optimistically summery white rimmed sunglasses to complete the looks. The boots were also pretty badass.

Unusual texture combinations and quality fabrics are the foundation of Becky French’s Marwood brand. In her third season, the AW12 collection combined early 20th century eccentricity with rustic luxury to create a gorgeous array of neckwear in yarn, wool, jewel coloured silks and the new seasonal lace. The Mr Marwood Hare, a collaboration with Alice Mary Lynch, also deserved a special mention for adding the perfect finishing touch to a simple but effective display.

Dr Noki’s NHS                    
As mad as usual, Dr Noki’s NHS never fails to grab attention. A vibrant mish mash of comic heros declaring “Crash Pow!” all appear on this collection of ‘culture jamming street couture’. Superhero graphics and signature Noki-SOB masks are presented with bags of attitude and a somewhat intimidating ‘don’t give a f*ck’ stance.  Despite the aggressive nature,  Noki promotes ethical design through the patchwork effect and reworking of unwanted garments. He’s just a softy really.

Lee Roach
Lee Roach had a room dedicated to a film showing of a kind of ‘real man’s’ catwalk. The models were shot in a kind of ominous warehouse, so although the designs had a feminine quality, the essence of man prevailed. Every sleek design featured a form of black accompaniment, in the form of fitted blazers, wide lace-up boots, handheld bags, or simple belts. All white trousers were worn high, with the overall look being very simplistic. The fabrics ranged from leather to wool with mesh front t-shirts under long heavy coats.

Christopher O'Brien
Standing out from the crowd with a collection based in black, white and aqua, Christopher O'Brien's collection stems from the research and development on new and original materials. Immediately eyecatching O'Brien's surely trademark wrinkled cottons and silks, are juxtaposed against classic shapes and familiar textures. As a whole, the collection is an ultra-modern interpretation on traditional wardrobe staples including the dress shirt and formal trouser. This lovely model even shoved the designer out of the way especially for my picture. Darling.

Paw Hansen
New street style inspired label, Paw Hansen, exhibited classic street-wear, such as the bomber jacket, transformed by luxury fabrics and a modernized shape. The designs are those of ‘old favourites’ made new, and were largely based on classic military, provoking a certain timelessness about them.

Sebastian Tarek
As the only designer showcasing bespoke shoes, Sebastian Tarek definitely stood out from the crowd. Every single pair of shoes was beautifully made. The chalkboard and string tied catalogue of drawings gave a very honest feel to the collection. For a label that gives off the effect of getting back to basics, the shoes still managed to have an edgy, modern quality. The pink crisscross effect lace up brogue-style shoes stood out amongst a selection of classic staples.

Oscar Quiroz
Exhibiting a cozy collection of warm autumnal colours, Oscar Quiroz demonstrated the softer side of menswear. With trademark metal rings woven into the knitted designs, each piece had a signature look about it. Metallic chinos, simple t-shirts and fitted knits made for a classic look. The navy zip up tracksuit hoody represented a collection with genuinely effortless quality behind it.

This was written in conjunction with the lovely Corin Jackson @corinleigh.

C. x


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