London Men’s Designer Inspirations

From sports and the British seaside to the gangs of Brooklyn, designers tapped a range of sources for their spring 2015 collections.

View Slideshow

From sports and the British seaside to the gangs of Brooklyn, London designers tapped a range of sources for their spring 2015 collections.

Christopher Raeburn channeled the spirit of the Arizona desert’s Boneyard, a storage facility for used military aircraft, for his spring 2015 collection that will show in London later this month. The designer, whose collections are created from, and inspired by, discarded or surplus materials, said he loved the idea of jets “that are either stored there, recycled, regenerated or just reused.”

This story first appeared in the June 5, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

NEXT: Dunhill >>

“For me, summer is about escape — escaping out of the city to the countryside — or to Tuscany or Mustique. It’s about having fewer clothes, rather than more. The look is not overconsidered. This man gets out of bed in the morning, throws on some clothes, sticks on his driving shoes and gets away, so there is a mismatched feel to it. The fabrics are lightweight — silks for suits — and warm, chic colors.”

— John Ray, creative director, Dunhill

NEXT: Jimmy Choo >>


“A summer style that conveys a blend of traditional sportswear with contemporary, artisanal craftsmanship.”

— Sandra Choi, creative director, Jimmy Choo

NEXT: Hardy Amies >>

“We started with this interesting working relationship we found between Hardy Amies’ interior designer [William Haines] and himself. He was one of the first celebrity interior designers. He was quite influential in Hardy’s move into some homeware and upholstery fabrics and things like that. We found in the archives some really interesting prints and collaborative work between the two of them. So from there we developed the color palette and the prints and the tailoring.”

— Mehmet Ali, design director, Hardy Amies

NEXT: E. Tautz >>

“There’s a lot of melancholia around the British seaside and, also, there’s an oddness to it. The English seaside is not always sunny, it’s not always warm, so you’ve got all these strange outfits that people wear to the beach. The textures in the collection reflect that kind of aged deck-chair canvas and the sort of peeling paint on the sides of old beach…bathing huts and stuff like that.”

— Patrick Grant, E. Tautz

NEXT: Pringle of Scotland >>

“We explore the brand’s relationship with golf, particularly in the Fifties and Sixties. This traditional, almost aristocratic, aesthetic is blended with less obvious, edgier British subcultures to reinterpret what that relationship is. This idea of mixing concepts and playing the game of opposites is carried throughout, adding another dimension to time-honored icons. For example, a quintessential argyle knit is given edge with leather components incorporated in to the traditional diamond pattern. Something that was once so uncool suddenly becomes cool by simply adding an element of the unexpected.”

— Massimo Nicosia, head of design, Pringle of Scotland

NEXT: Hackett London >>

“The overall theme is gentlemen’s sport; the idea of the spectator dressed for the occasion at various social events: boat race, Henley Regatta, cricket — but with a lightness and fluidity. Colors are blues, bones, tans and ivories. Separates are very important, mixing and matching jackets with trousers to break up the formality. There’s also lots of micro pattern to give depth to shirting, featuring small horses, polka dots and flower patterns.”

— Jeremy Hackett, Hackett London

NEXT: Richard Nicoll >>

“The collection is about innovating the familiar and creating an elegant and utilitarian wardrobe that celebrates the personalization of wardrobe staples. I’ve been excited to mix modern and technical elements with artisanal and hand-done ones.”

— Richard Nicoll

NEXT: John Smedley >>

“Referencing the archives…the collections showcase a modern and fresh take on classic nautical themes. Key styles in Breton stripes are given a new color update via a palette inspired by seascape horizons. New textures are also a feature, taking inspiration from both the rough and smooth landscapes found at sea.”

— Ian Maclean, managing director John Smedley

NEXT: Berthold >>

“I was looking at the hauntingly dreamy Tokyo Compression by photographer Michael Wolf and the work of artist Tara Langford, who I have worked with on some prints for this collection. My mood board naturally had a lot of references to plastic, either clear or molten, the texture of food wrapping and latex. As always, I have been looking at the details of vintage rainwear, and there are some photographs of insects, too. Every season begins the same for me, with a visual excursion through my books and the works of my favorite artists.”

— Raimund Berthold, Berthold

NEXT: Joseph >>

“This season takes inspiration from the book ‘Brooklyn Gang’ by Bruce Davidson. We love the feeling of being a collective, or gang, and the freedom and youthful spirit these images portray.”

— Mark Thomas, men’s wear head designer, Joseph

NEXT: Christopher Shannon >>

“I’d been going to those markets you seem to get in provincial towns and cities that all stock the same things: Joss sticks, old tour T-shirts and lots of dusty vinyl. I suppose it was a fondness for those rites of passage where you think you are being really spiritual buying some bindis and a packet of licorice Rizlas.”

— Christopher Shannon

NEXT: Common >>

“Whitewash: A metaphor meaning to gloss over or cover up. White is the color of new beginnings, it is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. White is cleanliness personified.”

— Emma Hedlund and Saif Bakir, Common

NEXT: Richard James >>

“The collection contemplates the irresistible, all-engulfing infinity of the Sahara desert in the company of the Desert Rats, a legendary band of men that effortlessly embodied those fine, defining British qualities of derring-do and dogged determination in the face of the most trying circumstances. This a collection that combines sharp, deftly detailed military precision in tailoring with innovation and easy-wearing durability and adaptability in casualwear.”

— Richard James

NEXT: James Long >>

“A lot of the inspirations came from Thai boxing…and fabrications came from Thai boxer shorts. There’s a lot of continuity from the last two seasons as well. We have reworked the bubble fabric from the sci-fi collection into bags. The shoes are done as more of a sandal sort of hybrid rather than a trainer. A lot of the fabrics are double-faced jersey and neon and there’s no lining.…A lot of the edges have that sort of hippie finish and contrast to the sports finish, so it’s a collection of contradictions as usual.”

— James Long

NEXT: Gieves & Hawkes >>

“We took a lot of inspiration from the English coast. It’s more muted and moody, less Mediterranean, with a lot of these teal blues, soft blues, pale gray, stone. It’s a very soothing palette. The collection is quite tonal and sophisticated. We’ve worked with a lot of exclusive fabrics. I almost call them urban tweeds — but summer versions. Then, instead of serious dress shirts, we’ve done a military-cut dress shirt in a cotton piqué knit, with a knit tie. The idea is to soften the furnishings with the suit, so it’s not quite so structured; it’s a little bit more relaxed, a little bit breezier.”

— Jason Basmajian, creative director, Gieves & Hawkes


“Fast track.”

— Jane Chung, creative director, DKNY Men

NEXT: Kent and Curwen >>

“The collection embodies the swagger of the English ‘frontman.’ The juxtaposition of English uniform mixed with graphic pattern creates a rakish and modern look of distinctive style.”

— Simon Spurr, creative director, Kent and Curwen

NEXT: Ada + Nik >>


“For SS15, we’ve taken the original rebel at the heart of our the Ada + Nik brand and brought him to life by maintaining our Bauhaus masculinity and Greco-Roman Punk roots and fusing it with the cinematic darkness of Truffaut.”


— Ada Zanditon and Nik Thakkar, co founder and co creative directors, Ada + Nik

View Slideshow
load comments


Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.
blog comments powered by Disqus