LONDON — Stores shopping London Collections: Men said that while no major trends emerged during the four-day showcase, there was an abundance of sharp, salable clothing on offer and the lineup was a strong one.
Coach, Burberry, Tom Ford and J.W. Anderson were among the top labels on retailers’ lips. “We fell in love at Burberry, where the bohemian man had the look of a Cambridge student from the 1950s,” said Jason Broderick, fashion director of men’s wear, sports and watches at Harrods.
“Tom Ford modernized further and there was so much denim in the collection, and we also loved Coach. It was sporty, modern and we’d love to have it in-store,” said Broderick, adding that Alexander McQueen’s cropped, sporty jackets were a refreshing sight.
“The collection overall was slightly more youthful and colorful, and we liked the emblems and the sparkle,” said Broderick, adding that Hardy Amies and Gieves & Hawkes were among the tailored clothing highlights.
Nelson Mui, men’s fashion director at Hudson’s Bay Co. said the trends that appeared in London have been “bubbling around” for a few months, such as textured fabrics, military touches, the Seventies feel that started with women’s wear last year and the bohemian vibe in the air. “You see a lot of interplay between men’s and women’s trends developing.”
Mui also pointed to the upcoming Thea Porter exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, the first-ever show of work by the grandmother of boho chic.
He called the Coach collection “an amazing debut with a very coherent, strong idea” and said the J.W. Anderson collection was “a knockout. It was very, very distinctive, androgynous with Seventies ideas but defied categorization. I’m interested to see what it’s like in the showroom,” he said.
He also pointed to Burberry’s strong accessories and to the broad range of brands on the runway, from the more commercial Tiger of Sweden, Coach and Moschino to tailored Savile Row brands such as Richard James and Hardy Amies. “We’re looking to increase the presence of British brands at the stores,” he said.
Stephen Ayres, head of fashion buying and merchandising at Liberty, said there wasn’t an overriding trend running through the showcase, but “military elements were present and volume remains important; trousers remained looser and wider, coats were oversized and proportion was generally more generous. Fringing was popular as a detail, be it on accessories, or hemlines of shirts and tailoring and denim featured heavily in many collections.”
He cited Oliver Spencer and YMC, Craig Green and Nasir Mazhar among the top labels showing, along with Christopher Kane — who is doing appointments in Paris — and Christopher Raeburn. “Our overall budgets for London will be planned up versus last year,” he said.
What most struck him about the week was “the sheer volume of product on show…from emerging young designers to the luxury [labels] and the more classic brands of Savile Row.”
Terry Betts, buying director of men’s wear at Selfridges, pointed to loose tailoring as one of the evolving trends on the London runway over the past few seasons.
“Agi & Sam and Craig Green opted for looser fits on both outerwear and tailored pieces. Wide-leg trousers that just skim the ankle have been a recurring look throughout the week,” he said, adding that the store was adding Craig Green to its mix of designers.
“We also saw a shift in streetwear, with Nasir Mazhar and Christopher Shannon both developing their aesthetic and giving their collections a new edge of refinement — tailored jackets, shirts and fitted trousers all made an appearance.”
He said the shearling jacket would no doubt be the “piece for the season,” with J.W. Anderson, Coach, James Long and Burberry all presenting options. “LC:M continues to champion London as an important and increasingly relevant men’s wear destination. For me, this was the best one yet.”