LONDON — The light men’s wear schedule for spring gave retailers a chance to deep-dive into emerging trends and give emerging talent a chance to shine. Craig Green, Stefan Cooke and Martine Rose were among the darlings of the three-day showcase, with retailers lauding their bold designs and strong aesthetic.
“Craig Green’s collection was a glorious, uplifting, colorful expansion on a signature style that he has really defined,” said Bruce Pask, men’s wear fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, who also talked about the increasing influence of tailoring on the London runways.
Simon Longland, general merchandise manager for men’s wear and sports at Harrods, also noted the new focus on tailored looks. “There were celebrations of modern tailoring at its finest, generously cut and in a sleek style. This was a key feature that ran through several shows,” he said.
Here, retailers talk about some of the London highlights.
Jack Cassidy, men’s wear buying manager, Selfridges:
Favorite collections: Fashion East, Stefan Cooke, Craig Green and A-Cold-Wall.
Top trends: Color, energy, leather, rich fabrications and textures, fun hair and hats.
Talent scouting: We are excited by Nicomede Talavera’s return to men’s wear which will be announced [this week] and his Nicomede.Uniform capsule will be available at Selfridges at the end of June.
Must-have item: A Craig Green coat.
Saying goodbye to? The hoodie. The archetypal ‘streetwear’ staple was near invisible which felt refreshing.
Simon Longland, general merchandise manager for men’s wear and sports, Harrods:
Favorite collections: Edward Crutchley. It was an exceptionally strong show as it featured sharp tailoring in luxurious fabrications, beautiful prints and jacquards. Craig Green shined bright, he was bold and his experiments with materials and surface embellishment were successful. Qasimi’s refined use of color was evident throughout the collection. I loved the relaxed modern luxury suit of a matching sheer jacket and joggers.
Top trends: Sheer and transparent layers featured heavily, which fed perfectly off the tailored trend. Textures were used to make bold statements and colors were muted or at least pared back cleverly with black. There were boxy sandals and chunky socks, military looks and new silhouettes such as oversized shirts with loose tailoring. Rich fabrics were also used quite cleverly and in particular, gingham and floral patterns.
Saying goodbye to? Although camouflage print took center stage in previous seasons, this temporal trend has cooled down. The strong look was absent, making way for military references.
Tyler Franch, fashion director, Hudson’s Bay:
Favorite collections: Martine Rose for her ability to captivate an audience and share a narrative through clothing, and Craig Green’s artistic approach to dressing.
Top trends: Street-smart tailoring, wide-legged trousers, shades of orange and oversized utility pockets.
Talent scouting: Stefan Cooke by Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt showed the type of clothes I love to see on a runway: Forward, smart, innovative and most importantly wearable. They are definitely ones to watch.
Must-have item: A relaxed fit blazer to smarten up those track pants or a colored suit to lighten up your workwear.
Saying goodbye to? Clothing that means nothing more than its end use. The pressure continues to grow on British designers to be not only great apparel and accessory makers, but poetic geniuses.
Bruce Pask, men’s wear fashion director, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus:
Favorite collections: Craig Green’s collection was a glorious, uplifting, colorful expansion on a signature style that he has defined and continues to develop in refreshing and exciting ways. It was spectacular and inventive, incorporating leather, innovative fabrics in vivid color with intricate cutouts, and clever trompe l’oeil printed human forms on his workwear-inspired shapes. He continues to surprise his ever-growing fan and customer base.
It was great to see Alexander McQueen back on the schedule here in London and it was a true highlight, the best McQueen collection of late. Beautiful, precisely tailored pieces, with extraordinary colorful printing, and inventive embellishment with a signature transgressive undercurrent that feels very much a part of the house.
Lou Dalton has done well lately with her focused presentations that bring proper attention to her smart and wearable wardrobe-based collection, incorporating clever collaborations with U.K. manufacturers John Smedley for knitwear and Gloverall for outerwear that have become a hallmark of her collection and a smart assertion of the brand’s true Britishness.
Top trends: We’re just seeing the emergence of trends here at the start of the season’s shows, but there is a continued presence of a sartorial influence on tailoring that we have seen increasing lately. Vivid color across categories has been refreshing as well as the contrasting emphasis on pale tailoring and a large presence of shorts paired with both sporty and more tailored looks. It speaks well to seasonality.
Given the current conversations about thinning men’s wear show schedules in some cities, London felt vibrant and robust, with a full calendar of compelling shows and presentations as well as a great centralized venue at The Old Truman Brewery. How nice that Craig Green, a former NewGen designer, has been nurtured here on home turf to become the star attraction tentpole fashion show of the week.
Damien Paul, head of men’s wear, Matchesfashion.com:
Favorite collections: E. Tautz, Bianca Saunders, Craig Green and Martine Rose.
Top trends: Muted jewel colors, flashes of orange, elevated fabrications, statement necklaces, lightweight fabric.
Must-have item: Adidas sneakers at Craig Green.
Saying goodbye to: Long taxi rides between shows. It’s great that for the most part, shows happened in very close proximity, which made it very relaxing.