LONDON — Politics is on the minds of many of this city’s men’s wear designers this season and it’s no wonder given the referendum later this month that will decide whether Britain remains part of the European Union.
Daniel Fletcher said he wanted to highlight the relationship between Europe and Britain with his collection, while Khalid al Qasimi of the contemporary label Qasimi is countering childhood memories of the Nineties Gulf War with an upbeat color palette and fluid silhouettes.
Soft colors and a laid-back attitude are recurring themes in all of the collections.
Belstaff’s Frederik Dyhr channeled the carefree attitude of the protagonists in Steve McQueen’s film “On Any Sunday,” while Toby Lamb at Richard James has been working cotton and linen into double-breasted jackets and tailored trousers. Mark Thomas, meanwhile, described this season’s Joseph man as “relaxed and unfussy.”
Fabric innovation has been another focus.
Christopher Raeburn, who will be staging a show in collaboration with the luxury leather-goods label MCM — in addition to his signature label’s presentation — this season, referenced “THX-1338,” the early George Lucas film that presents a vision of a dystopian future.
Raeburn, who’s made his name upcycling and recycling fabrics, said the signature collection features his “most innovative exploration into fabric development to date.”
Designers detailed sources of inspiration for their collections.
“A romantic exploration of chaos through the forces of nature.” — Matthew Miller
“I drew inspiration from the conceptual artist Félix González-Torres, whose work informed part of the color palette, among other things.” — Sebastiaan Pieter, designer at Pieter
“As a child of the Seventies, I have fond memories of watching the Grand Prix with my grandfather and father. The Monaco Grand Prix always was my favorite, as suddenly I was transported from a little living room in Norfolk to a man’s playground, with yachts lounging in the harbor.” — Dean Gomilsek-Cole, designer at Turnbull & Asser
“This collection is a celebration of the relationship between the U.K. and Europe. I hope people will see it and be reminded of what a special relationship this is, and vote to remain in the EU on June 23.” — Daniel W. Fletcher
“The collection features Sea Island cotton T-shirts, knitted and fully fashioned by John Smedley. Colors are indigo, bleached yellow, white and off-white. Graphic stripes in shirts and T-shirts and black leather sandals with crepe sole give an urban slant to the collection.” — Margaret Howell
“An abstracted ‘THX-1138’ meets our most innovative exploration into fabric development to date.” — Christopher Raeburn
“The collection finds itself in the surroundings of a brave new world, tropical Deco architecture and fading colonial splendor and in the enchanting company of an exquisitely attired gentleman adventurer and contrebandier. Finely detailed prints capture the fantastical form of Deco style.” — Toby Lamb, design and brand director, Richard James
“We drew inspiration from Bruce Brown’s seminal 1971 motorcycle film, ‘On Any Sunday,’ starring Steve McQueen. The collection, like the film, celebrates the carefree attitude of the guys and girls on and off the racetracks.” — Frederik Dyhr, vice president of men’s design, Belstaff
“Luxury essentials are elevated with precise military-inspired detailing and finishings; fabrics are washed and lived-in, and colors muted.” — Mark Thomas, head of men’s wear at Joseph
“YMC will be presenting ‘Okoro,’ which draws influence from the rich tapestry of African culture that has seeped into the British psyche. The collection has a playful, textured feel with bold prints and layered pieces and pays tribute to Africa and its impact on many different forms of British culture.” — Fraser Moss, YMC founder and designer
“Spring is more romantic and nostalgic than my previous men’s wear collection; I want it to be quite soft and gentle.” — Phoebe English
“I looked back on my childhood, my discovery of the meaning of war and occupation during the Gulf War that started in August of 1990. The silhouettes are fluid, oversized and languid and colors are optimistic and fresh, countering the idea of war.” — Khalid al Qasimi, creative director, Qasimi
“It’s about tradition and creativity, heritage and modernity. A contemporary home for an innovative past.” — Darren Barrowcliff, head of design at Hardy Amies
“I’m always drawn to look at volume. For winter, this can translate into cocooning and dramatic silhouettes, but I wanted to embrace a sense of ease for summer; larger volumes that are much lighter. The research began with an old French army cavalry coat, which we wrapped and placed on the body in lots of different ways to create new silhouettes.” — Raimund Berthold, designer at Berthold