It’s London Collections: Men this week – the manly version of Fashion Week – with all manner of brogue-wearing fashion editors, buyers and bloggers clogging up the streets of the capital. After more than 60 shows and presentations over three days, a whirlwind of luxe sportswear, crumpets and an ill-timed dog poo, it all winds up tonight with a few messy parties and a posh dinner hosted by GQ editor Dylan Jones, Tinie Tempah and Sir Paul Smith (our ticket must be in the post).
We loved the packed-out shows of London-based brands YMC and Christopher Shannon, the super slick Jonathan Saunders presentation, and discovering ToBeFrank by Frank Phillips – a brand that manufactures in England using traditional suppliers (including Yorkshire shepherdess Sue Wiles who creates ToBeFrank’s chunky jumpers using wool from her own herd of sheep). MAN, the group show of new designers, and usually the epicentre of fashion week weirdness, didn’t disappoint with Astrid Andersen’s bombastic sportswear, Craig Green’s creepy DIY-take on style, and Agi & Sam’s eye-popping pop prints. Online store Mr Porter’s special presentation had models hanging out in bright red telephone boxes at the Alison Jacques gallery on Berners Street (with a tea and crumpet van parked outside). With the other shows and presentations previewing what we’ll be wearing in six months or so, Mr Porter cleverly presented stuff you can buy right now – exclusive pieces from Katy Eary, Richard Nicoll, Matthew Miller and oddball knit brand Sibling.
Here’s a round-up of the best bits:
Best shows: London brand YMC’s brilliant ‘Dead Inside’ show with washed-out tartan, pink suede brothel creepers and beret flat caps; Christopher Shannon’s very grown-up and sexed-up sportswear; Aitor Throup’s Kings Cross installation of humanoid chicken-wire mannequins wearing his clothing and accessories line (you had to be there); Topman Design’s explorer parkas and accessories; Agi & Sam’s upbeat country gent dressing.
Best use of planks: Craig Green’s barnstorming wooden headpieces at the MAN show.
Best snacks: Scotch eggs and mustard at the Jonathan Saunders presentation (FYI it’s quite hard to look stylish and eat a boiled egg at the same time).
Best beard-and-Basset-hound combination: Agi & Sam’s casting featured some impressive wizardy bearded models and a wonderfully droopy-looking Basset hound.
Best music: Christopher Shannon’s hi-NRG remix of Gabrielle’s ‘Dreams’ and slow soul version of KLF’s ‘Justified and Ancient’; YMC’s finale to The B-52s.
Best use of London icons: the Mr Porter installation with its red telephone boxes, umbrellas and a tea and crumpet van.
Best moment: A pug squeezing one out on the floor at the Nicole Farhi show. Total fashion realness.