Thursday, 16 January 2014
Inside the LCM Showrooms
Whilst shows and presentations were carrying on all around London, the Hospital Club played host to the LCM showrooms. The showrooms allowed designers to present small samples of their AW 14 collections to buyers and the fashion press, and were a wonderful opportunity to look closely at collections, speak with designers and get some first hand knowledge of inspirations, fabric and the design process. Established brands such as Sunspel and Christopher Raeburn stood with new labels like Alex Mullins and Berthold. Floors were broken down into contemporary ready to wear, luxe basics, ready to wear emerging and streetwear, and designer Paul Costelloe had a private showroom.
As with last weeks LCM posts, the below highlights just a handful of some of the collections shown. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be devoting more time to individuals brands.
Jean Machine are specialists in well cut, casual menswear. Relaunched in 2012, it is the go to place for clean, contemporary and effortless denim. The jeans on show were slim, straight and relaxed whilst a tightly edited collection of ready to wear included a denim jacket and some great shirting and knitwear. Jean Machine are the perfect label for the concise and modern man.
Lyle & Scott
A wonderful back to basics collection from Lyle & Scott that looked to the heritage of the label . I loved the slim rollnecks with the motif on the side of the neck, and the fantastic range of shoes. New for Autumn is the collection created with designer Jonathan Saunders which stayed true to the aesthetics of the label, but experimented with new more muted colors. A highly wearable and colorful Autumn collection that will cater well for fans of the brand.
A really strong range from Common People, concentrating on interpreting familiar clothes in new ways. The knitwear above is a great example, where two colors and fabrics are seamlessly blended together to create a different jumper than you would see on the high street. Really strong and a great price point too. I can't wait for this stuff to be available for sale.
I was really impressed by the collection shown by new brand Tobefrank. Focused on some fantastic knitwer basis, I especially loved the statement check trousers with the unusual green and purple blend. These would really stand out with a great white shirt, or make a bolder statement when worn as part of a suit. The shirts also had wonderful detailing - contrast bibs and smaller collars which made the collection really stand apart from other brands.
Simple garments lovingly crafted, Universal Works showed a small collection of garments that were modern and urban, of great quality and made in the UK. For each day of LCM, the Universal Works collection was re-styled by different teams such as the Sartorial 7, and Individualism. This was a great way to show off as much of the range as possible and pass on the pressures of styling to others.
Now famed for their raincoats, the new range of Stutterheim played with new colors and textures. The coats were all still thoroughly modern, crafted out of premium cotton and water resistance but came in neon green, raspberry red and a lovely off white. The traditional navy, black and grey were all still available with new details on buttons and collars.
Specialists in high quality and jerseys and crafted using modern techniques, the high standard of this range needs to be felt to be believed. All of the items were incredibly soft to touch. Made of the finest Italian yarn and with sustainability in mind, this was a focused range full of really wearable clothes that can easily be incorporated into your existing wardrobe, and an absolute must for any wool and knitwear collectors and enthusiasts.
Another really great collection - Natural Selection color palette of red, white and black are perfect for Autumn/ Winter. The black coat above was a stand out item from a range that had some great ready to wear pieces.
Moving away from a monochrome color base, by incorporating fuchsia pink into the collection, this was a street collection full of great bombers and outerwear. The color panels on the shirts were fantastic, as was the use of neoprene which featured heavily throughout the collection on coats and bags.
House of Nines
One of the strongest collections I saw was from relative newcomers House of Nines. The collection featured some superb tailoring, with garments cut close to the body for a slim silhouette, with great subtle details like leather collars. The shirts were also pretty outstanding - great collars that really stand out. My idea of the perfect evening out wardrobe, for that effortlessly stylish but perfectly put together look.
Quite simply some of the most beautiful shirts that I have ever seen, each of which could have a very happy home in the rakish gents wardrobe. Established only last year by designer Anne Marie Ng, the label draws inspiration from world culture and tradition whilst being designed and crafted in Britain and Europe. Concentrating on timeless style, and small trend changes, Wearfore showcased whiter than white shirts, with some fantastic Japanese selvedge denim and brushed cotton pieces.
Los Angeles based label James Perse specalise in great quality, easy to wear items. The lounge wear deserves a mention - all T shirts are 100% cotton and the sweatpants are all made from vintage cotton. All of the items were simple items that you won't want to take off.
Launching his debut collection, Alex Mullins presented 32 pieces that created a graphic world drawing on the masculinity of hard wearing, practical clothing reinvented by splicing large scale paintings. A stunning range that featured deep indigo denim, silks and velvets with panelled melton wool coats. Alex Mullins is definitely one to watch.
Established brand Paul Costelloe was the designer showroom at this years LCM. The garments on offer stuck closely to the designers theme and will no doubt do incredibly well with his fan base. Suits on offer drew inspiration from English heritage and Italian luxury with wide lapels and window pane checks featuring alongside lapel pins incorporated into the suit jacket and deep red and green velvet.