The festive season is behind us, and NYFW feels like it’s miles away. Thankfully, this weekend brought a ray of sunshine in the form of London Collections: Men.
Now finishing its eighth season, LCM has put the UK front and centre on the menswear calendar, though perhaps you’re wondering why you should engage with an event that caters primarily to the opposite sex, populated mostly by ankle-flashing bearded men rocking three-piece suits with no socks. There’s so much more to LCM than pocket squares and shiny loafers.
Menswear may be the priority, but often a brand’s womenswear makes it onto the catwalk, too. From Balmain and Burberry, to Gucci and Givenchy: plenty of houses sent out looks for the ladies during their SS16 men’s shows in June, and if LCM so far is anything to go by, AW16 is no different.
What’s even more exciting is seeing up-and-coming designers take their first steps towards producing a line for women, and LCM is the best place to catch the genesis of what may well become future womenswear staples.
Consider Agi & Sam, who dipped their toes into the world of womenswear with some gorgeous widely-cut cropped jackets, in white and olive green, and knits in grey with sleeves to the knees.
Likewise, at Matthew Miller’s Saturday show, female models sported overcoats, bombers and even tailoring that looked truly unisex. In a world where gender is becoming increasingly recognised as a fluid concept, it makes sense for fashion to follow suit.
In the past, LCM has introduced us to designers like Craig Green, the wunderkind of the schedule and a name you may want to familiarise yourself with. Known for his envelope-pushing conceptual designs, Green’s recent collections have garnered tremendous critical acclaim. And the Topman-supported MAN scheme from Fashion East, which showed Green’s work for three seasons, championed newcomers like Charles Jeffrey, Rory Parnell-Mooney and British Fashion Award-winner Grace Wales Bonner. MAN alumni includes JW Anderson, proof that stars ascend from LCM.
And then there are the trends. This season’s are yet to be fully revealed (check back to Grazia over the next few days for our full report), but the SS16 men’s collections nodded to a few looks that anyone can comfortably take on. Last season, Christopher Kane and Cavalli both indulged in the colour pink, lace was a big story at Burberry and Gucci and a load of wide-legged trouser action hit the catwalks. If AW16 follows suit, there could be some ideas to fold into your winter wardrobe before Monday night rolls around. Watch this space.
The LCM train heads for Milan next weekend, so get on board to revel in the trends and the talent.
Words by Nick Barron
Images via Rex Features