The second London Collections: Men quickly established the city as a capital of menswear that can rival Milan and Paris, with well-known names including Topman, Alexander McQueen and Hackett showing alongside a new generation of designers. This juxtaposition of the established and the new means there is nowhere else like London.
Topman Design showed a collection inspired by the young traveller about to embark on his first journey around the world. The show included white full-length parka coats, white tailoring, cropped jackets with baggy pants and hiking boots perfect for the stylish traveller. The collection also included bright orange and yellow, red double-breasted tailoring, red cropped parkas and pea coats and was strong on accessories, including backpacks and iPod cases.
Burberry, one of the biggest names in British menswear, hosted a breakfast at its Knightsbridge store, a perfect way to begin the second day. The main menswear collection will be shown in Milan as usual, but how long before Burberry returns to eclectic London, the headquarters of the British brand?
Hackett, the quintessential British label started in 1983 by Jeremy Hackett, showed in one of the most interesting locations of London Collections: Men. The crypt of St Paul’s cathedral in the City of London was the perfect setting for a collection that was strong on tailoring for the discerning city gentleman. Prince of Wales checks, grey flannel tailoring and colour were very much in evidence; yellow and red trousers were modern, classic pieces for the sartorially savvy client. Erin O’Connor even made an appearance at the end of the show, in a cool dinner suit and bow tie to show off the brand’s excellent evening attire.
Tom Ford, the designer turned film director, showed a select group of journalists and buyers a collection of 60s-inspired tailoring and the dinner suits he is brilliant at. The Sloane Street boutique Ford is scheduled to open later this year is one of the most anticipated store launches in London.
Vivienne Westwood, a grande dame of British fashion, returned to London to show her autumn/winter 2013 menswear collection at Harrods. This focused collection was strong on her signature tailoring, sheepskin jackets and cool accessories and is perfect for those seeking something a little more edgy.
Another welcome addition to the schedule was Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton, the label’s creative director, presented a thoroughly contemporary collection inspired by Savile Row and the church. Grey pinstripe and Prince of Wales tailoring were mixed with long overcoats, velvet evening suits and bold patterns and graphics in one of my favourite collections.
A collection of tailors including Anderson & Sheppard, Gieves & Hawkes, Richard Anderson and Holland & Holland showed the world why Savile Row deserves its international reputation. The mix of traditional tailoring, military suits and velvet dinner suits was distinguished, traditional and contemporary – and showed the world why London is best at menswear.