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London Fashion Week Men’s Day 4
June 23, 2017
The last day of London Fashion Week Men’s had us scattered about the city to take in the final shows of the season and to attend an exclusive talk with MR PORTER, Oliver Spencer and Thread.
Belstaff: Words by Mikael Jack, photography by Joe Simpson
Moving to a more intimate presentation space – the newly-opened Lancaster Rooms in Somerset House – than the brand’s usual vast venues, Belstaff’s SS18 spectacle was already packed as the doors opened. Always themed on an extreme adventure of some kind, this season was illustrated by a BMW motorcycle used in the Paris –Dakar rally, joining the models and collection as the focus of attention.
Mixing modern performance fabrics with retro sports graphics and prints, the collection referenced the multi-cultural encounters of riders travelling through the extreme conditions, most notably the copper and earthy hues of the North African landscape. Iconic shapes from the brand’s storied history – the Trialmaster and Roadmaster jackets to name two – are updated in lightweight fabrics that incorporate innovative properties, such as UV protection. Clean whites, bold reds and blues join the natural hues of oranges and soft greens, while bold advertising-style prints take over t-shirts and hark back to the inspiration’s era. Sports references are seen as motocross-style stripes on sneakers and accessories, as well as subtly on clothing.
Katie Eary: Words by Rose Stewart, images courtesy of Katie Eary
Festival hair, acid-coloured insects and kaleidoscopic jolts of colour were sent down Katie Eary’s catwalk – a space that the master-collaborator shared with streetwear power-brands BOY, Spliffy and Pretty Green. A continuation from the autumn/winter 2017 collection, 1970’s maximalism had a rave on this runway with mesh vests, Day-Glo parkas and oversized cargo trousers. Accessories included galactic headwear and neon cords for belts. Our favourite bit was the expert use of sagging – trousers low-slung, and on Eary’s catwalk with silky, butterfly-print boxers peeking out. We also liked the return of Katie’s sleeve-into-glove, a version featured in our fourteenth print issue – The Art Issue.
Michiko Koshino: Words by Courtney Blackman, images courtesy of Michiko Koshino
Making our way to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, we had an inkling that Michiko’s spring/summer 2018 offering would be baseball-related, based on the overtly sporty invitation. Ascending the spiral staircase into the presentation room, we were met with a team standing on a patch of grass bordered in the back by panels of corn stalks – a reference to the 1989 film Field of Dreams. Sounds of a crowd cheering and baseballs cracking against wooden bats played overhead.
Michoko’s team of models came complete with baseball-style hats, mitts, bats, balls, hooded jerseys and one of her trademark inflatables made to resemble a catcher’s protective armour. While they looked slightly intimidating with the streaks of warpaint under their eyes, stripped back from the LFWM-styling, it’s an easy-to-wear neutral palette, enhanced by a couple of signature prints including a vintage photograph of a team of Japanese players.
We went backstage to talk with Michiko who revealed that the baseball seed was planted years ago. “When I was growing up, it was all about baseball. Everyone was going to baseball.” It’s safe to say that there might be a (nationwide) obsession. She even designed the uniforms for a professional team in Japan five years ago.
D.GNAK: Words by Mikael Jack, images courtesy of D.GNAK / Catwalking.com
When Candid met with SONGZIO earlier this year, the man behind the label – designer Zio Song – told of his desire for more Korean designers to be showing in Europe, and that’s just what happened on the final day of LFWM as D.GNAK made their debut on the London stage.
A fashion fusion of tailoring with traditional Korean menswear has become the brand’s signature since its inception in 2008. Designer Kang Dong Jun – who studied at New York’s Parsons School of Design – joining the alumni that includes Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang – took the usual dark palette into summer with hits of beiges and yellows, as well as brighter bursts of red. With garments deconstructed – such as slashed blazers and jumpsuits – then reconnected with the use of ties and buckles, the collection added a hard, utility edge to otherwise minimal pieces. Trailing straps and tapes were reminiscent of early 2000’s Jungle pants, although cleaner and slimmer. Highlights included beige tailoring and knitwear, low slung leather shorts and those skinny ‘Jungle’ pants.
Fashion & Technology with MR PORTER, Oliver Spencer & Thread: Words by Rose Stewart, photography by Yoshitaka Kono
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Grooming Room to attend the Fashion & Technology talk that was put on by The Industry in partnership with Société. MR PORTER’s managing director, Toby Bateman; menswear designer, Oliver Spencer; Société’s head of fashion, Martyna Panczak and Thread’s head of business development, Terry Betts carried out a panel discussion on the impact of technology on the menswear market. Chaired by The Industry’s managing director, Lauretta Roberts, the way fashion is consumed editorially and shopped for was top of the agenda, along with how brands and retailers are using technology to make shopping easier and more effective. It was a packed house with some of the most important personalities in men’s fashion. It followed with drinks from CÎROC.