Friday, 23 September 2011

The Daily Review - Mens Day

Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden 
The final day at London Fashion Week focused on menswear and menswear designers, who took full advantage of the increasing attention that Mens day receives. At Vauxhall Fashion Scout, the day got off to a flying start with a presentation from U.MI-1. Cubist influences clashed with classic tailoring and Prince of Wales checks, resulting in a contemporary slant on traditional menswear.

Next up was one of the most eagerly awaited shows of the week – Ones To Watch MEN, which saw four of London’s most exciting and innovative menswear designers present their collection to a packed out venue. Trine Lindgaard’s textural and colourful experimentations were in stark contrast to the considered intellectual musings and pale palette of Posthuman Wardrobe, whilst the tailored aesthetic of Baartmans and Siegel and competed for attention with KYE’s glitter blasted war-torn ephemera.

An assured James Small favoured a ‘sleek and romantic vision’ that was observed by Kate Moss, Jamie Hince, Sadie Frost, James Brown, and Jaime Winston. The dandy-fop styling and slicked-back Marcel waves were inspired by the designer’s time at art college, and were offset by floral prints and sheer aplenty.

The final show saw Asger Juel Larsen and t.lipop indulge in a fash-off, as the former clashed his uncompromisingly fearless army (clad in plenty of print and exquisite tailoring) with t.lipop’s cool and composed cowboy confidence and relaxed tailoring.

This dynamic show, that encapsulated and celebrated the inherent eclecticism that makes London fashion so exciting, was a fitting conclusion to the menswear shows and London Fashion Week itself. Until next time….

Text: Victoria Loomes

Thursday, 22 September 2011

t.lipop Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Magdalena Golembiewska

Asger Juel Larsen and T.Lipop are polar opposites when it comes to fashion and this made for a delightfully interesting joint show. After Asger unleashed his fearless army (that encompassed everything from 90’s street wear to Camden Goths, leopard print, glittery creepers, horror masks, graphic lettering, skimpy pants and even chain mail antlers), T.Lipop released a wave of calm as his models breezed down the runway in a collection that was effortlessly cool and reassured. The audience was calmed and refocused, as we were encouraged to marvel at the subtlety and refinement of his craftsmanship.

T.Lipop’s first model strutted out onto the catwalk in a striking wide brimmed hat, which became a signature piece throughout the collection. The hats, whilst still alluding to a formal, gentlemanly style of dressing (a key theme in T.Lipop’s designs), came with an edgy cool. This set the tone for the entire collection: tailored ensembles were relaxed as shirts were long and untucked, or in bold retro prints, blazers worn over bare chests and tailored trousers worn with sandaled feet. The look was borderline hippy, but there was no sloppiness - colours were always coordinated thoughtfully matched, and the pitch-perfect tailoring came with a fine detailing that hinted at tradition. The result? Men who looked effortlessly cool and confidently masculine.

T.Lipop achieves a precise balance that reveals a maturity and self-assuredness in his work and translates to the wearer. It is this ability to make specific yet subtle changes that have strong impact that reveals the designer’s fearlessness. There were some quirky, theatrical elements that intrigued and inspired. For example, a cameral cow skin knee-length coat that exuded cowboy coolness, with oversized shoulders. A stunning long pale blue jacket with faint fringing at the hem hinted at Mexican smocks and looked beautiful. Indeed, the wide brimmed hats alluded to cowboys or field workers.

Lipop’s palette was also fairly restricted, with pales blues to navy and hints of orange, camel, white, stone and defining black. Some colours were mixed and some matched; outfits never became overcomplicated with more than three colour combinations and some were just one uniform colour. Again, this highlighted his confidence and ability. The palette along with the relaxed feel to his clothes are the first collection that I have seen that really evoked that warm, heady feeling of summer.

Text: Amy Lockwood

Asger Juel Larsen Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Magdalena Golembiewska
Another London College of Fashion MA graduate, Asger Juel Larsen showed for the second year running at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. The designer first showed with VFS at the coveted mens 'Ones to Watch' showcase last season, where his rule breaking menswear caught mass media attention and propelled him into his second season.

The show started with a short video of skulls and images from the fun fair, the eerie music setting the tone perfectly. The first model out wore white leopard print basketball shorts and a matching oversized vest. These oversized shapes are a new silhouette for Asger and represented a development from the previous season. The print evolved from white leopard to blurry tiger, both an interesting take on traditional fabric prints. Asger's move towards print has enabled him to explore and expand his vision into new and exciting areas.

The collection had everyone in the audience reaching for their cameras, as Asger's gothic street style models stormed down the runway wearing white hockey masks, metal spike beards, bull horn hats and tiny leopard print pants. There were many different inspirations within the collection; from street-style bomber jackets with embellished patched worked logos to the gothic black ripped skinny jeans. However, underneath the eclectic mix of clothes were some exquisitely tailored jackets with zipped jetted pockets and beautiful leather boxing shorts. Asger played with tailoring methods throughout the collection - one of the stand out pieces was a tailored sleeveless jacket that portrayed his creative approach to fusing different techniques and cultures in his garments.

The accessories within the collection were just as creative; from the amazing glitter covered brothel creepers to the bull horn chain covered army style hat. These contrasted perfectly with the cute wooly hats towards the end of the collection, that had different metal letters stitched to each one spelling out the message 'we live', a message Asger evidently wanted to preach to his audience. 

Text: Joe Turvey

Live Fashion Illustrations

Illustration by Andy Bumpus 

James Small Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Magdalena Golembiewska
If this is the uniform of the all boys school of James Small, what I want to know is; who runs the all girls school?!

Heavily inspired by his time at art college; James Small's menswear collection was as nostalgic as it was eligible. Slick, chic and attracting the attention of some big names, James' Spring/Summer season proved no small force to be reckoned with. Striding to the beat of 'Watch Me Dance', the male models donned a highly tailored, sharply cut selection of suits, shorts and sheer shirts in a variety of prints and patterns. “Dapper, British gentlemen with a London edge” was the brief set by Small to head of hair styling; Jody Taylor and his team from Toni & Guy. Not a hair was left uneducated; slicked back locks, waves heavily set; the visage added a dapper twist to the schoolboy-esque line-up. It took an excess of “label.m volume mousse label.m holding gloss and the label.m serum” to keep the looks in place explained Taylor.

Moss, Hince, Winstone, Frost...The front row was a hive of energy, as some of the most influential faces rocked up to support James. Camera flashes went crazy as the room began to saturate, security was tight and seating plans rigorous. An unusual occurrence; the crowds began to whoop and cheer, and the lights had only just gone down. Was it the fact that it was the second to last show of the week; a kind of industry exclamation? Or was it simply the enthusiasm and excitement boiling over? I'm assuming the latter, yet regardless; people were here to make noise, and what a show to make noise about.

'Drop Outs' as James fondly titled the collection, began with a restricted splash of floral prints, almost bordering on a classic Liberty fabric, twinned with standard blazers and schoolboy shorts. Sleek, sheer silk, untucked shirts in deep purples, toned down nautical navys added an angle of romanticism to the juvenile line-up. One pair of camouflage shorts and one pair of leopard print shorts added a layer of militant playground games to the mix. Floral was not a subtlety, the prints took centre stage in what felt like a very personal interpretation of the man himself. Sleeves and trouser leg hems were rolled, like you would in a painting class and a light navy trench was tied open at the back.

My days in art college were heavily drawn by my passion for distress and mess, however Small's expression feels distinctly innocent and childlike. The fabric choices juxtaposed to the romantic bookish gentleman makes for a highly wearable dapper vision for the man of Spring Summer 2012. Who knows who we will see in Small next season; with the raucous applause of approval withheld to the end; we can safely say the entire front row. Even I wouldn't say no to a sheer shirt or two.

Speaking to James after the show; he described his creative process in more depth:

“I was just sort of, looking back to see what I would have worn and then streamlined it, tweaked it and sort of made it a little more fun. Obviously, to do the catwalk, you've got to sort of jazz it up a bit. I always sort of go back to rock and roll, and sort of festivals. That's always a recurring theme”.

Text: Madeleine Ayers 

Backstage at Ones to Watch MEN Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden 
The menswear hot ticket; Ones to Watch. As guests poured through the doors of the Freemason’s venue, Fashion Scout snuck back stage to take a sneak peak of the hair and beauty looks before they hit the catwalk.

With the models prepped, Toni and Guy director Jody Taylor took a quick break to talk me through the show look:

As there are four different designers, the look had to be universal. We had to compromise basically; it had to be very very simple. A reference was Miami Vice meets French Riviera. We’ve kept the hair quite natural, first of all applying volume mousse, then the hair has been set in a parting and blow dried off the face with some volume in the front. We maintained a natural feeling through the lengths and ends through finger drying. Just before show time we’re going to spray in some sea salt spray, and scrunch that into the hair to add a little more of a tousled, textured feeling to the shape. The look is natural, but structured as well.

Watching the show it was clear to see how well this sweptback look complemented the collections. At Trine Lindegaard swim-cap like millinery made from leather-look colourful strips adorned the model’s head, those ‘finger-dried’ ends peaking out from beneath. Kye showed models with longer, and thus further textured hair, completing the collection’s urban aesthetic.

Model’s faces were kept soft and clean. The Body Shop’s Skin Primer Matte was ‘essential’ to give skin that velvety finish, according to head makeup artist Lan Nguyen. ‘They just want the guys to look healthy,’ said another member of Lan’s team as she talks me through the process using the moisturizer, foundation and the press powder from the range. 

Text: Rosanna Cole and Natasha Slee 

Backstage at James Small Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden 

Ones to Watch MEN - KYE Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden 
Korean designer, Kathleen Kye, drew VFS’s ‘Ones to Watch’ menswear, to a close. The Central Saint Martins graduate showed an elaborate and bold collection, which demonstrated her ability to merge a fun loving appreciation for menswear with substance and quality.

Speaking to the designer backstage after the show, she explained that in creating this SS12 collection she drew from her experiences of living in a separated country and that she wanted to reflect these serious politically issues through her fun and youthful interpretation. She wanted to produce her version while still drawing from the deep meaning of the situation.

As the show got underway the war torn references became apparent with gun motifs embellishing tunics, t-shirt pockets, tank tops, and trousers. One particular model emerged shirtless with a velvet gun shaped bag across his torso and the bag like many other elements in the collection was encrusted with hundreds of gold crystals. The masculinity of war was in this case literally glamourised. The look was very ‘pop’ and military shapes such as cargo pants and combat utility vests were updated by the strong color palette of black, white and gold. “I didn’t want to use traditional military colours like khaki and green. I wanted that pop look.” Kye later explained.

Gold, glitter and sparkle could not be missed from start to finish as alongside its use on clothes, all models stepped out in either gold army boots or Jesus creepers. Accessories were a big feature in this show from bandanas to asymmetrically tied scarves and baseball caps. There was nothing simple or minimal here, instead everything was exaggerated and on display. Zippers were exposed, pockets were everywhere and clasps littered jackets and tops. 

After showing us how it’s done in menswear, Kye is now hoping to also branch into womenswear next season. For the time being she is focusing on her t-shirt line that she has in Korea.

Text: Samantha Farr 

Ones to Watch MEN - Baartmans and Siegel Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden 
Baartmans and Siegel graduated from the prestigious MA Design Technology Menswear course at London College of Fashion in 2010.  Their designs were quickly snapped up by Harrods and have subsequently gained a collaboration with acclaimed English shoe makers Grenson. After showing for two seasons with Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East it was high time for their first runway show as part of the Men’s Ones to Watch at Vauxhall Fashion Scout.
Baartman and Siegel are known for their remarkable tailored garments and today was no exception. From the first look, a stunning striped suit in pale greys to beautiful black classic trench coats, the collection was everything a true English gentleman would want hanging in his wardrobe. As the collection progressed the tailoring evolved into larger silhouettes, with driver jackets and raincoats at the forefront. In particular there was an oversized black draw stringed coat with large gold buckle that created a buzz around the audience as it went down the runway. 
There was a real sense of sportswear running throughout with particular reference to golf.  Slouchy jersey jogging pants worn with tailored jackets and bomber coats teamed with dress suit trousers were a fresh take on traditional English tailoring.   
Signature pieces one would expect to see from Baartmans and Siegel, such as printed silk scarves, were revisited in a larger scale that overflowed from exquisitely cut trench coats. One thing missing from the show this season was fur and in it place came striking knitwear in deep blues and black that were teamed with oversized school boy shorts. The combination of the two showed a boyish side to the Baartmans and Siegel design aesthetic. This boyish inspiration within the collection continued into the leather satchel bags, sunglasses and striped blazers.
Overall, the collection was a true testament to modern English tailoring.

Text: Joe Turvey