The 11th instalment of men’s fashion week kicked off in the capital on 6th January 2018. With a bitter chill, the Fashion Crossover London crew armed itself with hot coffee, scarves and gloves, and landed at the London Fashion Week venue in 180 Strand safe and sound. Probably it would be a pertinent weather for the fashion people to be puffed up with feathery and fluffy fur coats.
This season, London Fashion Week Men’s chose to keep it as ‘quality over quantity’ this time round. The scale of the designer showroom seemed to have been far reduced than before, whilst the spectrum of brands still being selected cleverly. Bottom line, it was a good mix of established, emerging and recent graduate designers geographically (the US, China, Japan and the UK) and style-wise.
Also Fashion Crossover London felt excited to meet recent graduate designers which always freshen us up with unique aesthetics and concepts. A few of them seemed ready to be on their way towards the fashion industry lined up with New York show participation. Speaking of style, interesting fabric manipulation was witnessed quite often as it runs in the menswear gene. We have listed down the most distinctive three talents during the LFWM designer showroom to introduce.
Being fashionable does not always stand for being uncomfortable. And this is what Leon Bara aims to offer to a gentleman with a 'practical menswear', which can make a man's everyday life just a little bit easier. Pragmatism has been always a core ethos behind the brand combined with refined and progressive aesthetics. “We start with a function, and then think of the look,” says Edward. This reversed approach to a conventional design process allows the brands not to miss out any functionality.
The two designers, Omar Afridi and Hugo Edward put practicality forward on contemporary tailoring with an athletic touch. Many of the garments looked simple in design but clever in construction. Garments were in Western clothing silhouette matched with Japanese elements. In particular, the designer is highly prudent when it comes to his fabrics choice. The brand has been sourcing high quality wool and water-repellent fabrics from Japan, which were turned into a multi-purpose vest. The vest was designed to be transformed as a bag with pockets attached, in which a clear brand identity was mirrored. For this 5th season Leon Bara showcased a shirt with the Yakuza’s tattoo imprinted, and a black jacket with Japanese traditional flooring being texturised.
Having worked for Vivienne Westwood for seven years, the two menswear designers Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto launched their brand. JordanLuca challenges the conventional norms of contemporary menswear. The designers demonstrated their skillsets in merging rich Italian heritage and the coolness of London. They hosted a presentation themed “ANGRY / STAFFY” where models made a brave statement by shaving their hair in front of us.
The collection took the inspiration from the personal diary of designer. The designers particularly emphasised the usage of Italian made fabric. The collection consisted of plaid overcoats, hoods with far-reaching drawstring, and vest with multiple straps attached on the side. Also the brand introduced several interesting accessories to match with, such as white puffed scarf in a reflective fabric and a big JordanLuca logoed-muffler, which could be styled in a versatile way.
KA WA KEY explores the relation between soft masculinity and the identity of Asian men with the roots of their sensuous cultures and aesthetics. Key, the designer of KA WA KEY graduated from the Royal College of Art in Fashion Menswear in 2015. The designer prides himself in achieving a number of awards through his career. He was the scholarship awardee of Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (YDTA) and the Hong Kong Fashion Designers’ Association Talent Award.
Further Key was the finalist of the H&M Design Award for his graduate collection, which was showcased in the “DOUBLE JE” contemporary art exhibition in Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Key specialises in exploiting traditional textile craftsmanship and advanced technology, which are shaped into a sweatshirt in cloud print burn out and a leather jacket in cracked leather.