The second day of London Fashion Week Men‘s had us counting down the hours until we launched our fifteenth issue, but we were raring to go from an early hour at 180 The Strand – the main location of this season's menswear shows and presentations. We zigzagged through the capital to take in the spring/summer 2018 offerings from some Britain's brightest stars, as well as a few shows from far off shores.
SONGZIO: Words by Mikael Jack, images courtesy of SONGZIO / Catwalking.com
Bleary-eyed at the first show of LFWM day two, we sat down to see Songzio’s SS18 offer. After profiling the South Korean designer after his show in January, we were keen to see how the dark palette and heavy mood of AW17 had moved on. Continuing his signature approach of painting on canvas as the starting point of each season, Mr Song was inspired by two paintings by Velasquez and the colours used in them – blue, orange, yellow – which manifested as bright, bold stripes and delicate watercolour prints.
The strict and structured tailoring that the designer does so well was evident in the jackets, with sandals, looser trousers and shirts adding softness to the silhouettes. The obligatory black was there, but the collection took a much lighter base, with many all-white-everything looks. In the notes, Song said that the collection depicted a “Man, in his night, searching for his own light” and it was no coincidence that there was a dream-like feel to the show. Details such as studded leather on sandals and tasselled seams on trousers added edge.
E. Tautz: Words by Tyler Kenny, images courtesy of E. Tautz
In a season where collections have ranged from outlandish to ordinary, E. Tautz presented a modern take on the sartorial. Rust-coloured parkas were layered over pink shirting, Parachute silk short shorts were worn with matching bombers and suiting came roomy but refined. Quiet luxury at its finest, with oversized lapels and new (but not challenging) proportions. Belts came haphazardly tied, but in an artful way, that was more Savile Row than High Street. The collection was rounded out with Louboutin shoes and eyewear by Kirk Originals – brand adjacency at it's finest.
St. James’s Show: Words by Jeff Conway, images courtesy of St. James's Show / Catwalking.com
Turning London’s Jermym Street from a shopping district into a thrilling runway space, St. James’s Show took its London-derived designs and immersed them successfully within its local streets. Compiling the looks from St. James’s area designers into this event, St. James’s Show featured casually-fitted suits, aesthetically-vibrant robes and ready-to-wear jackets. The mood of the show’s spectators was enthused, as the appreciation and pride of their local entrepreneurs was quite evident in the resulting applause.
Lou Dalton: Words by Tyler Kenny, images courtesy of Lou Dalton / Catwalking.com
Presented in an unusual shop window format, this was one of the more confusing elements of London Fashion Week Men’s. Once inside the shop it was nearly impossible to see the full looks as most models faced outward. It was also unbearably hot inside the fishbowl-like presentation. The awkward production was perhaps a nod to the clumsy, oversized striped looks on show.
Repetitive silhouettes felt retro in a medley of sporty hues. Acid yellow, cobalt blue and pastel pink combined for a collection that fell short of the kind of progressive thinking we're used to seeing from Dalton. Gone was the sense of freedom and challenging the norm that normally comes with her collections.
John Smedley: Words by Elle Magill, images courtesy of John Smedley / Catwalking.com
A Chelsea boy’s favourite. This collection saw a continuation of its signature classic, clean and simple lines in the finest of knits. This classic brand combined its elegant (and very British) tailoring with beautiful patterns reminiscent of an iconic painting by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa to a stunning effect. The British weather played perfectly into John Smedley’s hand and provided a summery backdrop to the outdoor catwalk show, which took place on one of London’s most iconic men’s streets, renowned for expertise in shirting: Jermyn Street.
PRONOUNCE Presented by GQ China: Words by Jeff Conway, images courtesy of PROUNOUNCE / Catwalking.com
Designers Yushan Li and Jun Zhou brought home their international flair to London Fashion Week Men’s. While both Li and Zhou began to master their skills while attending schools around London, they are now based in Milan and Shanghai, which translates into this latest collection, featuring their broadened cultural designs and evident Asian inspirations. With their boxy frames and beautifully-constructed garments and materials, PRONOUNCE delivers high-fashion to create a futuristic message toward where men’s fashion is ultimately heading. With both bright and dull colour options, PRONOUNCE provides an approachable sense to its extravagant, worldly style.
Blood Brother: Words by Elle Magill, photography by Joe Simpson
The Blood Brother SS18 collection is a perfect blend of contemporary fashion and sportswear apparel, with functionality and comfort at its core. Its founders, Nicholas Biela and James Waller, have expertly targeted the fashion-conscious millennial generation who value comfort just as much as style. The collection is full of relaxed-fit tracksuits and slogan Ts. For the most part, SS18 is stocked with easily wearable pieces, but with statement moments; a stunning long-line PVC trench and a scarlet-red cropped jacket.
Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY: Words by Elle Magill, images courtesy of Charles Jeffrey
SS18 at London Fashion Week Men’s was Charles Jeffrey’s first standalone show, and what a debut. He describes the collection as an ‘orgy’, ‘an erratic scribble’ and that could not be a more apt description. The collection is an amalgamation of tartan punks, mantilla-clad duchesses and tiny Y-fronts. Charles Jeffrey is what fashion should be; fun and a true and shameless expression of one’s self.
Candid Magazine Issue 15 Launch Party: Words by Rose Stewart, photography by Ricky Darko
Capping off the second day of London Fashion Week Men’s, we launched our fifteenth issue (The Luxury Issue) and the SS18 Grooming Room. Hosted by cover star, singer-songwriter and producer, Danny Jones (pictured above with bandmate, Harry Judd), fashion royalty and international stars converged on a roof terrace in Soho to sip cocktails from CÎROC and premium lager from San Miguel.
As with all of our events, the two-hour celebration spilled well into the night and early hours, with guest DJs Kris James of The Scheme and Hoxton Radio’s celeb duo, Laura Pradelska & Lara Fraser on the decks. A special thanks to Candid fashion photographer, Joe Simpson and fashion stylist, Jonathan Keith for coming to London from Los Angeles, to our fashion and entertainment editor, Jeff Conway for coming from Chicago, and to all our guests who came from Hong Kong, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond!
Buy the new print issue at fine retailers and news agents around the world, or online here.