London opened men’s fashion and our expectations had been fulfilled once again. We found a calendar rich of veteran’s names together with a well-assorted group of relatively new designers, from different artistic and cultural backgrounds, united by the desire to bring a breath of fresh air into the wardrobe of men – and women as well, why not : stealing from men’s closet has never been so cool.
The fashion shows were explosive, full of ideas and, in the same time, parties and related events offered the best of street style. 2020 could not have a better start.
Let’s take a look at the trends: they’re going to accompany us next autumn and we’ll see their development during the upcoming fashion month.
Denim first of all, which returns in its purest essence. Almost all designers used it in their collections and some of them pleasantly surprised us, bringing on the catwalk power suits and co.ords entirely made of denim.
Among those who wanted to explore all the potential of the most famous cotton canvas in the world, there was Per Götesson, who used it for trenches, in double color, with soft lines on the body. He is one of the “newcomers” on the scene and has only a couple of collections on file. However, his artistic vision is already very clear. This collection is defined by a slightly dark and decidedly subversive mood – not surprisingly one of its starting points was the screen writer Joe Orton, who created scandals with his satires against the British state in the 60s.
Together with denim, leather continues toe very strong, better if black and better if used on cigarette trousers. It is not new, however, because it has persisted for some seasons now. On the other hand, interest in the 1980s and the punk movement widened.
The collection by Nicholas Daley also refers to music, but he imagines a more “sunny” future with decidedly warmer tones. For the next autumn/winter season he takes inspiration once again from the world of jazz and his shows are never just fashion shows, but real musical events. The silhouettes of the season are soft and relaxed and make the collection beautiful. Also from a social point of view, as Daley has his garments made only by highly experienced local craftsmen. Jackets and trousers in soft checked mohair wool are the true must of the collection: this print will hav a great success next autumn, so traditional and with so much modern potential.
A touch of English bon ton was not missing during the three days of fashion shows and mainly concerned the accessories. Here too, however, the most classic pieces have been reinvented in an absolutely personal way. For example gloves, the cult accessory of the season, which however must rigorously escape boredom. To do this, designers used explosive colors, applications and striking embroideries.
Or the tie, perhaps the most classic accessory of any self-respecting gentleman, who instead amazed the public with the subversive ways in which it was worn. Munn for example, a Japanese brand that is experiencing great success in the West, tied ties around the chest, but also on models’ ankles and wrists, as if they were jewels. Until the final look, consisting of a hood made entirely of intertwined ties. A more or less explicit reference to sex also, whose taboos are collapsing one after the other, also thanks to fashion, which gradually exposed more and more of the human body to the public.
Harnesses, corsets and bands are a must for both men and women. Charles Jeffry used large safety pins as an accessory for his blazers, and there were straps and chains too. His show is, also in this sense, a return to nature, to which the designer aspires and tends, thanks to his imaginative and over-the-top creations.
And finally let’s talk a little bit about technical clothing. Utility trends and functional outerwear seem to have no intention of leaving our screens – and we don’t mind at all anyway. There are new interpretations however, which are not limited to cargo pants and which are worth considering. And two of these come from the creative mind of two female designers, who have made their culture of origin their strongest point.
Grace Wales Bonner proposed utility and elegant looks at the same time. The inspiration comes from her family, emigrated to Britain from Jamaica. She remembers through the collection how her father and grandfather used to mix South American roots with the all-western irreverence of England in the 70s.
Paria Farzaneh enchanted the public by creating a collection in full streetwear style, with the traditional Persian fabrics of her country of origin. Dreamy colors and textures make each garment extremely precious and offer something to think about, which can perhaps summarize the great strength of London Fashion Week. How many horizons, how many emotions and how much inspiration could we still draw from the world around us and from its endless cultural reserve, if only we could take care of it and use it in a wise and respectful way?
Words by Giulia Greco