Alexandra’s take on the trends at London Fashion Week Men's Autumn/Winter 2018
I’m often asked what I think of current men’s fashion trends, particularly at this time of year when the London Fashion Week Men's takes place. So, here is my run-down of the trends on and off the catwalk, and how I think they may (or may not) translate into tailoring for the ‘man on the street’.
I encourage you to follow the links in this post to get a real feel for the tone of dressing this year.
On the catwalk – the Autumn/Winter 2018 collections
Masculine dressing on the catwalk is back. The shows on Day One had a distinctly masculine edge compared to the more gender fluid designs later on in the weekend that we are used to seeing. Of Day One, GQ magazine said: “Whether today's shows represent a collective attempt to demonstrate that dressing like a man in the traditional sense doesn't necessarily make you a monster, or whether they simply address the need for hardworking clothes in a challenging landscape remains to be seen.”
Taking a glance at all the shows, Autumn/Winter 2018/19 will feature a lot of oversized, super comfortable coats. Quite slouchy and layered texture on texture. This over-sized, loose style is reminiscent of the early 1990s but can be tricky to wear and still look sharp.
They were paired with rolled up trousers – not my first choice and I do wonder whether this catches on. If you do decide to wear rolled up trousers, it’s better to opt for ‘crunchier’ fabrics such as cotton, denim or flannel which hold their shape or it just won’t look right.
The Sports Luxe trend and it’s ubiquitous puffa jackets aren’t going anywhere soon, either. But happily, roll-neck sweaters and more fitted overcoats are still a big trend.
Tailoring at the LFWM’s catwalk shows
Ben Sherman showed pencil trousers (a straight up and down style) in a variety of colours. Personally, I prefer tapered trousers as they’re so flattering to most shapes and sized men. Pencil trousers are a nice look for those wanting something more casual and ‘Look at my socks’ worthy. Most of our customers would despair to see this much sock on show.
The pops of colour, in particular the use of shades of pink, perfectly tapped into the trends of the season.
John Lawrence Sullivan did the polar opposite with his trouser shapes, giving men a lot more room. He also employed front pleats to create volume and comfort. With this wide shape, you could have the most unforgiving of legs and no one would suspect a thing. This is almost like a twist on the trousers worn by David Bowie in his early years and isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Oliver Spencer created a nice balance between the two with options of pencil trousers and roomier trousers. You’ll notice that they’re all much lower in the crotch region. These trends are definitely for those who like comfort, and as soft tailoring is coming to the forefront this cut works perfectly with this concept.
What was very apparent was the use of mixed textures e.g. leather with cotton, and the collection is designed so pieces could be worn in a multitude of ways.
We saw much more of the ‘suit that’s not a suit’ concept - it’s like outerwear top to bottom. We did a version of a khaki green rain mac and khaki cotton trousers combo... I still prefer a mix and match option if it’s not a conventional suit to break things up. Who knows if this will be a trend that sticks.
Finally, bright splashes of colour like fluorescent orange in accessories such as socks and scarves were shown across many shows, and I think will be popular come autumn.
Off the catwalk: tailoring on the street at LFWM Autumn 2018
I have my suspicions from John Lawrence Sullivan's show and the photos taken of the streetwear folk that pinstripes will be making a big return for Autumn/Winter 2018/19. Think of it as Wall Street comeback.
It’s cold out there on the streets of London, but that hasn’t deterred the thousands of stylish men and women who’ve come out to attend #London Fashion Week Mens’. See the best suiting and streetwear in our #streetstyle gallery at our bio link. (📸 @thousandyardstyle) #beret #espressostance #LFWM # Follow #GQ Editor @dylanjonesgq
The fashionistas rocking up to the shows worked layering to perfection – and it was needed given the uncomfortably chilly temperatures recently. Who knew so many layers could look so good! Chunky jumpers, overcoats and monochrome outfits featuring layers of texture upon texture worked a treat.
The tailoring seen on guests at the show and after parties, although larger, was well thought out with clean lines and precise details. If you look closely at the clothes, they were often mixed and matched with a variety of colours and textures, all the while keeping details incredibly very crisp. The trousers were neat, made in fresh, crisp fabrics.
For me, it shows that menswear has just started to get much more exciting!
Our new collections for spring will be released next month, and a launch for summer in May which includes our exciting collaboration with The Grey Fox.