The final day of the inaugural London Collections: Men yesterday was a sublime mix of established stalwarts and bright young things with a canny eye on the commercial side.
An early morning wake up call came courtesy of JW Anderson takes pleasure in presenting collections that are “slightly off” and rib-knit flared trousers with matching jumpers and cardigans in beige and lilac were precisely that. Sheer organza tank tops, trousers and shirts plastered with flowers were interspersed with pinstripe polo shirts and trousers. All came served with flatform sandals, black head scarves and clutch bags - a directional look perhaps, but one which will surely be snapped up by the designer's growing following.
Margaret Howell showed a signature selection of lightweight workwear and summer tailoring in a palette of navy, grey and white with hints of burnt orange and khaki. Crisp white linen T-shirts and a rubberised anorak were modern classics and eminently wearable highlights from a designer who may not surprise but never disappoints.
Richard Nicoll's first foray into menswear showed an assured touch, perhaps gained through the designer's popular collections for Fred Perry. The references here were shared with the mod favourite label - bomber jackets and shorts in butter soft leather and cotton piqué reflected the designer's signature sportswear aesthetic. Intarsia blocks of colour, graphic lines and a neat silhouette created an example of a relaxed modern man all rendered in a spectrum of fresh blues, greys and white with enlivening flashes of yellow.
Enfants terrible Meadham Kirchhoff's presentation was an immersive experience: inviting voyeurs into a derelict squat filled with heady blooms, stuffed toys and the decaying detritus from one hell of a party. Models lounged around on broken cot beds in lurex skull caps and floral silk masks with intricately embellished goggles built in. The backs of cable knit jumpers were cropped to the shoulder blades and blue and fuchsia crystal laden kaftans were evocative of fragile souls dropping out in India after one too many Full Moon Party, but without any hint of a bourgeois gap yah-er.
Pringle of Scotland's signature argyle knits were present and correct in Alaistair Carr's last collection for the brand. Those familiar diamonds were wrought in lightweight cashmere and silk knits in heather and mustard. Knitwear was unsurprisingly a strong part of the collection, thanks also to optical honeycomb intarsia, and a playful interpretation of the house's classic twin sets resulted in knitted tops paired with matching printed shorts. Carr seemed to have hit his stride and had fun with the house's signatures, and it will certainly be interesting to see his next step.