The British male, ever more fashion conscious and less sheepish about making an effort with his appearance, finally got his first full day at London Fashion Week yesterday.
The main event of the showcase was the MAN show, featuring the work of three new menswear designers, as well as Topman Design. The first, J W Anderson, illustrated the way in which trends often permeate both men's and women's fashion: many of his shapes referenced the 1980s influences prominent thoughout the week. There were baggy tweed trousers and oversized shirts – one in a metallic copper fabric and another in filmy silk, with a trompe l'oeil tuxedo painted on it – while exaggerated shoulders featured on a black top with rolled sleeves. Think Danny Zuko from Grease on Wall Street, alongside new takes on tailoring.
The more conservative dresser might not rush out to buy J W Anderson's long quilted skirt but as Charlie Porter, deputy editor of Fantastic Man magazine and a member of the MAN panel observed, they have been on the catwalk for a few seasons now. Historically men have worn skirts as frequently as trousers; look at Marc Jacobs. Given that the clothes in MAN shows often filter down to the high street, it could be a case of watch this space.
The same goes for the red patent man bag and sheepskin neck warmer-cum-neck brace at James Long, whose collection included jodhpurs and shredded wool leggings with oversized sheepskin coats.
Jersey is surely poised to be a trend; Christopher Shannon showed jeans made out of the fabric amid his collection of fluoro and grey sportswear. There were funnel neck jackets and quilted rucksacks, while Topman Design tailored it into slim trousers.
The Topshop Design show was the most commercial collection, and as such gives a direct insight into what young men will be wearing next autumn. Checked wool jackets, crombie coats in salt and pepper tweed and granddad-style cardigans were teamed with slim wool trousers and gelled teddy boy hair, evoking the clothes an angry young man might wear for hanging around 1950s Soho coffee shops.
Gordon Richardson, the design director of Topman, said "confidence in men's fashion has really grown generally", adding: "In Topman we do a new trend every three months – that was unheard of three years ago." With the intention to expand the menswear showcase in the future, the profile of men's fashion will only increase.Reuse content