The buzzwords flying around amidst the air of this year’s London Fashion Week Men’s or ‘LFWM’ were diversity, creativity, representation, and reflection. London has long been seen as the place for frontier fashion, both in ethos and design. Samuel Ross’ pioneering label A-Cold-Wall* (commonly referred to as ‘ACW’) delivered his cult following with not only new pieces but a fresh perspective on the responsibility of fashion’s global spotlight to highlight current issues. Ross’ feelings on the world’s water crisis were evident within his show, where two troughs of water enclosed the runway. The brand seems to be going from strength to strength following their recent coveted collaboration with Nike’s iconic AF1 trainer, showing the exponential growth of the new label within a year.
Other brands put forward a message of sustainability, using recycled materials for the fabrics in their pieces, showing the sexy side of fighting climate change. Gender fluidity also seemed to be a trend a number of designers were looking to incorporate into their show, embracing the greater appreciation for men’s cosmetics and more liberal fashion.
In my opinion, there were three central houses that delivered the strongest collections in terms of their garments. Again I mention A.C.W, whose collection represents an evolution of previous years’. The clear rhombus that was a signature on their tops has developed into an iconic look for the collection as a whole, where negative space has been stylishly incorporated. Some of the materials used could be described as tactical and stylistically versatile. The shape must stand out, because the colors are mostly limp and desaturated, representing the bleak dystopia that’s clear to see in the stark cold steel of the runway and the choice of musical backing.
Industry prodigy Kiko Kostadinov presented a largely monochrome collection, with the understated flair of those designers which he used as inspiration for his runway show. In one shot, a black patterned bomber jacket and a pinstriped overcoat caught my eye.
The third designer of note is Qasimi: a London based brand with a creative director from the United Arab Emirates. The ethos seems to be to highlight social issues, without outdating or taking away from the garments themselves. Streetwear supplements exaggerated workwear in this collection. LFWM refer to it as “relaxed sophistication” on their website. Colour blocking, cuffed trousers of every kind, and oversized shirts comprise much of what’s on show, to great effect. Some of the brand’s most interesting outfits here play with slight but distinctive colour differences and bold silhouettes.