- The London Collection: Men showcased the best designers in menswear, Athena Stylli looks at why Topman stole the show this year.
The London Collections: Men, which showcased over 130 of the best British menswear designs, was five days that represented creativity and innovation; from both the fashion powerhouses and the emerging talent.
The big name designers performed as expected, with the highlights coming from Tom Ford and J.W Anderson in an array of neutral colour palettes and oversized, playful prints.
But the rise of promising young designers managed to rival the creative flair of the heavyweight fashion houses. This is a continuing trend seen season after season, with designers such as Katie Eary showing the competence of the young Brits.
The showcase, as a whole, contrasted flamboyant and vibrant colour against more neutral tones. Trainers made a surprising debut on Tom Ford’s runway, in pastel and light colours like cream, brown, olive-green and plum. The Burberry collection brought us a lot of black, making a big statement with large jackets and trousers, adding a splash of colour with oversized leaf-print scarves. With J.W Anderson’s show, we saw ankle-length trousers, ruffled blouses, bangles and even platform shoes – adding a feminine touch to traditional unisex clothing – while Alexander McQueen took a gothic approach; with haunting music and models in full black garments and dark, elaborate headpieces.
But it was the Topman collection that really raised the bar, with an unexpected stormy theme. The models walked through a runway of puddles, with gelled hair stuck to their faces. The show started off with all-black attire – in stark contrast to their opening walk last year, which was all-white with the theme ‘techno cowboy’. Splashes of colour gradually began to appear in the form of oranges, browns and nudes, with one all-orange piece breaking the mould of dark, gloomy colours. Luxe coats, oversized knits, turtleneck jumpers, loose suit trousers, cropped jackets and hard-wearing shoes were prevalent throughout the collection, reworking the classic core pieces. One duffle jacket came with cool, raw edges, one with a wet-look feel and another with a leather collar and leather insets. The PVC theme also extended to legwear. The structured outerwear and statement knitwear Topman is famous for, tapped into the current penchant for boldly oversized proportions: ideal for layering the chunky knits that appear throughout. The dramatic finale really stole the show as the models strutted the runway while rain poured down on them.
Topman Design has evolved significantly over the past few seasons, and this was enormously prevalent this year at London Collections: Men. The collection really focuses on offering clothes of mass appeal made from high-quality fabrics. Creative director Gordon Richardson and the Topman Design team have created a collection that will be consumed by the fashion set in no time.
To view the whole collection and other London Collections: Men designs visit the website here.
Here are our favourite pieces from the Topman Design show. Images courtesy of WWD.com