This week it’s my pleasure to feature a post by guest-blogger Jack Meriwether, an artist and fashion-week fanatic. Here, Jack reviews some of his favorite menswear looks from LFW Fall 2014. Interested in guest-blogging for Unwrinkling? Let us know!
Menswear season has officially begun with London Fashion Week, which wrapped up this past Wednesday. From my front row seat (read: behind my iPhone’s Style.com app), things were pretty exciting to say the least. A handful of London designers, including many that I haven’t followed much in the past, are turning out collections that are interesting and beautiful, filled with looks that I know I need to wear this fall (read: replicate with Salvation Army finds). With the London collections on their happy way, and the Milan collections happening in a heartbeat, here are some of my personal highlights from this week’s turnout.
Anderson presents a nice range of re-worked classic pieces (tailored suits with feminine silhouettes) all the way to bold abstractions such as a boxy and voluminous dress with an Asian sensibility, or the knitted body-wraps worn over sweaters (a nod to recent collections). The colors and silhouettes reminded me of Mondrian squares and minimalism, with plenty of room for play—looks for an art gallery-frequenting urbanite. The shoes and accessories weren’t to be missed either, including platform loafers, polished box clutches, leather bucket bags, minimalist jewelery, and even rolls of tape worn as bracelets. It’s little details like these which represent the major takeaways from Anderson’s collections: boldness, re-appropriation and a sense of humor.
My praise of J.W. Anderson’s collection transitions well into my next highlight, MAN, which is an initiative started by Fashion East and Topman in 2005 to support young menswear designers to create the beginning stages of their design careers, of which J.W. Anderson is an alumnus. With MAN, three designers showcase their collections in a single show, which is all completely sponsored by Fashion East and Topman. First was Alan Taylor, who presented suits, coats, and oversized sweaters all tied together in tweeds, bold furs, bursts of neon and Matisse-inspired prints which felt romantic instead of contrived as some artistic references can be. Besides the prints, I appreciated the way Taylor incorporated feminine tailoring: the skirt paired with a suit coat, baggy tweed pants, and a suit coat which flared below the chest. The clothes felt easy without being boring or overly-conventional. My favorite of the three designers was Craig Green, whose runway was somber, spiritual and nomadic. Green presented garments with an old-world monastic sensibility—long and loose silhouettes, deep tones, all very neatly balanced—juxtaposed with a few brilliantly printed ensembles which resembled stained-glass. Green’s pieces felt reverent without being too far removed from reality; the utilitarian aspects were well-incorporated and fluid.
Lou Dalton’s Fall 2014 runway gave us easy streetwear characterized by simple pieces in fun colors and fabrics. The collection felt very at-home in London indeed, perhaps inspired by Beatles fandom and midcentury English trends. The pieces presented weren’t incredibly fresh and some of them were definitely forgettable, but they were easy to look at and I can see myself in them. Highlights for me were the opening brown velvet ensemble and the tie-dyed denim cuffed over black boots.
Agi & Sam
Young design partners Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton turned out a completely cohesive, fresh, and beautifully executed fall collection. There was a certain ease to all the looks. The models wore a simple black loafer with a perfectly understated headpiece which played with the theme of African culture. The collection was a mix of African fabrics and prints with athletic synthetics, all done in a very muted color palette of black, white and navy. The only pops of color were some reproductions of industrial oil packaging. What I loved about this collection was the seamless way in which Mdumulla and Cotton incorporated “native”-inspired Africana with functional streetwear. All the looks are completely modern and also have a classic feel to them. I’ve seen a lot of cropped pants on the runways recently, and the cropped pants in Agi & Sam were just right, hitting the mark between the wearer who is laid back and easygoing, but still very meticulously aware of his appearance.
For Fall 2014, Sarah Burton designed a gothic parade of dark and playful ensembles. Whereas last season’s man was brightly-colored, clean cut and dandy, this season’s man seems to be the brooding, unkempt cousin, while still staying true to the romanticism always present in Burton’s designs. The models were sent down the runway with thick black feathers tangled in their hair and dark eye makeup; looking almost like modern interpretations of an Edgar Allen Poe character. The collection was muted in color palette, but it didn’t feel subdued, using black on black with bursts of gold or white detailing and pink plaid skirts. Highlights for me were the architectural lines on several sweaters and suit jackets, and the way Burton layered jackets, kilts, and pants.
Menswear collections resume this Saturday in Milan. To see all of the looks from the collections mentioned here, check out Style.com.