After a hard week of Fashion Show grafting from the Style & Then Some team, I decided that the last day, namely the last ever Menswear Day in London, (it will be expanded to three days in June to coincide with the international Menswear Weeks hosted by Milan and Paris) should be given a proper send off. And let’s face it, when you’re reporting from the front line (or the back row, depending on how lucky you get) it isn’t all glamour and high heels.
Oh no, it’s elbows and being knocked out by camera lenses in the photographer’s pit, or else craning your neck and spraining your ankles for a good view from the standing section. But, as I am sure you will agree with me if you too have been in the trenches this season (comrades, I applaud you), that afterwards, when you sit back and drink it all in, it’s just so worth it.
But back to the Boys I hear you say! Well, yesterday (Wednesday) I decided to enlist the help of two male friends and drag them (actually, they were both well up for it) along to the Ones to Watch:Men and James Small shows respectively. My aim of the night was to analyse their attitudes towards the shows, and get some variations on male opinions regarding the collections on offer. After a week of straight womenswear and women’s opinions on Style & Then Some, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to sit back and let the boys do the talking.
First up, was Adam, at the Ones To Watch: Men showcase. The show saw Bodybound, Joseph Turvey, Julian Zigerli and Tobefrank showcase their AW12 efforts and this was to be Adam’s first ever fashion show. Despite making comments like ‘that’s a funny little outfit, aye’ outside the venue to several fellow spectators, it was refreshing to hear a guy, who doesn’t work in the fashion industry, tell it like he saw it. With regards to his favourite collection on offer, Adam declared it was to be Julian Zigerli. When asked why, it turns out it was because the garments were ‘ all using light patterns, you know, Paisley and that’ and that the shades were to his liking- ‘All bold autumn colours, stone, brown and green, like’.
Despite me watching Zigerli’s technical structures in awe, such as a conceptual top that functioned with a built-in backpack, my companion pointed out that this would be damn impractical and useless for the everyday man…something I cannot argue with. ‘You’d have to take your top off to put anything in your bag!’ he quite rightly pointed out. Damn, why are men so practical! With regards to the other designers showcasing, me and Adam were in agreement that Bodybound was a shimmering delight (my words, not his). With gold foiling being a major trend on knitwear for women for the last two seasons, it has finally made its way into menswear. Just another excuse to steal your BF’s clothes girls.
After a quick Corona, I traded my fashion show newbie in for a seasoned pro. Daniel Thomas, a menswear designer and fellow Leeds College of Art post-graduate accompanied me to the closing show of the season, the highly anticipated James Small spectacular, sponsored by the amazing Vauxhall Fashion Scout (thank you for letting us decamp at Freemasons Hall all week, by the way!). After somehow managing to blag second row seats, the show began to quickly fill up with celebs such as Jaime Winstone, Jo Wood, Mr Hudson and, lo and behold, Mr. and Mrs. Kate Moss. I fear I may have actually been blinded by her engagement ring from across the room. The collection itself was incredible, and my second companion commented on the show thusly:
‘The James Small show was the perfect end to Fashion Week – they always save the best for last. For me the best pieces from the show were the jersey skinny trousers and the jersey waders were insane. The wool jackets were so stylish and well cut, and the use of pockets throughout the collection was just brilliant. The patch pockets with flaps can sometimes look really messy but I felt they were really considered in the design of the garments. There was one double-breasted blue jacket with Raglan sleeves which was to die for. It was so well cut and well designed I felt it was like a jacket you would wear in Fashion Heaven. I really liked the fur in the collection as well – the big hug in a mug jacket was amazing. So Pete Burns chic. Overall the whole collection was a huge success. Plus personally I would wear every last one of the garments that came down the catwalk.’