8 Of The Most Wearable Trends from London Collections Men SS17
Alls change in London. London Collections Men (by some accounts a mere shadow of its former self) saw just 57 designers partake in its latest showcase, compared to 77 this time last year.
In fact owing to concerns that the current four-day standalone set-up might not be the menswear money-maker that its been made out to be in recent seasons LCM SS17 was the last official London Collections Men as we know it, with organisers already having unveiled plans to rebrand the biannual showcase to London Fashion Week Mens in time for its next outing.
But while the platform itself might be up for debate, theres no denying the ideas it put forth were anything less than progressive. And perhaps for those of us who cant quite see ourselves getting kitted out in a glimmering viscose knit crop top and skirt two-piece (à la Pieter) or carrying off a midriff-baring top made up of little pieces of fabric made to look like cascading flower petals (à la Alex Mullins) a little too progressive for everyday wear.
So weve sifted through menswears freshest collections, sectioning off the showpieces in order to share designers most wearable innovations instead.
Heres whats making waves:
Zip-Up Tracksuit Tops
Its 2016, which means men everywhere want to dress like a roadman. But while recent seasons have seen designers focus their efforts on taking the sweatshirt-jogger combo upscale, the SS17 shows championed a different mid-layer: the zip-up tracksuit top.
Hot on the tail of brands already pushing the athletic essential (Gucci and Gosha Rubchinskiy among them), the tracksuit top cropped up cut lean, and with a funnel neck at Christopher Shannon and Topman Design and in a less sporty, slightly more luxe fabrication at Wales Bonner.
Time to ditch that hoodie.
Neutrals are going nowhere. But in amongst the colder light neutrals (stone, light beige) that were threaded through AW16 collections this season were warmer hues like russet and tan.
Case in point: Danish-born Astrid Andersen swapped the acidic neons shes built her name on for a much more muted palette of gold, clay and cocoa. Ditto Craig Green who continued his move away from the punchy primary hues he found fame with for taupe and chestnut brown.
This is good news. Because a) neutrals are versatile and usually play well together, and b) they wont wash you out to the point of making you transparent.
Graph & Windowpane Checks
Savile Rows say in the way men dress might be waning, but the pattern synonymous with the historic streets tailoring isnt.
Checks, particularly wide windowpane and compact graph checks, were writ large across Londons SS17 output and although some of the patterns appearances were business-as-usual (applied to Turnbull & Assers tailored separates and jumpsuits, for example), checks emerged in some unexpected places, too.
Like at Astrid Andersen, where graph check covered a longline shirt-coat and matching boxy trousers. Or at Agi & Sam, where a tailored graph check trouser and windowpane check tailored jacket came with a cropped bomber jacket layered on top.
So check yourself if you think this patterns just for suiting.
One of menswears time-honoured spring/summer motifs made a triumphant return this season, with designers as disparate as Oliver Spencer, Sibling and Tiger of Sweden showing stripes every which way.
They were vertical and horizontal, broad and pin-thin, and, although maybe lacking the track-stopping impact of some of this seasons other prints (florals especially), proved themselves again an easy way of adding visual texture to warm-weather looks.
Perhaps recognising the redundancy of seasonal wardrobes in a world plagued by climate change, this season (incidentally a total washout) was all about the topcoat.
Conveniently lightweight and offering more coverage than your average shacket, the ubiquity of these lightweight outerwear heroes made total sense when, in June, you find yourself dodging downpours between shows.
At Astrid Andersen, they came with gilded stripes and boldly branded, while Casely-Hayford proffered some all-over-printed options that nailed the sweet spot between statement-making and a safe wear. It was Lou Dalton, though, who came up with the most wearable goods, showing drop-shouldered tailored styles in off-white and navy.
Coats arent just for winter. Add one of these wispy outer layers to your rotation and youll not only stay dry, but make an impression too.
As fashions outdated gender binaries continue to crumble, the idea that men should never err outside the confines of whats considered classic is losing credence. And while were not quite at the point where skirts are an off-duty staple (although designers put a few among the ranks this season), thats not to say there arent other more manageable ways of breaking the mould.
One of SS17s standout ways for standing out was statement fabrics like Cottweilers transparent Italian linen track pants and cotton-linen-nylon knits, Lou Daltons shimmering showerproof nylons and Christopher Shannons embellished denim.
Colour and cut arent the only ways of setting yourself apart from the herd, so try playing with fabrics to punch up your look.
Yes, brooches. Not so much brooches in the your darling gran sense of the word, but more talking-point accessories worn on your chest.
At Christopher Shannon it was knotted rope set against a set of woven circles, whereas Agi & Sam opted for a contemporary take on cameos and Wales Bonner hung military medals on her models.
The message is clear: watches and rings arent your only options for lending your look some individuality.
The IN T-shirt
You might think a political hot potato like Brexit is too dry for the menswear runway, but youd be wrong. Over the course of LCM, at least four designers including Christopher Raeburn, Patrick Grant of E. Tautz and Siblings Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery nailed their colours to the mast, each taking their post-show bows in T-shirts covered in pro-stay slogans.
So if you were on the fence
Could you see yourself giving any of these a whirl? Have you hunted any trends we havent listed here?
Let us know below.