Now that London Fashion Week Men's has wrapped up, we thought it was about time we told you what the London designers think you should be wearing when Autumn/Winter 2018 swings around. While you may think this is a long way off, there really is nothing like getting ahead of the game. From heavy bursts of check and tartan to a whole host of baggy trousers - goodbye and good riddance skinny jeans.
London Fashion Week Men's always kicks off the fashion week roster at the beginning of January (we still don't get why it has to be so soon after Christmas, but there you go) and now that's it's come to a head, it's time to assess what we've seen.
Over the weekend of the 5th-8th January we were given a plethora of shows, presentations and digital drops from London's best menswear designers. Names like Vivienne Westwood, Lou Dalton, Oliver Spencer and Astrid Andersen gave us their collections for Autumn/Winter 2018. While we were watching the shows and paying attention to what was happening on the streets outside the London shows, we were taking note of the trends that were popping up amongst the collections.
Below we will guide you through what we saw and what we reckon the London designers want us to be wearing when 2018 starts to get colder again in the autumn. From corduroy trousers and loose-flowing fits to bursts of check and tartan, it's looking to be a very interesting period for your wardrobe later this year. We have chosen what our favourite designers put out below and this is essentially how you should be dressing this coming Autumn.
Now we know that it's no surprise that baggy trousers have popped up again, because they essentially have been the biggest trend in menswear over the past few years. Time and time again we have seen designers endlessly put out looser fits, whether it be Prada or Balenciaga, Paris Fashion Week or London Fashion Week Men's. This season we saw baggy trousers running the show in collections from the likes of E. Tautz and Casely-Hayford. The day of the skinny jeans appears to be officially well and truly over and wide-legged trousers are the way forward. For those of you favouring skinny jeans still, we're sorry to break it to you, but if you really want to up your fashion game it's time to get yourself some looser fits.
Brands like Dickies and Carhartt have been championing wider styles for some time, with the Dickies 874 being some of the best fits out there. Casely-Hayford paired wide legs with even wider and baggier tops, going for the full oversized look. E. Tautz was the same, with boxy blazers sitting alongside loose corduroy numbers.
London Fashion Week Men's veteran and frontrunner Lou Dalton gave us a collection that was inspired by the boys she grew up with. Her collection was all about lounging (the boys themselves were actually just sat around doing exactly that at her London Fashion Week Men's presentation), but one thing is certain, and that's that there were plenty of wide legs. Shetland wool was used in baggy cotton-lined trousers that were cut wide and straight. Vivienne Westwood followed suit and her digital presentation saw a plethora of wide-legged trousers in stripes and tartan.
Checks and Tartan
Patterns were all the rage at London Fashion Week Men's and none more so than checks and tartan. Whether it was ode to Scotland by way of tartan at Charles Jeffrey Loverboy or Vivienne Westwood's punk-inspired checks, it was everywhere and clearly is something you'll need to be wearing later this year.
Vivienne Westwood's collection was military inspired and so check came in the form of reds and navy. Over at Astrid Andersen, check was extremely prevalent and the Danish designer looked back to the early Eighties rave scene for inspiration. Models were dressed in looks that saw plaid on plaid, finished off with the neat touch of soon-to-be-released Nike 270 trainers. All looks were oversized and the check was bigger than ever - for Andersen there was no limit.
Charles Jeffrey also went down the tartan route for his collection, paying homage to Scotland. Charles Jeffrey was voted Emerging Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2017 British Fashion Awards last month and so what he does is pretty important for the menswear industry. We reckon you should definitely invest in some tartan for when the Autumn/Winter 2018 season hits.
Grace Wales Bonner is one of the best designers London has to offer right now and she also went down the route of checks and tartan. She is a slick tailor and earned herself the LVMH prize in 2016 during only her fourth season as a designer. For Autumn/Winter 2018, her collection was inspired by sailing and the wide ocean. Hats were adorned in check and details on trousers and shirts also came in, unsurprisingly, check. For Wales Bonner the collection was minimal and simple, and it appears that that is how she suggests we get check into our own wardrobes.
While this may sound like a bit of a weird trend so to speak, it is actually very relevant for what we have just seen at London Fashion Week Men's. While slogans have been trending for some time with the likes of Christopher Shannon, Fendi and Dior getting on board, now it seems that the London designers wanted to really push their homage's to certain things or ideas.
Over at Ben Sherman, the British brand teamed up with slogan king Henry Holland and his brand house Of Holland. Here we saw a massive show which included an epic performance from a team of soul dancers before the catwalk show even began. The collection was pretty amazing and paid tribute to the genre of soul music. The clothes were adorned with slogans and lines, and Ben Sherman's classic British aesthetic was met with the madness of House Of Holland. Backstage Holland explained that, "I love twisting iconic English brands. Which is what Ben Sherman will always be". The collection was pretty special and showed that clothing really speaks for itself. Here it was basically saying, 'Soul is back' (this was adorned on bags and clothing). It was a wholly British affair and paid homage to northern soul in the smartest way possible.
Aforementioned Lou Dalton is one of the country's best and most-loved designers when it comes to London Fashion Week Men's. She consistently puts out some of the best clothing that the fashion industry sees and keeps it utterly simple, yet refreshing each time. This time around for Autumn/Winter 2018 she has paid tribute to her childhood, notably the boys she used to see when she was growing up. The collection, she explained, was supposed to focus on how laid back the cool kids were when she was living in Shropshire. Their mindsets and ability to just wait for something to happen inspired her collection, which is heavy in simplicity and a sense of not caring too much about the world. She teamed up with knitwear designer John Smedley to reflect on her childhood, giving us laid back knits, slouchy and baggy trousers, which all reflected the "muted tone" she was going for. While to her it is deeply personal, it is the tribute side of it that we are interested in . The clothes were beautiful and enough to do the talking.
Casely-Hayford is another of Britain's best designers. The collection for Autumn/Winter 2018 was heavily inspired by cultures of times gone past. One notable piece in the collection was a bomber jacket, which is reminiscent of something you might find on Oxford Street (you know in one of those tourist souvenir stores you probably would never think to go in). The bomber was hand-painted with the Union Jack on it, in tribute of course to the great country we live in. The collection was inspired by an encounter that Casely-Hayford's dad had when he was younger, which promoted his own sense of London, and so the collection is in fact an homage to the way that the pair of them now see the capital. Casely-Hayford explained that, "our collections are a conversation between my Dad and I' - a tribute to two generations' views of London."
Belstaff paid tribute to something in a different sense. In fact, Belstaff essentially paid tribute to itself, or its Trialmaster jacket from 1948. Originally intended for competitors in the Scottish Six Day Trial motorcycle race, the jacket has seen a long and healthy life which continues in the London Fashion Week Men's showcase that Belstaff put on at Phonica records in Soho. Along the walls sat all of Belstaff's previous Trialmasters, including Steve McQueen's personal one. The creative director, Delphine Ninous, put out a new collection that paid tribute to Belstaff's rich history with the Trialmaster and model's were seen wearing luxe iterations of the brand's holy grail.
Essentially, while this is a bit of a stab in the dark, what we've noticed is that if you have something to be proud of or want people to know about, you need to do it through your clothing. Whether it be your childhood or the country we live in, use your clothes to say what you want.
While menswear has become increasingly more feminine at times over the past few years, especially when it comes to what we are seeing on the catwalk, this season at London Fashion Week Men's the collections had a somewhat more masculine touch to them. Everything, even the way models were walking, was given a slightly more masculine touch at the shows here. That said the clothes too were given a more masculine edge than we've seen recently.
Over at John Lawrence Sullivan, the models stomped along the catwalk sporting heavy-duty leathers and cowboy hats, while there was plenty of corduroy chucked in. The whole effect was completely masculine and as the opening show of the season, paved the way for the rest of what is to come for Autumn/Winter 2018.
Oliver Spencer has a history of promoting that proper British gentleman aesthetic and this time around he was no different, putting out an fantastic collection of masculine goods. His collection harked back to the Seventies and was full of heavy corduroy (we reckon corduroy will be one of the big 2018 fabric trends) and belcher chains. He even had a few female models rock out in menswear, which was a surprising move considering what's been going on over in Hollywood and the like, but it worked nonetheless, promoting that sense of masculinity further.
Tinie Tempah's second collection for his brand What We Wear saw clothes that were ready for the building site (so to speak), as suggest by the guys at British GQ. Again they were heavily masculine and models were sporting tracksuits with deep, workwear style pockets. Nothing says masculinity quite like a boiler suit really, does it?
Danish brand Tonsure chooses to show in London when it comes to fashion week and this time was no different. The brand put out a collection that was, you guessed it, heavily masculine. Notable items were leather trousers which were teamed with patent macs for an overall hard and heavy look.
On That Note
At London Fashion Week Men's we got the first glimpse of some menswear trends for the Autumn/Winter 2018 season. The men's fashion trends for 2018 are looking better than ever and we can't wait to see what's in store when it comes to Paris Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week. The four big trends we saw at London Fashion Week Men's have been explained above. Whether you go for checks and tartan, baggy trousers, an outfit with some seriously hard masculine edge or use your clothes to pay homage to something, you'll be bang on trend when Autumn/Winter 2018 hits.