I’ve praised the London fashion industry umpteen times for their support and encouragement given to emerging designers. London really is unique in nurturing talent and helping it grow – just look at Christopher Kane. He’s gone from budding designer in Scotland to one of the hottest tickets during LFW and working on collections for Versus. Collaborations have been key, working with retailers such as Harrods who have provided a platform for his work to be seen to working with Topshop and Manolo Blahnik to bring his work to a new audience. It seems to be much more difficult for menswear designers, the one platform that I have taken note of is LENS which is ten years old now.
Founded by Topman Design Director Gordon Richardson and “b Store” founder Matthew Murphy, LENS aims to showcase global menswear design talent. This season sees Omar Kashoura join the likes of J.W. Anderson, New Power, Uniforms for the Dedicated and Dexter Wong on the design roster. Described by Dazed Digital as “a key plater in the British Fashion Industry”, Omar brings his signature tailoring and relaxed elegance to the collection. A mixture of lightweight knits with a touch of pastel and more formal luxe evening shirts, there are some real stand out pieces.
J.W. Anderson is one of my favourite menswear designers (as is James Long) and his SS12 collection for LENS is more eclectic, featuring polka dots, Aztec prints, fine gauge knits and tribal print shorts.
Uniforms for the Dedicated showcase their classic Scandinavian utility workwear look through understated jersey pieces in a creamy colour palette.
New Power Studio use an oversized silhouette with photographic prints for a really striking look.