Here are my highlights from London Collection: Men spring/summer 2016:
Christopher Raeburn SS16
The military trend, which continues to go from strength to strength for menswear, comes naturally to Raeburn, featuring heavily in his collections since graduating from art school almost a decade ago. Last season, Raeburn refashioned Royal Navy life rafts into a very literal iteration of the military trend. This season, inspired by Tom Harrison’s experiences “going native” in Borneo, his collection features sarongs, cork detailing and slightly abstract orang-utan silhouettes in his reliably wearable aesthetic. Coupled with signatures including bombers, parkas and track pants, Raeburn is fast becoming the go-to brand for luxury urbanwear.
James Long SS16
Set to a soundtrack of Death in Vegas and Tori Amos, Longs SS16 collection is inspired by clubbers emerging from all night raves in Brighton. The aesthetic was very much undone, slung on and a little anarchistic. “Unashamed” was a key word in the show notes, with Anderson explaining “I was looking at people who are so natural in their clothing, they thing they’re blending in, but they’re totally not. There’s a real freedom to it”. This deconstructed look is part dreamy, part acid house and features paisley, faded tie-dye, dressing gown coats, frayed hoodies and Long’s signature heavily texturised knitwear in a strong, progressive collection.
JW Anderson SS16
Spring/summer 2016 saw Anderson looking to both his childhood and the night skies for inspiration, creating an imaginary world similar to that he created with his brother in treehouses as children. The interstellar inspiration manifested in the words “orbital”, “stellar” and “asteroids” emblazoned on pieces, while old computer fonts and DIY badges made out of scissors and pins added a decidedly nostalgic feel. On the whole, the palette was neutral, with abstract board games and pops of orange spicing up cool blue indigos and soothing beige linens. Wide leg slightly cropped trousers were the stand out pieces in the collection which was decidedly more masculine than previous collections.
London’s favourite knitwear trio took us on a trip across the Atlantic for their spring/summer 2016 collection. Inspired by vintage Americana and old football pictures, the collection features racy lace up detailing, sequinned sports jerseys and exaggerated beaded shoulder pads in a collection which delighted in taking a very macho, masculine pursuit and turning it on its head. If this is sounding altogether too tame for the Sibling trio, they offered up a flash of model-perfect glutes in their slashed-across-the-butt trousers. Saucy.
The father-and-son duo behind Casely-Hayford were inspired by their seemingly innocuous studio move from East London to North London. For those unfamiliar to London, this may seem like a simple geographical move but the two pockets of London are tangibly different, poles apart even. Casely-Hayford meticulously merge a cool, contemporary urban sportswear aesthetic with classic, timeless tailoring, layering sharply tailored shirts with sporty bombers and wide leg crop trousers. Stand out pieces include the hoodie/blazer hybrid and the North London biker-inspired outerwear. One of the stand out collections from London: Collections.
Oliver Spencer SS16
Aside from consistently delivering my favourite collections during LC:M, Oliver Spencer always brings a new artist to my attention, as each season starts with a specific artist in mind. For spring/summer 2016, Spencer was inspired by minimalist sculpture Richard Serra, known for beautiful contoured curves of rusting metal. The resulting collection layered clashing fabrics in an earthy tone of leaf green, rust and aubergine with accents of cool slate. Voluminous shapes subtly echoed Serra’s work in a cool, commercial collection.
Astrid Andersen SS16
Inspired by a trip to Shanghai and cult classic Big Trouble in Little China, pretty cherry blossom adorned almost every piece in Andersen’s SS16 collection. While very street sportswear and delicate cherry blossom may not be the obvious choice, it really works and is reminiscent of the past season collection with a gorgeous pink-orange sunset palette. Andersen’s signature basketball, baseball and hockey inspired pieces and kimono-like jackets were of course present along with 90s popper pants, returning in a blaze of nostalgic glory. Still treading the path between masculine sportswear with feminine inspirations, Andersen is the master of urban sports luxe.