This year’s London Collection: Men SS17 got kicked off with Topman. The quirky, innovative designs really pushed the boat out, hotting it up for Spring/Summer with sunburnt models sporting towelling robes and beach-inspired clothing with slogans such as “Dirty Weekend” and “Life’s A Beach And Then You Die,” and sequin-embellished patches featuring mermaids, ice-cream and palm trees. It really gave off that summery vibe, and the whole collection looked both wearable and comfortable. I particularly liked the luxe zip-up tracksuit that appears to be a “thing” for the season.
The beach also seemed to be the inspiration behind this year’s Sibling show. This was where knitwear met swimwear, with bright shades of green, purple, red and blue used throughout the show, with knitted towels to match (maybe just don’t actually get them in the water!). Most unusually for this year’s LCM was the use of lace material – we’re talking doily style – that was prevalent throughout the collection, adding an edge of femininity to the masculine cuts.
The use of lace was also used by both Astrid Anderson and Nasir Mazhar. Both designers also had their signature sport luxe aesthetic, keeping their identity but adding a new fabric here, a new colour there. This year, Mazhar went red while Anderson added gold fringing elements, and both used black and white lace with beige earth tones.
Xander Zhou continued the beige theme, adding in camouflage and some large Flintstone-style earrings. Oversized was another big theme this year on the catwalks and Zhou was no exception, with oversized sleeves and bags. Liam Hodges also used oversized sleeves and earth tones, as well as featuring the slogan “I’m OK” across a lot of the pieces.
My favourite show this year, however, was Bobby Abley, using his signature Disney style. This year was a theatrical tribute to Aladdin, in time for the latest London musical show. Abley kept it fresh and current, whilst bringing a classic back to life. Slogans were also prevalent throughout, such as “Rub Me The Right Way,” a possible nostalgic reference to popstar Christina Aguilera. Characters such as the Genie and Abu the monkey were featured, as well as beige tones and oversized sleeves. More unusual, however, were the models sporting fur coats, bare chests and underwear (for summer, you ask), but somehow….it just worked. Oversized jewellery was also shown (and on that note, I fell in love with the scarab necklace). The signature bag was also back, but bigger! The thing about Abley is his shows are always a spectacle. An experience of lighting, music, and clothes (all over-dramatised, but the collection is incredibly wearable), even down to the minor detail of the invite – admitting one to step on to the magic carpet. He certainly took us there, and it was more than a magical ride.