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The Best of London Menswear Spring Summer 2018

All of the shows worth paying attention to

Posted by Acclaim

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London Fashion week is always worth keeping a close eye on, in particular because it’s never as commercial as New York or as predictable as Milan or Paris. It lends itself to being a melting pot of innovation where up-and-coming designers are imbued with as much newness as the veterans maintain. So that you’re across everything we’ve breakdown the most noteworthy shows from London’s recent Spring/Summer 2018 menswear week.

01. Vivienne Westwood

Let’s start with the veteran of veterans—Vivienne Westwood. Her show is definitely worth watching in full. An entire troupe of circus performers take on the role of models on this runway (bar a regular few). What’s the point of walking down the catwalk when you can walk upside down, or leap and bound, forming every body shape imaginable? Despite the joy and lightness of the acrobatics, the inspiration behind Westwood’s collection is heavily political. Climate change, pollution, and the looming end of the world were all in focus, sometimes quite literally—it’s hard not to zoom in on the pieces of trash stuffed down the tights of models, or the crushed Evian bottles being worn as makeshift sandals. The lack of truly wearable garments in this collection is perhaps an extension of the sentiment Westwood expressed a week prior at the preview of ‘Bread & Butter’, where she powerfully declared, “buy less, choose better, make it last.”

02. Art School

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Like Westwood, clothes were the focus of Art School’s show as much as the bodies wearing them. The collection saw gender flipped styling on a diverse cast that didn’t subscribe to homogenous idea of “models” set by the wider fashion industry. Art School’s spectacle is worth taking note of because it represents the shift happening in model casting right now. The age of skeletal models with the liveliness of jellyfish is becoming old hat, ushering in the age of everyday people walking the runway, expressing self-empowerment, and vitality.

03. Gosha Rubchinskiy

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Although Gosha didn’t technically show in London he did show during the London dates—albeit from Saint Petersburg. With this show he continues to enjoy ample hype even after his seventh collection continues to rehash ideas he’s peddled since his debut three years ago. The inspiration for this collection. football and electronica, could have been the influence behind any of his previous seven collections. He’s consistently created looks that seem simultaneously ready for both the sporting field and underground rave.

Although football is more pertinent this time around considering the 21st FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Gosha’s home country, Russia, in 2018. It’s this upcoming event that also motivated his continued collaboration with Adidas, as well as a new partnership with iconic British brand Burberry. As for electronica’s impact on the collection, Gosha’s venue of choice was a building that hosted the first ever rave in Russia, just before the USSR’s collapse in 1989.

04. Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Like Vivienne Westwood and Art School, it seems designers are increasingly using fashion shows as a vehicle to carry important social messages, relegating the actual clothing to be a mere afterthought. Yet again, such is the case with Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, a designer brining jovial spirit back to fashion with defiance. The defiance of his show was specifically the boldness of the LGBTQ community wearing his garments, and their unrelenting ambition for self-expression. His show unfolded like an eruption of escapist LGBTQ creativity, following the footsteps of ’80s and ’90s NYC and London club kids.

05. Martin Rose

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Brands such as Vetements and Balenciaga have done plenty to popularise ‘dad wear’ as the latest frontier in fashion to gain a following. Considering Martin Rose’s recent collection drew inspiration from outdoor activities such as cycling and golfing, it was inevitable her work would further the trend. Her collection was rife with lycra cycling shorts, unflatteringly loose jeans, fleeces, and most fatherly of all: khaki shorts with giant cargo pockets. Basically everything your dad used to wear to make you cringe is now high fashion, which ain’t such a bad thing—any op shop will have the goods to keep you up to date with these accessible looks.

06. Katie Eary

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Katie Eary certainly isn’t one to have missed the memo that brand mash-ups are the it thing right now. Her collection saw its collaborations with Boy London and Spliffy make a throw-back to pre-milenial British streetwear. Katie Eary chose to join forces with these brands to revolt against the intellectualism and seriousness of the contemporary streetwear scene. The collection made an anti high-brow statement with its playful electro-bright prints, some referencing late 90s sci-fi flicks with a sense of humour – the women on her runway wore strappy swimwear get-ups reminiscent of outfits worn by Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element. All in all, a show that was heavy on nostalgia and light on pretension.

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