London Collections: Men & Women – Gracie Opulanza’s Review

For those who don’t know who I am, let me introduce myself as the founder of MenStyleFashion. I have been writing since 2012 about menswear, within the fashion industry and in 2016,  I am known as the female voice for menswear. It has been three season since I returned to LC:M and I was intrigued to see how advanced this event has become. The way I see it right now is, my time is precious and I want to be able to go into events that I want to go too, support those who have supported me. I am not a fashion blogger as such because as I see it I have created three brands, used no PR to market me and have achieved this by hard work, a fearless approach and one that has created unique marketing that the fashion industry has never ever seen before.

For me less is more and I want to enjoy what I see. Plus along side this event, I created my own event called Luxury Week London. The simple reason is that for me men buy into lifestyle and fashion events come secondary. Unless you’re a guy that studied fashion, then catwalks and presentations are not how you are going to buy into menswear. Trust me I have done my own research over the years on this.  Coming into London for LC:M was a tense and very stressing for me, more on this another time. So for me I was on a mission to see where I as the female voice for menswear could achieve on my own social media, not using MenStyleFashion as a pulling tool.

I decided to go in alone this time, just me, my little finger and my mobile phone.   I was gobbed smacked, including my team at the end result of how much engagement I got as Gracie Opulanza. I guess my hard work has paid off. I was even more impressed when hotels and designers could see what I was up to on my social media and   then to start receiving direct messages. One example was the tweet below, it was really special to me as during the event.  I got asked to attend a catwalk coming up.  With MenStyleFashion solely being on-line, it makes perfect sense to invite us through twitter. This for me makes it very personal and I encourage any designer to follow this trend more. I can’t believe in 2016 PR’s are still sending out paper invites.  When I was applying directly to the designers, I created my own rule, e-vite only please no paper invite, also great for saving trees. In my case I am flying about all the time and the invites never make it on time anyway.

So this is where I think menswear is at.

London Collections: Men & Women

I don’t understand why women are on a catwalk which is dedicated for men. It sends out such a confused message that the British Fashion Council is responsible for, but clearly has no say let alone control of. Let’s face it the fashion designers pay for exposure and have the power and the right to do what ever they want.  It must be something to do with Tom Ford, Burberry and now Gucci dictating the new trends in where both men and women are on the catwalk and you can instantly buy now after the show. This all kicks off in September, which makes perfect sense especially if you’re a guy. Who wants to wait for a collection one year later anyway? I assure you the epic high street ZARA, business model has never worked that way and in 2016 still dominating the fashion high streets, all across the globe.

Every catwalk and presentation I saw where women were showcasing menswear just confused my followers.  Good thing I got the Gracie Opulanza  to tweet out some women’s wear.  You can read more about my views on why I believe women should not be at a men’s catwalks read it here.

The following below was written in the times of Malta yesterday.

Men’s Catwalks Are Not Worth It

In Milan, where male models are strutting their stuff in shows that began on Friday for men’s fashion week, 10 designers have decided not to showcase their collections this year including Calvin Klein, Ermenegildo Zegna and Kering’s Brioni and Bottega Veneta.

Other brands, including Burberry, Gucci and Tom Ford have announced in recent months that they plan to stage combined events in future. Most said this would allow them to show buyers and customers both collections at the same time, giving a more complete idea of their designs.

A model presenting a creation from the Gucci Autumn/Winter 2010/11 Men’s collection during Milan Fashion Week in Italy in January 2010.

But some industry insiders and analysts say separate men’s fashion shows, which can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each, are no longer worth the money for luxury brands, which have been hit by a global sales slowdown.

Menswear pulls in far less money than womenswear, in terms of sales, and men’s shows generate a fraction of the global publicity of women’s.

“They [brands] are focusing on what has the highest return on investment,” said Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli.

KTZ – Official

Way back in 2014, I connected with this designer and I do remember how tiny their catwalk was. I loved them from the onset and it was great to get a raw interview back then with the creative director. So it came to no surprise to see how they have flourished. The catwalk had a real buzz to it and the collection was what I expected, a collection only for the very eccentric. A collection that can only be for those guys who look to the future and ooze confidence.

Watching this video you can see how much they have grown. I took this myself way back in 2014 and loved this catwalk.

Joshua Kane

This was the most beautiful catwalk I have seen for menswear for LC:M. The presentation and the collections had so much personality to it. How could one not just get excited about menswear when looking at this. Now this video is not the most gracious but I want to show you how hard it is to hold a mobile phone and periscope at the same time and on occasion film with my other camera. 

— Gracie Opulanza (@gracieopulanza) June 13, 2016

MenStyleFashion 2016 menswear catwalks London (5)

MenStyleFashion 2016 menswear catwalks London (4)

St Jermyn Street – Outdoor Catwalk

Why I periscope is so my followers can join me in real time what catwalks are doing right there and then. So it was really nice to see an outdoor catwalk in where everyone could come and have a look. In my case case check it all out on my social media.

Songzio

I really loved this collection it had so much creativity. In regards to my periscope, it was the most successful with a lot of comments coming through.  People  mainly asking, where they could buy it from? Currently there are two showrooms in London. I talked to Hu Bing just before the show and he just looked amazing. I have been to Asia so many times and it is great to see Asia showcasing their very creative collections here. They are truly talented and I love how they offer a competitive edge to other designers. As you can see they really stand alone when it comes to high-end fashion.

MenStyleFashion 2016 menswear catwalks London (6)

Street Style

I am not sure, was I was missing something but the street style was very poor and I could not believe how most men were not taking the opportunity to dress up. This is an occasion in where men should dress up bring out their real personal style. There was never an outfit that really stood out. Don’t get me wrong, I just thought after a few years of LC:M the men would go over the top. Thank goodness I ran into Stefan from style pilot who pulled out all the stops here. Guy from Dashing Tweeds, looked fabulous and even though he works in the industry, he does dress like this most days.

MenStyleFashion 2016 menswear catwalks London (2)

London Collections:Men & Women 2016

Since 2012, my name is Gracie Opulanza and I want to see men dress well. I am not sure where the fashion shows for men are going? Whether they can stand alone in the future as dedicated menswear. The British Fashion Council clearly shows that having women on the catwalks during LC:M and at some presentations,  proves that the menswear can’t stand alone when it comes to their own events.  History repeats itself just like many thousands of years ago.

In the beginning God created Adam first and then Eve showed up and took over. Welcome to London Collections: Men & Women.  Annual designer menswear sales are expected to reach more than $40 billion in 2020, up 6.8 per cent from 2015, according to Euromonitor International, while womenswear sales are expected to rise 7.7 per cent to about $75 billion in the same period. Well this may be true, it does not mean it’s over for menswear or we need to panic.

I am the female voice for menswear, I have the social media influence and marketing to fight back.  Keep watching  MenStyleFashion, as we show you how.

 

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