London Collections Men – Overview
Having written all my reviews for the LC:M shows I attended with my partner in crime – the wonderful, if somewhat mad, Gracie Opulanza – and with a week to reflect on the collections that made for such a beautiful melting pot of fashion, it painted a picture of men’s fashion in great health.
LC:M proved that from the classical elegance of the Savile Row collections at Spencer House to the high-end/high-street of brands such as YMC and Hentsch Man, through to the truly avant-garde pioneers of fashion – J.W. Anderson, Meadham Kirchoff et al, every corner of the male market is amply covered.
Yet one question continues to niggle away at me: How accessible is LC:M to your everyday man? And maybe more importantly: How accessible do LC:M actually WANT to be? For someone such as myself who is confident in their own attire, who isn’t afraid to shy away from the sartorial limelight, LC:M is where I was born to be. I am surrounded by like minded people; people who love their clothes, love how they are constructed, who know what cuts, colours and construction will suit their frame. LC:M is a crucible of creative people – be it designers, bloggers, journalists, photographers etc – all trying to make their way in life as part of the creative sphere.
The Man On The Street
But what about the man on the street? Did he even know LC:M was taking place? Newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian all featured LC:M on an almost daily basis with reviews of collections, opinion pieces and in the norm did their utmost to highlight the success of the week. On the other side of the coin however, newspapers such as The Sun and The Daily Mail seemed to derive great pleasure by merely looking at the more outlandish shows and mocking them as Zoolander-esque satire. Lazy journalism this may be, but unfortunately, this is what the man on the street will be reading.
Every show I attended over the three days, it was the same uber-chic, well groomed, pretty faces cropping up at. It was a cyclical process of kisses on cheeks, polite hugs and the same faces being photographed, blogged and written about. For me this was great, but looking at the bigger picture, fashion is a social group, a group I love and was delighted to be a part of, but whether that can extend beyond the boundaries and translate to the everyday man (that phrase again) I guess only time will tell.
There is no doubt that fashion is becoming not only more accessible to men but more sought after. Men are not afraid to think for themselves when it comes to stepping out of the house and into the heady world of fashion, they are ready, and more importantly, willing to change the psyche of clothes and its relationship to how men are stereotypical supposed to be.
Men now realise that while women will always lead the way when it comes to wardrobe space, they too can have a few more hangers and a little extra space in the chest-of-draws for their shirts, t-shirts, trousers et al.
In only its second season, LC:M is well on the road to putting London and menswear in general up where it belongs, and that my fashion forward friends, can only be a good thing.
Roll on Spring/Summer ’13.