Harvey Nichols and London Collection: Men have teamed up for a UK tour, taking key designers and their work across the UK, and we were invited to the Leeds leg. Even though it’s still in it’s infancy, LC: M has had a big impact on putting UK menswear on the global fashion map. The tour, featuring the likes of Lou Dalton, James Long and Lee Roach, aims to bring the collections to the consumer. Whilst London might be the fashion capital of the UK, it’s clever stuff taking it to the likes of Edinburgh, Manchester and indeed Leeds – where fashion hubs thrive, and, ultimately, there’s money to be made.
Speaking to the designers (and completely fangirling in their faces, obvz) it was clear they love the concept just as much as the throngs of well turned out shoppers – both Dalton and Long commented on how they’re keen to talk to the end consumer, and use that influence in their work. It’s a far cry from the aloof, otherworldly presence of the older fashion houses, and frankly, it’s refreshing. In today’s climate, it makes sense to bare in mind those who’ll be wearing the stuff, after all. But beyond simple economics, having a genuine interest in extending and enriching the wardrobes of your customer is a work ethic we cherish, and it’s something that London Collections : Men, and the designers who showcase there, do particularly well. (That’s not to say they’re slaves to the wage – just look at Long’s Divine jumpers. That wouldn’t get anywhere near past a focus group, but is still amazeballs. Go Long).
Our favourites were, of course, Dalton and Long (screams, faints, etc), but we also enjoyed Roach’s leather (Topman, stop it. We’re watching you), and seeing Katie Eary’s prints up close and personal. That shit is detailed. Casely-Hayford was a new one on us, but we loved the Americana feel running through each piece. We’ve been wearing a lot of faux-football gear at the moment, and chucking that aesthetic onto a bunch of knitwear is always going to be a winner in our book.
And the best thing about the event? Seeing them all have a rum and ginger too many and rock out to En Vogue. British Menswear, we heart you.