As the home of Savile Row, London has always boasted a rich heritage of men’s fashion. In an effort to showcase the county’s rich sartorial talent in menswear, The London Collections: Men, was set up three years ago. London Collection: Men provides British menswear designers with their own unique platform to show their lines, rather than being bunched in among the womanswear.
While Savile Row speaks to the bespoke gentleman of fine tailoring and Gatsby-esque suiting, a new breed of designers has emerged from the graffitied streets of East London. With eclectic influences, sports-luxe silhouettes and a mish-mash of print and pattern, this band of designers are turning the traditional London aesthetic on it’s head with their experimental approach to streetwear. Here’s our top five emerging street-inspired designers from this years London Collections: Men.
When ASAP Rocky and Nas start rocking your designs you know you’re on to a good thing. Such was the case for Astrid Andersen, who has been making waves since graduating from Denmark’s Royal College of Art in 2010. Carried by tastemaker Opening Ceremony, her collections are inspired by urban males, who share their look with their gang of friends. Speaking to London Collections: Men, she describes her aesthetic as “masculine, using street attitude and hip-hop references whilst playing on more feminine materials and colours.” Odd Future’s Left Brain is also a fan and we can see Andersen’s Rolodex of famous faces continuing to expand as her collections become more established.
Bobby Abley describes his ideal client as “someone with no inhibitions”. Indeed, with his humorous approach to design, it would be difficult to take yourself too seriously in one of his get-ups. The cartoon-inspired designer draws his creativity from a varied array of influences – from intergalactic aliens to Disney references. But don’t let his facetious fashion foul you, schooled by masters like Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott, Abley has the credentials to back it all up.
Katie Eary customers tread “the monumentally versatile line between Vogue and Vice.” So, it would seem only apt that streetwear savvy celebrities like Big Sean, Kanye and Rihanna have all been spotted in her bold pattern-centric pieces. Her designs have been feature in editorials from Wonderland’s cover shoot with Jaden Smith to couture Vogue spreads. Eary maintains a neat but street approach to her designs, merging couture elements of clean silhouettes with louder prints for a juxtaposed style.
Of all the up and comers mentioned here, Shaun Samson has probably had the most buzzed about”fashion moment”; when ASAP Rocky stepped out to attend Raf Simons’ first show for Dior decked head to toe in the Shaun Samson autumn/winter 2013 line. Honing in on the longer lines of late, his signature piece is an oversized t-shirt. Drawing inspiration from sports shirts as well as hip hop style, Samson experiments with shape and volume to coerce these influences into a couture silhouette.
The birthplace of Punk and The Beatles, London has always been the epicenter of the anti-establishment and no designer epitomizes this ethos quite like Nasir Mazhar. From fashion storm troopers to Lady Gaga worthy hats, the designer continues to push the boundary of what is
acceptable celebrated in fashion. With an eclectic list of influences from cartoons to fetish, Mazhar turns heads with his hyperbolic interpretations.
London Collections: Men runs from Sunday June 16th to Tuesday June 18th. Follow the shows on the British Fashion Council Website.