Organized by the British Fashion Council, London Collections is dedicated to present both the creative and commercial importance of Britain’s brands, Savile Row tailors and emerging talents to an international audience. Kicking off the international menswear circuit with Florence, Milan and Paris to follow, the event took place from June 16 to June 18 at locations all over the city. We took a closer look at all the runway shows and put together a list of our 10 favorite collections. See them after the jump.
Agi & Sam
The past season’s collections as well as the recent collaboration with TOPMAN established design duo Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton aka Agi & Sam as one of Britain’s leading up-and-coming fashion designers. Characterized by a deep and thorough understanding of Britain’s rich tailoring heritage, the use of bold colors and patterns, as well as a smart sense of humor, Agi & Sam’s work has by now garnered a pool of avid followers in and outside the fashion industry.
If there is one thing that Jonathan Saunders’ body of work boils down to it is definitely color. Or to be precise, his almost virtuoso sense and workmanlike ability to include the right amount of it in his collections. His latest offerings prove this fact once again, pairing a rather mute color palette, including grey and ivory, with rich tones of green and yellow, which happen to add a slightly casual edge to his sharply tailored garms.
rag & bone
Actually a New York Fashion Week mainstay, rag & bone were cordially invited to present their latest offerings at London Collections. Of course, it didn’t take long to convince designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville to take part in this transatlantic exchange program. Staying true to the distinct, understated New York aesthetic they’ve become known for, the American expat designers rolled out a solid collection that exhibited a spartan lack of fuss, which however works quite well together with the muted color palette and the overall utilitarian, workwear-inspired look.
Richard Nicoll honed his skills working as the creative director of the womenswear department at Cerutti and as a freelance design consultant alongside Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton before quickly establishing a reputation for modernist, classic and versatile womenswear under his eponymous label. Having sharpened his womenswear game, the Central Saint Martins graduate has now presented his first ever menswear collection for Spring/Summer 2014. His debut is made up of sleek, yet quite sporty and casual pieces including python jacquard pants and tees, lightweight knitwear, leather jackets and waistcoats.
Following years of exile in Milan, Christopher Baily reconnects Burberry Prorsum with its British roots by showing his Spring/Summer 2014 offerings in London. Bailey chose “Writers and Painters” as the collection’s underlying theme, citing Alan Bennett as the writer and David Hockney as the painter, both of whom happen to be from Yorkshire just as the designer himself. Sticking close to his chosen inspiration, the shown outfits exhibit the certain sartorial idiosyncrasy Hockney is known for: quirky eyewear and bold primary colors.
There is no doubt about it, Richard James is THE mover and shaker of contemporary British fashion. Having honed his skills at Savile Row, the heart of Britain’s sartorial identity, his collections are the perfect blend of contemporary edginess and a rich tailoring heritage. So, what should we expect? First and foremost the pinnacle of Savile Row craftsmanship: razor-sharp suits that cut an elegant silhouette. However, James keeps it upbeat and casual, pairing them with bold color combos, summery footwear, and accessories including fedora hats and espadrilles.
For Spring/Summer 2014 Christopher Kane does what he knows best: keep it simple. The cuts are kept pretty basic throughout the entire collection, encompassing mostly tees, slacks, sweatpants and shorts, making them actually the perfect canvas for his signature prints. Opting for a strictly graphic approach this time, the garms adorn early computer-inspired wire framework prints that grow into abstract landscapes and faces. It may not be Kane’s strongest work, however, it is definitely worth looking forward to.
Both known and appreciated for his unique approach to high fashion, Christopher Raeburn is easily one of the most exciting contemporary British designers at the moment. In his latest collection he once again stayed true to his trademark military-inspired style both in terms of materials and color palette that ranges from green, to softer beige, pink and blue tones. As always, it’s the impeccable outerwear that caught our eye, yet the entire collection is certainly worth a closer look.
Up-and-coming designer Lee Roach graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010 and since then has made his mark by working with illustrious names such as Meadham Kirchhoff, Kilgour on Savile Row and Peter Saville. His London Collections debut sees Japanese denim with unfinished hems paired with chocolate chip camo-patterned blazers, sleeveless shirts and minimalist leather jackets. An overall muted color palette of black, grey and sand tones accentuates the collection’s dominating asceticism.
KTZ‘s creative director Marjan Pejsoki and head of design Koji Maruyama gained their inspiration once again from a wide array of different sources, ranging from traditional Muslim kaftans to sports and streetwear. An eclectic mix of patterns, casual roomy cuts, as well as a keen eye for details make for an overall edgy, at times quite wayward, yet easily wearable summer collection.