7 Style Lessons From London Fashion Week Men's Spring/Summer 2018

Dispatches from the front row

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1 | The skinny silhouette is dead

Oliver Spencer
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We've been saying it for a while but the ultra-skinny silhouette is officially a thing of the past. Next summer is all about wide-flowing trousers (cut with a flattering taper, of course), boxy revere-collared shirts, wide-shouldered suit jackets and a smart synched waist. Per Gotteson at MAN showed trousers so wide they required super-heavy duty belts to stay up.

At E Tautz, Patrick Grant (who's been pedaling a wider aesthetic since he started) showed trousers, jackets and shirts with room enough for two. Oliver Spencer's voluminous suede fisherman trousers in pastel shades went straight to the top of this editor's wish list.

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2 | You should be dressing like a Young American

Vivienne Westwood

Arguably David Bowie's most stylish era, the Young Americans LP was released in 1975 and with it the late auteur's impeccable wardrobe of wide collared pastel shirts, correspondent shoes and baggy Prince of Wales check suits. It was a look emulated by many of the most on point brands this season, including Topman Design, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Vivienne Westwood.

At the former, oversized striped jump suits were finished with White Duke-thin waists. At the latter, wide-shouldered suits worn with 70s-esque platform mules had a punky feel with a polished edge. My tip? Get yourself an oversized suit, have the trousers taken in at the waist and at the hem (have a turn-up put on too) and wear with an open neck spread collar shirt in a sherbet shade. Bleach blonde slick-back optional.

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3 | Craig Green has hit his stride

Craig Green

It's taken half a decade, plenty of work and the confidence to stick to a very specific aesthetic, but it all paid off for Craig Green at LFWM this weekend. The British designer showed his most accomplished collection to date on Monday morning (the parameters of what constitutes a weekend get stretched on planet fashion).

Where in previous seasons Green has taken one idea (carpet bag quilting; colour pop bondage; strait jacket strapping) and pushed it to its zenith, for SS'18 the ideas were plentiful and each one was artfully conceived. There was some beautiful raw denim, cut without fuss and with a nautical bent; and then there were oversized, multi-coloured, expanded seersucker coats - oh, and a cagoule printed with a pastel version of a tropical paradise.

And let's not forget the strapped-up shirt jackets finished to resemble abstract basketball courts. Throw in the tire-tread ballet pumps and you've got an extraordinarily rich spring summer collection...not to mention a very British success story.

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4 | Look to penny sweets for style inspiration

Richard James
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Barratt's Fruit Salads, to be precise. Taffy pink and diluted Tropicana were the hues of the season, with everyone from Richard James and Dunhill (who both showed impeccably tailored rose bombers, suits and field coats) to Christopher Raeburn and Belstaff (both of whom deployed muted shades of orange in the form of sporty cagoules) embracing the trend. The effect was summery in the extreme.

5 | There are some hot new brands on the block

Blood Brother

Blood brother has been around for a while but this season saw the British streetwear label come into its own with smart logo tees and a move into a more grown up sphere. The pleated trousers, strap-detail bomber jackets and Miami Vice dove grey suits were highlights. Nicholas Daley, who launched his eponymous brand in 2015, showed an accomplished, elegant collection of oversized linen trousers, roomy painters smocks and beautiful checked trench coats, all of which focused on fabric and looked perfect for summer.

London fashion's new darling Charles Jeffrey showed a collection which set him up as a young Vivienne Westwood. Punky, fun and above all, beautifully tailored, beneath all the crinolines and frock coats there were some perfectly cut trousers and jackets, you just had to search for them, which only added to the fun.

6 | Field jackets are the new bombers

dunhill

The classic British brands proved this season that field jackets are, in fact, the new bombers. Dunhill, under the aegis of new designer Mark Weston, showed a peonie suede one; Richard James showed his in billowing cobalt cotton and Belstaff presented a heavy twill style finished with a belt. Invest now as this is one trend which is set to stick around for a few more summers at least.

7 | Footballers can do fashion

Kent & Curwen

In David Beckham's case at least. More than just a pretty face / amazing right foot / envy of every man the world over, Golden Balls is also a savvy fashion businessman. On Sunday he presented the second collection from British brand Kent & Curwen, designed by Daniel Kearns, in Covent Garden and the result was a perfect example of what preppy style should be in the 21st century. Perfectly cut peg leg trousers, club tie patterns and beautifully proportioned overcoats made this one of the most desirable collections of LFWM.