The wonderful thing about Margaret Howell is that season after season, she sticks to what she knows - beyond the influence of fashion or trend, she produces clothes that confident, intelligent men want to wear.
Cuts are drape-y and relaxed, fabrics are natural and tactile, shapes are contemporary and the details are paid close attention to. Highlights included a rust–coloured zip up cagoule, a spread–collared fifties–esque chambray shirt and a plethora of bucket hats (think Samuel L Jackson on a down day).
The world of men's footwear can be a bit of a style wasteland. Of course a pair of brown brogues will look great with slim indigo jeans, and yes that pair of classic black derbies will look lovely with your suit, but sometimes it's important to make more of a statement.
The only brand worth going to is Jimmy Choo. Beautifully made, built to last and designed with a clever contemporary edge by the brand's creative director Sandra Choi, highlights from the SS '14 presentation included an elegant pair of chocolate python skin lace-ups, an embroidered slipper complete with motifs from cuban advertising posters, and the classic Jimmy Choo biker boot.
Oh, and the oversized tassled slippers were a thing of genius.
Not a hint of James' signature electric-meets-midnight blue for his SS '14 show, which took place in an airy car show room on Mayfair's Park Lane yesterday.
A riviera-inspired melange of dusty suede blazers, light blousons in linen, cotton and suede and paper thin linen safari jackets; shades were bright, but not too bright - with salmons, cerises, teals, mints and an abundance of creams sent out in waves – and summery suits were worn with appliquéd espadrilles instead of classic shoes.
Wearable, elegant and above all, considered.
Rag and Bone
Showing for the first time in London, the British design duo chose an urban eastside location to show their latest collection. Instead of a classic walkway, guests sat around a raised platform scattered with long, slim revolving mirrors which reflected and refracted the faces of the audience in the afternoon sun as well as the sporty looks moving along the walkway at speed.
True to their up-town casual style, the collection was monochrome apart from the flashes of cobalt blue interspersed between the shades of grey, black and white.
Slim-fit cropped bum freezer jackets were teamed with skinny cargo pants, or with bonded seamed work wear shirts and sporty hooded outerwear.
Sporty layering seemed quite autumnal for a spring summer show but the bucket hat and longer fit wide shorts kept it seasonal.
Showed underneath the railway arches in Kings Cross, a suitably dramatic outdoor backdrop to the clothes which had a faintly sinister Victorian vibe about them.
Appearing from a back-lit plume of smoke, the models appeared ghostlike from the swirls, hair severely scrapped back with gloss - marching over wet cobbles. A hawk had apparently been kept in the arches overnight to scare away the resident pigeons.
Well known for the frock coat, the McQueen silhouette was visible across most of the tailored looks. This time, some of the coats were sleeveless and the trouser cropped to show off some summer skin and the feminine strapped footwear.
Jackets appeared covered in a back cobweb overlay, with white lace or rose embroidery over graphic stripes - contrasting with skulls and insects more suited to the dark McQueen aesthetic.
Sharply tailored white double breasted jackets with overlong shirt cuffs underneath were teamed with wide billowing below the knee shorts which gave the collection a 1930s sportswear feel.
It felt good to be British on Monday night. Hackett's spring summer '14 collection, full to the brim with straw boating hats, light seersucker suits in shades of lemon and strawberry marshmallow and plenty of contrast club collar shirts was elegant and artfully styles.
The look was somewhere between Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited and Toad of Toad Hall (in a good way). The highlight? The full orchestra which Hackett called in to accompany the show. Marvellous stuff.