London Collections: Men S/S '16 – Day Three Report

Our verdict on Richard James, Alexander McQueen, Margaret Howell and more

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1 | J.W. Anderson 

The first show of Sunday was expertly constructed. It's day three, so we're all starting to lag a little, and there were plenty of people feeling worse for wear after the frivolities of the night before. Therefore, J.W .Anderson's SS16 collection needed to provide some succour, and succour it provided.

If you ever plan to produce a runway show of your own, take note. Single benches were arranged along narrow corridors, so everyone got a close up view of the looks, and more importantly, a front row seat. The room was awash with (un)natural sunlight, thanks to a series of ultra bright lamps, so every little detail of each look was readily viewable.
And what details there were. Compared to last season's show, which felt more like an progressive art happening than a clothing collection, SS16 was infinitely more wearable.

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Boldly printed, 'mixed media' pieces featured heavily, as our Vine of the show demonstrates. And the styling was much simpler than it has been – high waisted, pleated, softly cut trousers were worn with sleeveless, big shouldered Samurai-esque tops, adorned with intricate metal detailing.
The most impressive theming, though, was the extent of the collection. There were sheer, fashion-forward pieces mixed with simple, easy-to-wear coats, trousers and knitwear. The shoes, as always, weren't wholly convincing. But it's forgiven.

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Well done Jonathan Anderson.

– Charlie Teasdale


2 | Baartmans & Siegel

"After the success of last season's show, the Baartmans & Siegel presentation expected to garner quite a crowd, and deservedly, it did.

Whereas AW15 was had a sports luxe focus, SS16 is a progression for the burgeoning young designers. There was the layering, texture and navy blue from before, but new suiting was cut in grey jersey, and there was a couple of particularly good silk outerwear pieces.

The collection was styled by our very own fashion director Catherine Hayward, and because the models were standing spaced-out around the room – amongst glowing neon cacti, interestingly – we were able to properly inspect the craftsmanship of the clothes, and the hardware on the coats. Clearly, detail and quality are high on B&S' agenda.

The key pieces include the slim tapered jogging pants (one of the pair's signature creations) and shirt jackets in a digital palomino pony camo print. Try saying that when you've had a few.

Our tip: invest in one of the light field coats, which pack up into a pocket. Perfect for looking good at a festival.

Roll on AW16."

– Charlie Teasdale

3 | Margaret Howell

Margaret Howell’s clothes exist not to reinvent the wheel each season, but to compliment what has come before. You could happlily go go through life adding new pieces to your Margaret Howell wardrobe each season and never retire any of them, such is their timeless quality (indeed, people do). For S/S 16 Howell showed layers of pristine white and navy shirts and jackets. Trousers were voluminous and pleated. Accessories included modish neckchiefs (a favourite of the past few seasons), socks worn with pool sliders and the thinnest of schoolboy belts. There were immaculate anoraks and boxy, seasonless jackets. Another quiet triumph.

– Johnny Davis


4 | Alexander McQueen

Seafaring maps and sea monster motifs infused the SS16 mens collection from Alexander McQueen, held with the label’s appropriate sense of drama in a dark and dank former railway arch under London Bridge. A palette of navy, white and black reinforced the nautical theme, with embroidered frock coats featuring medals, mermaids and anchors. The finishing was immaculate and the cuts sharp and modern. Elsewhere were dramatic black and white op-art prints over suits, raincoats with exaggerated eyelets and and a remarkable dressing gown coat. Nautically nuts.

– Johnny Davis

5 | Gieves & Hawkes

To No 1 Savile Row for the latest collection by the venerable house, reanimated to stellar effect in recent times by creative director Jason Basmajian. The collection was light and modern, with streamlined tailoring being complimented by great knitwear and silk cotton waffle T-shirts, all arranged in a sections of complimentary colours. This continued Basmajian’s belief in de-stuffing the suit - today’s tailoring is designed to be worn over T-shirts, and under layering, without looking any less smart with it. A capsule collaboration with resort wear brand Orlebar Brown focused on ‘Everyday Explorers’ and riffed on Gieves & Hawkes history of intrepid adventurers (Dr Livingstone lay in state here for two days, before being transferred to Westminster). For this there were graphic polo shirts, light cotton shirts and of course - immaculate shorts.

– Johnny Davis