1 | Burberry (above)
The much-vaunted athletic leisurewear trend was in full effect at Burberry's A/W 2016 menswear show, with tracksuit tops and tracksuit top-inspired garments worn under luxurious fur coats or in vibrant sequin-covered shades. Coats in classic cuts were also a big feature: in plaids, dogtooths and brass buttoned military styles. Mountaineering-style puffa jackets were paired with traditional knitwear. Elsewhere knits, tweeds and checked jackets were layered up to British winter-beating effect (surely no fashion house understands how to 'do' British winter dressing as well as Burberry). The show was titled 'Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue' and bought together Burberry's different ready-to-wear labels and styles in one collection. The Mercury Prize-winning artist Benjamin Clementine performed live, his mournful piano-led vocal acrobatics suiting the mood, given the day's shock David Bowie news (music being part of Burberry's DNA). As usual, the celebrity turn-out was high: Mark Ronson, Steve McQueen and Jourdan Dunn being among the front-row names.
- Johnny Davis
2 | Paul Smith
Aladdin Sane was playing as we walked into Paul Smith's recreation of his first shop at The Pace Gallery today; a fitting tribute to the great David Bowie - whose unexpected passing was announced to a shocked music world just hours before. It was especially poignant for Smith who had created some of Bowies clothes and costumes in the early seventies when they were both in their early twenties. Indeed, Smith had designed the trousers that Bowie wore on the cover of Hunky Dory.
Smith's Autumn/Winter 2016 presentation was a celebration of his daily inspiration, a mini stage set that conjured up the tiny space - just 3 metres by 3 metres - that he opened back in 1970 in Nottingham. Filled to the brim with shelves of books, photographs, an accordion, Japanese bric a brac and even a distant relative of Smith 's old Afghan hound, Homer - played elegantly by Luca who sat patiently at Smith's feet as he regaled journalist's of the days when it was acceptable to open your store for just 2 days a week. As for the clothes? Well, the Argentinian tango was the idea behind a particularly colourful bag and a collection of old cycling jerseys - Smith's passion - were the influences behind a new set of accessories and cycling clobber. Of course, we'll see the rest of the Smith runway collection in Paris next week. Stay tuned.
- Catherine Hayward
3 | Thom Sweeney
Though Savile Row is still perhaps the best street for men’s tailoring in the entire world, it isn’t the only place you can buy a fantastic suit. Thom Widdett and Luke Sweeney may have started their careers on the Row, but ever since they founded Thom Sweeney nine years ago they’ve made a point of setting themselves aside from the houses on the Row, and season after season it yields fantastic results.
Aside from the house style that merges British miltary tradition with fluid Itlalian ‘sprezzatura’, the focus at Thom Sweeney is very much on the fabrics, and the AW16 collection of suits, separates, knitwear and shirting is chocka with such beguiling textures as winter seersucker, heavy cotton twill, and even tailored denim, and the colour palette is full of rich greens, earthy browns and soft greys. I chatted to Luke at the presentation and he told me the collection was partly inspired by the wardrobe of one of their best clients, a young guy who dresses especially well, and curates his clothing so a thread of quality and perfect cut runs through it all. Interestingly, that’s exactly who the typical Thom Sweeney client is in my mind: young, stylish and conscious of quality but not concerned with fanfare, exhibitionism or braggadocious dressing. The AW16 collection has only confirmed that notion.
- Charie Teasdale