1 | Baartmans and Siegel
"Baartmans and Siegel kicked off a slightly hazy Sunday morning of shows. The latest collection from the anglo Dutch duo developed on the key touch points of the brand – namely sports-inspired tailoring, sumptuous fur trims and varying shades of blue.
"Inspired by alpine active wear and the Dutch Gabber dance scene of the nineties, key pieces included a chunky neoprene and fur-lined bomber jacket, a sumptuous cotton waffle knit jumper and a track pant-cum- dress trouser with grosgrain ribbon trim."
– Teo van den Broeke
2 | Margaret Howell
"Not to make it look too smart or new. That’s always something one’s quite conscious of when designing men’s clothes," Margaret Howell told Esquire's Big Black Book recently. "Make it feel right."
"You don't go to Howell's shows expecting her to reinvent the wheel or scare the horses: what you get it is immaculate tailoring and knitwear, all infused with a very English sensibility. Wardrobe classics that will last not just the season, but a lifetime.
"Today that meant a wintery palate of black, dark green and white, pleated high cut trousers and fitted roll neck jumpers. A double breasted sheepskin coat was a highlight, as was a billowing yellow raincoat.
"These were items to sit handsomely among previous collections, fitting with Howell's idea of building a wardrobe over time. It all felt right."
– Johnny Davis
3 | Richard James
"We've got to the point of the weekend where trends and reoccurring design touches start to appear, and Richard was abundant in a host AW15 motifs. First there was shaved alpaca coats, a fabric we've seen a fair bit of. In this instance it went into bomber jackets and work shirts.
"Clearly, textures are in favour this season, and it continued in another trend for layering chunky cable knit crew sweaters over fine roll necks, a look that conjured up images of vintage ski wear for Esquire fashion director Catherine Hayward.
"The next recurring theme is thick, textural fabrics. At Richard James we saw well cut trousers in a handsome navy corduroy and a velvet coat. The overall shade of the collection too was similar to others. A\W '15 is offering up autumnal hues of maroon and fern. Also, in my notes I wrote the phrase 'pub sofa brown', and I mean it in the nicest possible sense.
"By noting these trends I'm not suggesting that Richard James' collection was derivative, because there was plenty of unique stuff too; an overriding equestrian theme, for example. Is that a pun? Almost.
"The verdict is this: good, as always, and an inordinate amount of good coats, which is fine by me."
– Charlie Teasdale
4 | Alexander McQueen
"Last season's remarkable show at The Royal College of Surgeons marked a drawing of a line of sorts: the collection where Sarah Burton seemed to more definitely stamp her own identity on McQueen menswear, moving away from collections that seemed to more obviously echo Lee McQueen's concerns.
"For A/W '15 the house presented 'The Democratic Muse', a tribute to the dress uniform, from work to war. There were coats, jackets and City pinstripes galore. Chesterfield frock coats came with hazed houndstooth check, jackets were in silk cloche jacquard and hourglass coats were adorned with diamante medals. The word 'Honour' appeared on pinstripes and army knits were emblazoned with poppies.
"With a rigorous palate of workwear blues, military greens and silver, this was a statement based on the power of uniform as a symbol for togetherness."
- Johnny Davis
5 | Pringle of Scotland
"2015 marks Pringle's 200th year of operation, but A/W '15 is a thoroughly modern affair.
"The house has long prided itself on technical innovation, but to me, it seemed the collection is more concerned with aesthetics. The inclusion of sheer patches and detailing, pixelated prints and 3D printed cashmere has helped create a range that fuses Pringle's proclivity for making really good knitwear and its desire to toy with wardrobe staples.
"The outerwear is thick and cosy, but there are flashes of leather, heat-sealed seams here and there, and distressed, but subtle, detailing.
"The trousers, a triumph in wool, are checked and cut to a length and width that are perfect for pairing with some hefty boots. And the exercises in leather, coats in this instance, are considered and simple. Good to see, because brands akin to Pringles often tend to over do it when they design pieces in materials that they're less familiar with.
"Styling-wise, we saw chunky wool crews over fine roll necks (a common theme) and there was simple layering and shade on shade; a good idea when the clothes are so cut from such good quality wool.
"So, Pringle has shown a collection that was two centuries in the making. They've handled the pressure well. Something to consider when 2015's summer months start to fade."
- Charlie Teasdale
6 | Gieves & Hawkes
"Shown in the imposing surrounds of Christies auction house in St James', Gieves and Hawkes' A/W '15 collection was the highlight of a busy sunday of shows. Chief Creative Officer Jason Basmajian called this collection "a progression". Equally as strong in terms of fabrication and finish as his previous seasons, A/W '15 in all its moody glory was – in his own words – a reflection of Basmajian's mood.
"Shades of black, charcoal, grey and burgundy dominated – with slim double breasted suiting, chunky knitwear, slim cashmere overcoats and sumptuous blazers abound. Textures were soft and tactile, shapes were on the slouchy side of tailored, while cuts were immaculate and flattering. Elegant, edgy and contemporary, Autumn Winter '15 is undoubtedly Basmajian's strongest collection to date."
– Teo van den Broeke
7 | Casely-Hayford
"Between them father and son partnership Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford are responsible for a hefty chapter in the book of modern British style – not everyone can boast a client list that runs from The Clash to The Xx, while Joe is a former Gieves & Hawkes creative director – and they continue to be a favourite of the fashion crowd. A monochrome overcoat from last year's winter collection was still popular, judging by the number of them out and about this week.
"Their A/W '15 collection was a masterclass in mixing and matching contrasting styles, textures, shapes, lengths and above all ideas: bright orange and vivid green trousers were worn with outsized block graphic knitwear and panelled shirts. There were soft shouldered suits and coats in electric pink and deep navy. Each of the 30-odd looks seemed to combine a dozen ideas, each different from the last – but always obviously the work of the same designers. It's to their credit that it never felt less than the sum of its many parts."
- Johnny Davies
8 | Dunhill
"There was a distinct nerdish Oxbridge feel to Dunhill's A/W '15 collection, although that may have been down to the sheer volume of spectacles, cheekbones and foppish bangs.
"John Reay continues to move the house forward, slimming the trousers, shortening the jackets and bringing in some new textures. The season is all about textures daaaaahling.
"It would seem that outlook of the Dunhill Man is on the move too – by the looks of things he's younger, more experimental and more dastardly than before, layering matt with shine and tucking pajama shirts into teddy bear coats.
"All in all a good and slightly surprising collection. Esquire's Teo Van Den Broeke recently interviewed Mr. Reay (January issue, out now) and the article alluded to the Dunhill's arrival into the theatre of modern menswear. Clearly, things are right on track."
- Charlie Teasdale
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