1 | Richard James
One of the Savile Row houses that has taken to created casual, easy to wear pieces over the past few years, the Richard James show is always abundant with much more than just perfectly cut suiting. The AW'16 collection took its inspiration from the London Docklands of the 1930s, so there was an overriding sense of sturdiness to the collection.
The colour palette was subdued - greys, deep navys, creams, bottle greens - but there was the occasional pop of colour in tie-dyed knitwear (reminiscent of the super bright SS'16 collection) and teal suiting. As with so many other collections this weekend, there wasn't a skinny trouser leg in sight, and double breasted jackets, nip in tight at the waist, were matched with loose, wide legged bottoms.
The casual looks that featured dark denim, big roll neck sweaters and wide lapelled overcoats were supremely wearable, as were those with donkey jackets and slouchy trousers, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the best looks were the suits. A wonderful double breasted, pleated trouser number in camel-coloured window pane check, and then again in classic Prince of Wales, were the standouts for me, and it was offered in off white, charcoal chalk stripe too. A smaller, quieter collection than last season, but still one full of things you'd want to wear.
- Charlie Teasdale
2 | Margaret Howell
Margaret Howell knows what she likes: high quality clothes based on classic British traditional tailoring, given a contemporary spin. This has sometimes led to accusations of samey-ness - not least from the designer herself, who believes you should build up a Margaret Howell wardrobe over a lifetime. Not for her the whims of seasonal fashion, instead there is the aspiration to something more permanent. A nobel idea, the downside for the fashion spectator being an occasional sense of deja vu at her collections.
Not so this time. While this collection couldn't have been produced by anyone else - witness beautiful wools and cashmeres, in a ruthlessly edited colour palate - it was also strongly directional. Trousers, worn high-waisted, cinch-backed and pleated, were the highlight. Bold, slouchy jumpers were worn tucked in. There were also immaculate corduroy jackets, duffle coats and navy crewnecks. Minimalist, modern and never overly-designed, this felt like the strongest Margaret Howell collection for seasons - no mean feat. We wanted it all...
- Johnny Davis
3 | Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton's menswear has a fantastical quality to it. Though the majority of garments in her Autumn Winter '16 show for Alexander McQueen, which was shown in the imposing surrounds of the Foreign office, were military inspired – perfectly fitted frock coats, skirted jackets with epaulettes and loose trousers with blood stripes dominated – embroidery in the form of butterflies and gilded floral patterns added an ethereal charm. Trousers were loose, boots and lace-ups were chunky and winter-ready and the construction was immaculate.
- Teo van den Broeke
4 | Baartmans And Siegel
‘Golden Years’. ‘Spanish Harlem’. ‘Concrete’. ‘Hoodrat’. All words picked out big on the shownotes for the Dutch-English design duo Baartmans And Siegel, who chose New York 1976 as the inspiration for their A/W 2016 show.
A knockout marriage of street style and glam eveningwear, this collection (with women’s preview) reflected the disparate tribes of Harlem and Studio 54, in the Year Zero of modern pop culture for the city. Highlights included a beautifully embroidered suede bomber jacket, double-breasted chalk stripe tailoring, and a seriously amazing fox fur coat. Trousers were loose and cinched, while handmade optics brand F.A.N Optics created magnificent sparkly Bakelite sunglasses. It was another winner from the label that goes from strength to strength to strength. Autumn / winter shopping list sorted, then…
- Johnny Davis
5 | Dunhill
Tradition was at the heart of the Dunhill show: a standout collection inspired by English World War I officers and English gentleman which took place in the private Savile Club, the sumptuous 19th Century Mayfair institution whose prominent members have included WB Yeats, Evelyn Waugh and Henry James. Formal, weekend and evening wear were all represented, with blue velvet used for smoking jackets and beautiful shearling-trim on leather coats.
Colour was used to reflect the British landscape: with cardigans, narrow trousers and cable knits in an autumnal plate of browns, reds and greens. Creative director John Ray has a genuine understanding of heritage, engaging with the cuts and clothes that have made British style the envy of the world, and boldly taking it forward for 2016. This was luxury menswear done right.
- Johnny Davis