LFWM’S BEST DRESSED ON THE STATE OF MENSWEAR TODAY

Amidst increasingly experimental casting choices and figures like Young Thug, it seems as if the lines between menswear and womenswear are becoming increasingly blurred—if not entirely nonexistent. We took to the streets of London Fashion Week Men’s to ask insiders their thoughts on how menswear is evolving, and the role that the city of London inevitably plays.

LFWM
@butlerarchive

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

I am enjoying this era where the line between streetwear and high fashion is very blurred. It’s sublime to see that a hoodie made from the finest materials can be considered couture. The other side of the coin is that menswear is becoming more functional, hence the resurgence of the man purse. Yes, this jacket is awesome but does it have enough pockets I can put my belongings in so I can stay out all night? Is the fabric waterproof so I don’t have to worry about carrying an umbrella? Is it reversible? Where does it fit in with the rest of my wardrobe?

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

Sam Ross of A Cold Wall, Craig Green, Bianca Saunders, Matthew Miller, Peter Do.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

No doubt there is, there are very prestigious fashion and design schools here and multiple fashion fund schemes that go to talented designers.

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

This is my kind of “work uniform”. It has a Steve Jobs-esque functionality attached to it, allowing me to concentrate and move around easily in without worrying about something getting caught on a door handle or anything. I’m part of the design team of Tinie Tempah’s What We Wear brand, specialising in graphics and set design, and we are having our third runway show in London today. The t-shirt is from the brand, trousers are from Dior and my boots are from Dr. Martens.

LFWM
@freyahenderson and @hugo.taylor

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

Freya: Menswear right now is bigger and better than it has ever been. The astronomical popularity of streetwear has definitely played a major role. I know it’s mainly aimed at men, but I’m also excited to see more and more girls rocking it.

Hugo: I think menswear is as healthy as ever, really taking centre stage at the moment. Everyone wears menswear now. People are genuinely starting to wear what they think suits them as an individual. There’s really nothing cooler.

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

Freya: All the super hyped brands have pushed menswear into the spotlight, which I think has done it a service overall. For me personally though, I love what’s happening at Heliot Emil. I’m also really into the technical utility vibe of Alyx, Matthew Williams is doing a great job.

Hugo: Yeah, I really like what Matthew Williams and the team at Alyx are doing. I also think Helmut Lang is killing it, I love the work that Ava Nirui is doing there.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

Freya: I think London is the perfect place for pushing boundaries. Its history is rich with really exciting subcultures, and there is always new stuff coming from the streets.

Hugo: I’ve spent some time around Central Saint Martins and there is definitely exciting stuff coming out of there which is reflective of London as a whole. I think perhaps Milan and Paris are slightly more restricted by the confines of tradition.

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

Freya: The shirt is a 2000s skate shirt, I love the print and it’s almost uncanny how well it matches the embroidery on the back of my Maharishi trousers. I tied the look up with my baby milo bag that I never leave the house without!

Hugo: I have to admit, I just threw on some stuff in the morning. In retrospect, though, it’s a look that is made up of pieces that probably stem from my love of the late, great Massimo Osti.

LFWM
@jaydon.harvey 

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

I definitely think that menswear has recently become so much more inclusive, many more of the biggest designers have started to take the lead toward a more diverse fashion world. Models are now being hired for their uniqueness and relatability, rather than simply looks: gender neutral models, models without typical Western features. Closing the gap between traditional standards and the modern fashion world is creating the space for designers, both old and new, to explore new storylines and forms of expression.

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

I recently discovered a designer by the name of KA WA KEY. His SS19 presentation, entitled “The Picture of a Monk”, was super creative and inspiring, fusing together elements of ballet and reworked streetwear. I spoke to the designer after the show and he offered me some advice on growing in the fashion industry. He also went and visited some of the other smaller brands that attended the events on Monday. It was amazing to see such a successful designer support others, as it is not something that happens very often.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

London has for sure been my favourite fashion week that I have attended, as it is much more urban and progressive. People here are very brave and want to stand out as much as possible, unlike Paris, where the shows are very traditional and expected. Not much has changed in the fashion industry there, particularly with the casting choices and treatment of models of color.

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

This look isn’t particularly inspired by any established individual designer but rather the people who are influenced by them. It’s a combination of all my favourite trends: the large over sized dressed shirts, straight trousers and the bum bag. It was my idea to layer the three different shirts and leave them open, synched at the waist by the bag…It’s not something I would have the confidence to wear everyday, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone a little more than usual.

LFWM
@miya_miah

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

Menswear is definitely gaining more importance in the fashion industry now—it’s influencing both high fashion and womenswear in lots of ways, changing the way both look by injecting functionality and youth culture.

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

The streetwear/high fashion mix that Virgil Abloh is doing for Louis Vuitton is definitely having an impact on men’s fashion as a whole. Tinie Tempah’s brand What We Wear and A Cold Wall are doing similar things, bringing in youth culture to the high fashion scene.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

London is an amazing place for menswear designers to push boundaries—we have such a distinct culture that isn’t really anywhere else. Designers are really able to create openly here.

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

My outfit was based largely around my trousers, which I made myself. They were originally part of a size 34 men’s two-piece, but I made it work. I’m at LFWM because I’m part of the design team for What We Wear.

LFWM
@nejilka

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

Menswear generally is making a big impact everywhere. It’s becoming different then traditional polo shirts and suits, its streetwear, it’s unisex, its colorful, playful, fun and the tailor, cuts, fits are all different and suitable for anyone. Menswear has been the staple of my wardrobe. So I feel like it’s evolving now to something way bigger- well at least in London. The streetwear culture is making a huge impact in fashion. We may not have all the big fashion houses in but we still have something different to offer. It’s heading in the right direction, I just think more designers should stop playing safe and take some more risks especially in other markets other than London.

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

Out of all the shows I have attended, Blindness Official, Iceberg and Per Gottensen.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

London is such a free spirit vibe. Look at Charles Jeffrey SS19, he pushed the boundaries and the norm standards with such grace and authenticity. Charles Jeffrey’s show isn’t just a show, it’s an experience. I think that’s how fashion shows should be. Everyone should be taking more risks!

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

I’m wearing Daily Paper trousers from their women’s SS19, a vintage Dolce & Gabanna blazer that I tore apart myself, a belt from Urban Outfitters, and black square toe boots from a Vintage shop. The bag is a Marc Jacobs, actually a men’s laptop bag. It’s not inspired by anyone, I just wanted to wear something more of myself and different to anyone.

LFWM
@shadeztm

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

Menswear is becoming diverse in so many ways, from concepts to fits to casting choices. The line between streetwear and high-end clothing is more blurred than ever: formal wear is becoming more casual in look, and casual wear is becoming more formal in fit and cut. I see menswear leading out of what’s on trend and more into clothing that is individual and conveys an experience.

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

I really have to commend the work of Samuel Ross, founder and creative Director of A Cold Wall. He’s able to seamlessly merge different mediums to showcase the art of clothing, using his releases as extended canvases and narratives for larger concepts and experiences.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

I think that London allows menswear designers creative space and room to showcase ideas that in turn transcend into the street style and looks of London, capturing the attention of buyers and consumers alike. Milan and Paris seem to focus on the already established high-end brands.

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

My look was inspired by themes of intention, functionality and aesthetic. I wear a vintage wooly hat accompanied by t-shirt from Long Live Studios, which reads “Faith is the new currency”. My trousers are vintage Burberry from Atika London with Nike Vapormax as footwear. My bag is a custom made satchel from Stighlorgan with additional features from Takashi Murakami Flower Broach.

LFWM
@theodore_uriah and @youngnathanrosen

What do you think the state of menswear is right now? How is it evolving, and where do you see it heading?

Theodore: I think it has opened doors for a wider scale of expressionist that didn’t feel attended to creatively, from gender fluid brands to brands that make bold masculine statements. Menswear aesthetically speaks so many different languages, yet, as fashion enthusiasts, we are all able to understand.

Nathan: I’m honestly not sure.

Which designers, would you say, are at the helm of this evolution?

Theodore: Virgil Abloh after making a move toward Louis Vuitton.

Nathan: I don’t wear the high end brands, but Kim Jones and Virgil Abloh are doing a lot of cool stuff right now.

Do you think that London gives menswear designers more opportunity to push boundaries versus, for instance, Milan or Paris?

Theodore: Definitely. There is something special about how London houses it’s fashion movement.

Nathan: I think London is one of the best places to live, there’s something for everyone here. People make crazy shit from all over the world.

Can you speak a bit to what you’re wearing? Was it inspired by any particular designer?

Theodore: The double denim was inspired by Vetements, but aside from that I don’t really take much inspiration from any particular place. I’m a strong believer in simply existing and personifying who I truly am through my appearance, rather than focusing on certain points of inspiration. That can actually condition you into lying to yourself through less integral forms expression.

Nathan: I’m wearing an old Kidrobot x KTZ jacket that I got from my friend who was sponsored by them back in the day. Other than that: a Stussy bag, Nike cap, Kangol jeans and Stussy New Balance. Simple but effective.

LFWM

Photography EJATU SHAW

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