Day 6: A bit of snake, multi-culture-colour and the Queen’s designer Hardy Amies
After the fluff and drama of the last five days, men’s day was a decidedly quieter affair. Partly because menswear draws a slightly different audience and partly because Milan fashion week has already started and many had jumped ship to Italy last night or early this morning.
The now familiar hassle with PRs continued and this time it was the tiny size of some venues that was the problem, because this year the huge influx of fashion bloggers, (which doesn’t include us… we are.. erm .. designer columnists), has taken many of the press tickets.
The mini journalists have swarmed out of their bedsits jumped on the National Express coach and taken all the bloody seats!
Anyway, when we kicked off with the James Long show, a Mediterranean feel came over us. It may have been the shorts, yes shorts, as all of this week designers are showing their spring/summer collections for next year. Regardless of this, it’s hard to envisage a hot 2012 when we’ve just had such a lousy summer. James gave us shorts, snakeskin trousers, a very cool relaxed affair.
James Long, nicely coordinated
His inspiration? “Leaf leopard, bamboo and the surrealist sculpture garden, Las Pozas.” … now if we’d written that you would have laughed us off the screen. This was the most conservative I’ve seen Mr Long, he’s starting to swim mainstream; which we suppose is a sensible short term thing in the current financial mess.
Gents, if your partner has pointed out that you need a change of wardrobe… or simply look crap; look at all the designer has to offer. If you are new to image revampimg, or you’re nervous or simply talentless in this field, don’t necessarily try to pick and mix designers yourself. Have some faith that the designer will have fretted many a week on what should go with what, so look through their whole collection and maybe start your new image by buying from one designer only to get a bit of coordination in your life.
For the younger man in you we moved onto the KTZ show. KTZ is collaboration between Koji Maruyama, Sasko Bezovski and Marjan Pejoski. Koji is Japanese. Sasko and Majan are both from Macedonia. What they gave us is exactly what you would expect if you put 2/3 Macedonia nuts and 1/3 sushi in a blender; a really out there taste experience.
The audience were as coolly hotch potchy as the show, fresh from America’s Next Top Model, model preener and stylist Miss J Alexander, as well as Lady Victoria Hervey, designer Noki and Daniel Lismore all swayed to the remix of Toto’s Africa – and if you remember that track the first time around you shouldn’t be reading this section, skip on to Hardy Amis below now.
“Summing up the overall feel of fashion week this year, we would say compromise is the theme. The low financial cloud has rained on creativity and it’s gone all soggy”
KTZ do both men and women’s wear and their vibe is certainly unisex. Large metallic bows, almost bondage strapping, intensive multicolored detailing; unique clubkid-meets-roadie-off-duty-at-a-BBQ.
If the overall feel is too much, then this is one designer where un-coordinating their put together for catwalk look is permissible as each of the parts are big statements in themselves.
What KTZ are reflecting is the zeitgeist of wearing mixed up clothing; a schizophrenic design statement that will run for many years. This could be telling us that down the road of fashion evolution, coordination may lapse out of fashion for a while or may die forever.
KTZ – everything and the kitchen sink does work sometimes
So we’ve showcased an example of a coordinated designer and a design team who will let you be uncoordinated. Now, finally, for a bit of tradition to end on a real English note.
Sir Hardy Amies was of course designer to the Queen. He also has been dead for eight years; so technically we are seeing chief designer Claire Malcolm’s collection. Hardy Amies has had a bumpy ride with buy outs and buy backs checkering its history. It does still stand for comfortable style and that is what we got.
The show was set in St Marks Church in Mayfair and was the crème de la crème of the menswear showings. A Venice inspired show, Claire explores the romantic mood, bringing the collection to a more current, contemporary and relevant time.
Hardy Amies – some classic looks and nice tailoring
The subtle prints were a play on the mosaics of St Mark’s Basilica and the Pizza San Marco. Good tailoring and more shorts, these placed with suit jackets, looking very 1950’s English gent abroad.
Hardy Amies are still good for a classy tailored suit; smart, smart casual.
Summing up the overall feel of fashion week this year, we would say compromise is the theme. The low financial cloud has rained on creativity and it’s gone all soggy. Many designers were playing the “less is more” game; LESS creativity equals MORE money. Dumbing down to sell to the masses works as a recession shield – but at what long term dent to the future of expression?
We’re off now a day late to catch up with our fellow hardcore fashion worshipers in the Mecca of fashion which is Millan! It’s much nicer when the PRs and security scream at us there as we can’t understand a word.
Thank you all for following us around.
And… who came.
Lady Victoria Hervey looking crisp enough to watch polo
Hugely talented designer Noki with Daniel Lismore sporting headgear for tricky moments in the office
It’s still menswear, technically. Something to consider for Dress Down Friday maybe. Pandemonia and Daniel Lismore show the less formal approach to men’s attire.
A beaming Miss J, America’s Top Model Presenter, stylist, runway coach and huge bag of fun.
Lesson: Snakeskin pants are no longer for pimps
Long term investment: Hardy Amies; some of their classic pieces could last a lifetime
Highlight: Loving that more men are getting experimental and of course .. the goodie bags
All images ©VinandOmi