You may find it hugely surprising but I honestly love London Collection Mens just as much as i love women's LFW. And I swear it's not all to do with those beautiful models and their striking bone structure....honest.
No, for me half of a gents appeal is in his dressing, and I confess (reddened face hidden behind hands) to be majorly 'put off' a date if I disapprove of their outfit. And I'm talking sneak out the bathroom window never to see a second date kind of 'put off'. But then I'm sure some see my cloche hat, brogues and fur coat and cringe at the thought of walking alongside a young women trapped in her granny's hey day. Ah the problems us fussy girls face today.
So back to the trends I've spied at the LCM AW14 shows this week. (From the comfort of my sofa unfortunately, work has kept me in the northern hemisphere this time) And I must admit, hand on heart, brownies honour, that I didn't like all I saw. In fact. A lot I seriously hated. If Instagram had a 'I hope to god I never meet a guy in that' button I would have hit it thousands of times.
Maybe I'm too stuck in the past, where men clothed in their Sunday best every day of the week, or maybe I just seriously hate men in 90s over sized trousers, Disneyland ears and heels (no joke- HEELS).
Let's start with...
THE GOOD (oh how I hate the word good.)
It was raining menswear over at Topman, who showcased a palette of black, bright red and a tone between powder blue and dove grey. With a collection of chunky knits, leather and even a transparent cape, you can bet this high street favourite will be dressing the majority of twenty something men come October. I am however hoping the transparent cape does not make its way into the Liverpool store.
Onto yet more shades of vivid blue and bold red, and a great collection of casual knitwear. At John Smedley, we saw geometric print and bold striped jumpers teamed with matching tonal trousers. The jumpers I like, the matching trousers however may just be a step too far for the average Joe. But against some slim denims, we may be about to push those awful Christmas jumpers out of the wardrobe for good! Oh what a joy!
At fashionistas favourite Paul Smith, we had what looked like a smart simple collection. But on closer inspection I spied the bold tartan and floral patterns running through the suits, the overly wrapped chunky scarves and the camel print which adorn them. An all round pleasant collection in navy, terracotta and grey, but nothing ground breaking here.
Close your eyes, it's time for...
THE BAD (and the ugly.)
Well lets start with my least favourite...then things can only get better hey. Katie Eary what were you thinking?! Hair reminiscent of Prodigy's Keith in their Firestarter days, with frightening Mickey Mouse headgear alongside red (yes, red AGAIN) leopard and cartoon animal prints. It was all very punk meets 90s- and definitely not my cup of tea!
I'm all for androgynous looks, but for me, JW Anderson took it too far this season. Heels?! For men?! And I'm not talking Tom Cruise style stacks, I'm talking platform loafers.Then theres the bag- a rigid bucket bag, that looks more Jack and Jill than a key accessory. And finally, the sleeveless shirts. No. Sorry, but this is just too far for my liking!
Then its back to Mickey Mouse ears over at MAN. Not only ears, but horns too, and mouth guards, teamed with jumpers featuring the classic Disney font. Whatever magic potion their taking, I think I'll pass thanks.
Gieves and Hawkes unsurprisingly impressed me immensely. But then given working on their store relaunch last year was one of my favourite jobs, I'm not shocked. With a masculine palette of moss and khaki green alongside classic navy, grey and brown in fabrics such as tweed, shearling and cashmere, our men can still look suitably stylish in the colder British months.
Plus with a new eyewear range and a great selection of accessories designer Jason Basmajian has definitely made this 243 year old Saville Row brand proud.
This season also saw Thomas Pink's LCM debut- and what a debut it was. A mixture of their heritage classic shirts and office wear, with surprising hints of AW key colours teal and tomato red.
Chester Barrie's satin paisley scarfs, midnight blue velvet loafers and teal roll necks also made me sit up and take note, whilst Hardy Amies was another brand I breathed a sigh of fashion relief at. Yet another heritage Saville Row brand showcasing beautifully cut suits, crisp shirts and tailored coats in an array of classic neutrals with accents of cobalt blue and terracotta. The collection was completed with silk pocket squares and classic Grenson shoes.
Finally, we saw cult high street and mums favourite brand Marks and Spencer stamp their thrifty mark on the London fashion scene. With their third Best of British collection, they drew inspiration from Sir David Frost and Sir Michael Caine to create a contemporary range of classic tailoring, luxury cashmere and Prince of Wales check.
Other brands I'd suggest having your beady eyes on when the leaves fall is Duchamp,Hackett, John Lobb, Kent and Curwen and Pringle.
It's certainly going to be an interesting one....