Plaid is synonymous with London, which is why I wasn’t amused that the setup for London Fashion Week Mens (LFWM) incorporated a traditional fireplace in the Queen’s red with a checkerboard floor that made me feel like I was yet again in another wonderland. With an outfit of a plaid Tom Ford jacket, white sequined shirt, skinny jeans, Alice and Olivia red eyewear and matching red boots like Dorothy venturing out of Kansas, I explored two of the most metaphorical shows that used ambiance to relay a point about the world we live in.
Charles Jeffrey’s LoverBoy
It was a bonfire with a bed, an elevated table, and other hidden crevices with models perched in gender bending fashion, to the point that discerning menswear from womenswear was both an allure and a challenge. From the entrance of a male model in a voluminous dress plunging into a bathtub of books to another in a red feathery gown and a pirate’s hat, we knew that Charles Jeffrey was channeling a new sense of utopia. He described it as a combination of “Peter Pan’s Lost Boys” and the boys in “Lord of the Flies”, which gave way to the fauna and flora styled embelishments and motifs: think reptiles and pigs, in particular, alongside Peter Pan shirt collars, much to my adoration for the timeless story. Theatrics took the forefront in a gender neutral and highly fluid collection, showcasing some fine tailoring with lace shirts and dresses, brightly colored oversized parkas and puffer jackets, biker shorts which had been brought back to the runway from Milan, and accessories and jewelry aplenty. My favorite were a series of outfits incorporating signature tartan checks that were oh so British in their style. Because who would doubt they are in London after seeing a slim fit check suit alongside a dress?
The first thing that struck me here was the plethora of mirrors and a runway surrounded by water, which evoked many imaginative and mercurial images. Almost like a synonym for a wet London, the runway stretched between pools of water which even had models writhing and crawling in it! Alongside what I noticed to be a bunch of dogs barking furiously at runway models, probably petrified at the macabre but luminous ambiance. Designer Ross (who won the bests emerging menswear designer award at the Fashion Awards in London) of A ColdWall explained that the set was actually a reflection of global climate change and its discomfort, which evoked fear in an already right-wing nationalistic country, which helped balance the vision behind a murky ambiance. The collection itself was very winter forward, with padded and quilted jackets in oversized cuts, alongside trench coats, boxy suits and loose cut trousers. The colors were blacks and greys and navys, only momentarily cut by sunset oranges and sunrise yellows in the likes of fitted cardigans and padded jackets, which were a favorite combination given my adoration for sunlit color schemes.