Swedish born and London based designer Simon Ekrelius is in his tenth season and shows no signs of slowing down. The SS15 collection is focussed on light fabrics and daring cuts, inspired by architecture and art. The look book is also a fresh approach, lots of movement on a monochrome base. The collection is made in the UK which assures absolute attention to detail. For more follow Simon @simon_ekrelius
BLAQ ZINQ are a new London based headwear brand. Their sleek, minimal designs are subtle but strong, with the logo and star icon in various finishes and textures from 3d embroidery to black patent leather. The range includes nine snap back styles and can be shopped at blaqzinq.com
Internationally renowned male model James Smith has teamed up with jewelry designer Terry Eleftheriou to create a slick new collection of men's bracelets. The pair first met when they worked in retail together and reconnected on Facebook. I met James last week on a shoot and he's not only one of the nicest guys you could meet, but also has a keen eye on what makes men's fashion tick. The pieces are heavy and sexy, made with semi-precious stones including Agate and Tiger's Eye, and some feature a distinctive skull motif. Pieces have been seen on Prince, The Wanted, and the Made in Chelsea crew. Gift ideas for the holiday season? Perfect. Prices start at £40. check it out here.
One of our favourite jewelery brands, Mawi, based in East London, has created an enchanting video for their distinctively ornate pieces. Using the stop motion technique, Robots Invasion is a psychedelic journey filmed over four days in Paris. We can't get enough of that Mawi magic.
TITLE: ROBOTS INVASION
ART DIRECTOR: Kati Garbuz (www.katigarbuz.com)
DIRECTOR: Masha Vasyukova (www.mashavasyukova.com)
STARRING: Lou Gala
MAKE UP ARTIST: Sophie Walker
HAIR: Alice Lewis
COLOUR: GLOSS (www.glossstudio.com)
DRESS & JACKET: Robert Wun
MUSIC: ‘Jacques Tati’ Cro Magnon
Special Thanks to Evgueni Galperine
We are always on the look out for designers that catch our eye, talented individuals with a minimal aesthetic and a clear vision. UK based label D'Albert is one such gem. Julia D'Albert attended LCF and went on to obtain an MA in Creative Couture in Paris. This is only her second collection. There is a sports luxe vibe, and the detailing and cutting are a nod to the designers expert tailoring skills, the palette is airy and fresh for an Autumn/Winter collection. We look forward to seeing more from D'Albert.
We get excited at Valstrom when we come across a designer with a finite vision of what their brand is and their consistency between collections. Because this is what builds a brand - a singular vision. Alan taylor is one such talent. Hailing from Ireland, Alan has shown with Fashion East's MAN show at LC:M for a number of seasons, having previously worked with various London fashion designers. The new collection for Spring/Summer '15 is clean and fresh, taking inspiration from indie music and the paintings of Jenny Saville, but Taylor has filtered his ideas into a tailored, textured aesthetic. The shapes are bold and subtle, colours muted and strong. A beautifully balanced collection from one to watch. We can't wait for more.
We love two things at Valstrom: Minimal design and innovative ideas. Mahabis answers that brief succinctly. The London based company has just launched with a range of footwear for those downtime moments at home or at work. The slippers double up for wearing indoors and an interchangeable sole (in multiple colours) that you can attach for outdoor use. The felt interior and collapsible back make these must have accessories for the uber cool set. So check out the store here and the blog here.
Neil Barrett has come up trumps this season with a vibrant and well thought-out collection. The simple cuts were complimented with a print of a greek sculpture, rendered in various styles. The shoes were eye catching in white and black, and overall, a welcome progression for the brand.
Armani is the quintessential Italian menswear master. The astounding ninety, yes ninety, looks that walked the runway for Emporio Armani were variations on the linear theme, stripes in monochrome, paired with the trademark slicked hair and shades that Armani has used since the eighties. The collection was clean and simple, Armani's restraint and rock solid design philosophy is testament to the longevity of the brand and the man.
Bally is quintessentially THE luxury brand. The cornerstone of the company is its leather goods products, and the clothes complete the lifestyle look. The look book ticks all of the boxes. There are multiple male models (bearded, short hair, curly hair) and multiple clothing combinations (suits, jeans, leather jackets, sneakers, shoes) so that the Bally customer, whatever his age, has options for all parts of his life.
Most designers will look to Prada as a barometer for coming seasons. The palette this season was dark, almost anti-season. Sandals indicated the summer vibe, but Prada will do what they want and it will be lauded regardless. Coats and jumpers in summer? Why not? Interesting features this season were the outline stitching in white on dark fabrics, and multipatterned shirts and sweaters.
Calvin Klein always delivers when it comes to menswear. The giant luxury brand consistently cultivates looks that are set firmly in the minimalist style, with a sparse use of vibrant colours on a white base. This season saw plastic as the innovative fabric angle, and cuts that were airy and clean. Amazing boots with big tongues in various colours. Impeccable.
Lee Roach cites military uniform as the inspiration for his latest collection. Usually he works with darker colours, but this palette of khaki and red and black is a fresh infusion for Spring/Summer 2015. But the trademark minimalism shines through with perfect cuts.
Its good to see American brands showing at London Collections: Men because there is enough space on the schedule to get the press and ensure press and buyers will attend the post/pre show party. London also has a reputation for being edgier than the Paris and Milans seasons due to the new talent shows of Fashion East and Man. The DKNY collection was clean, concise, with hues of navy and blue, all perfectly designed to satisfy the buyers.
Astrid Anderson completely understands the beauty of the male form. Her models are always super masculine, muscular and handsome, so when she clothes them in aprons and dresses, it only makes them appear more masculine and confident. The theme this season was sumo wrestling and the style of Japan. As Japan is one of her biggest markets, why not delve into the archives of Japanese culture. the looks are daring, exciting and urban. Sheer fabrics are in all the right places: Pecs, abs, arms. We love the Astrid Anderson man, and love how she dares to rethink menswear in a consistent way.
Saunders created a fresh, interesting and innovative collection for Spring/Summer 2015. The retro/future style had a solid colour base of apricot, hinting at the 70's, with totally wearable pieces for men and women. The presentation style of the show was a refreshing way to show his wares and gave the show a relaxed vibe.
Christopher Kane had a showroom presentation this season in his PR's studio. Simultaneously he released the lookbook images. This is not an isolated route to take for presenting collections now, mostly down to the cost of hosting a show or presentation at fashion week. But then Christopher Kane has a solid customer base and the retailers are behind him, so there may be no need for a catwalk show - it will sell regardless. Other designers still struggling to make sales in London's mens week have to show their presence with expensive endeavours, which would lead to press, but maybe not the sales.
I popped into The Hospital Club in Covent Garden today to get some shots of the brands exhibiting their Spring/Summer 2015 collections. Notable collections included Berthold, Vidur, Domingo Rodriguez, House of Nines and Jae Wan Park. The men's collections in London are now seen as a show and tell rather than a sales drive. Brands and buyers look to Paris and Milan to secure orders, and many of the international press bypassing London in favour of Capsule in Paris and Pitti in Milan. So London has become the place to see new talent and more experimental menswear, perpetuating the struggle between creating art and making it commercially viable.
Images: Neil O'Keeffe.
The Spring/Summer 2015 collections for men kicked off yesterday in London. The expectation for London is an injection of innovative, fresh and edgy designs, and it didn't disappoint. Trends for next Spring/Summer will be the seventies, uniformity, and patterned gentrification. The big show of the day was Topman Design, other notables were Astrid Anderson, Jonathan Saunders, Lee roach, and DKNY. We look forward to checking out the accessories showspace today.
The Jil Sander Navy resort collection is a feast for the eyes in terms of colours and cuts. The minimal lines of the main collection are still present, but infused with a feminine playfulness. The JS Navy customer is younger but clued in to daring shapes and patterns, and it all comes together like a summer fruit salad. Yes it's a bad analogy, but we tend to visualize everything here at Valstrom.