– By Khahlil Louisy

 

London Fashion Week Men’s wrapped up last night and the fashion brigade is now making it’s way to Florence for Pitti Uomo – the biggest and most important menswear and men’s accessories trade show in the world, before heading to Milan for men’s fashion week, which will begin on January, 12th.

The color of the season, at least in London, appears to be from the family of Orange – reddish hues of orange, burnt orange, or the spectrum of colors in the orange part of a flame, all crept into many of the collections shown for the fall/winter 2018 season. According to colorpsychology.org, a website which propounds the meaning of colors, orange represents optimism, enthusiasm, and risk-taking – positive descriptors, despite the grim outlook of menswear fashion in retail.

Fashion in London has always been daring and designers are often fearless in exploration and with experimentation. If the color orange is representative of enthusiasm and risk-taking, it reflected in the collections this season, from the more established designers like Christopher Raeburn and brands like Band of Outsiders, to the newer designers who are making names for themselves, like Edward Crutchley, Charles Jeffrey, and Craig Green.

Runway looks from Christopher Raeburn, Edward Crutchley, and Qasimi

 

Another designer whose collections stood out this season include Wales Bonner, who in just four seasons has built a noteworthy fashion business, and known for her mastership of tailoring and exploration of identity.

One of the most exciting shows in London is Charles Jeffrey’s LOVERBOY. The show and it’s collection is to London what Marc Jacobs used to be to New York. There is buzzy excitement around the designer, whose collections also explore gender and identity, bringing together groups of people who share similar stories of turbulent upbringing because of their identity – gender or sexual. Jeffrey manages to compile all of his feelings, thoughts, and childhood experiences and blasts them onto the runway, and somehow, it all works, evoking the sense that one was experiencing the pain and anguish of an artist.

If one lesson has been learned this season during London Fashion Week Men’s, it’s that designer fashion can have a strong point of view, while still being commercially viable. The best collections were interesting, new, and exploratory, but they were still wearable.