James Long and London Collections: Men

February 14, 2013

Report by Cristina Boydell

The second edition of London Collections: Men by the British Fashion Council did not disappoint!

More than 60 designers showcased their work at the second edition of this three-day event that was dedicated to showcasing British Menswear designers. Affectionately dubbed Menswear Fashion Week, it took place earlier this year, from Jan.7 to Jan.9.

London Collections: Men earlier this year.

I was able to join other fashion seekers and attend designer gallery displays, runway and presentations of some international names and heritage brands, including Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Nicole Farhi and Hackett. Some emerging talents were also on the scene and included Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll.

Various shows, presentations and designer galleries were held at the main venue called The Hub (located at The Hospital Club near Covent Garden). Other fashion shows, such as the James Long collection I attended, took place at a cool warehouse near Tottenham Court Road, called The Old Sorting Office.

On Jan.8, I had the pleasure of being granted access to London Collections: Men, where I got to check out displays of some of the brightest British menswear brands.

Some menswear on display

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After scoping out some stands, I headed to the James Long show – the venue outside had a massive queue of other fashionistas, journalists, bloggers and photographers. Once I came in, I noticed English fashion designer Henry Holland in the front row, who was showing his support for emerging British talent!

For his autumn/winter 2013 collection, Long took the inspiration from American filmmaker John Waters, which was reflected in his fabric tones, intricate or odd prints and playful shapes. One of these shapes included an embroidered pink flamingo on Long’s signature big knits.

With a focus on outerwear, we saw a lot of padded bomber jackets, knits and quilted nylons. In fact, some of the pieces had the bomber look done in a knitted fabric, creating a strict and unique shape.

Many jackets were given shorter cuts to highlight the shape of the trousers, which were both smart and casual, and sometimes dramatic.

Fragments of James Long’s show

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But we mustn’t forget the special collaboration between Long and Kurt Geiger – a high-end high-street shoe designer. Long’s shoes are a combination of plastic and horsehair, or leather with a rubber wedge. This special edition collection included three shoes, called Jimmy, John and Jack, which will be available in stores in the U.K. in September, and will range from £220 to £230.

I felt privileged to be a part of the second ever London Collections, which could definitely be described as “Great British Menswear”. This is one event that will only continue to grow and I hope will host more U.K. fashion talent in the future!


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