Summer fashion highlights from London

July 25, 2013

Report by Cristina Boydell

London Collections: Men, spring/summer 2014

Apart from raving about Kate Middleton’s latest fashion choices and the arrival of the Royal Baby, this summer has been a busy one in England’s capital.

Now in its third season, London Collections: Men included emerging designers Lou Dalton, Astrid Andersen and J.W. Anderson, as well as established names, such as rag & bone, Hackett London, Alexander McQueen, TOM FORD, Nicole Farhi and Burberry.

Set over three days, the schedule featured the world’s most creative menswear talent, including the best of British tailoring from Savile Row Company and heritage brands like Gieves & Hawkes, Spencer Hart and Hardy Amies.

The Hospital Club was once again the central hub that hosted the Designer Showrooms, while The Old Sorting Office and Victoria House were secondary British Fashion Council show spaces. There were many celebrations, dinners and events hosted by the BFC, Tommy Hilfiger, TOM FORD, Esquire & Jimmy Choo and Ralph Lauren — to name a few.

I was thrilled to attend the latest show of Richard Nicoll’s menswear collection. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins MA in 2002, Nicoll has gained experience alongside Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton as well as at Cerruti. With his own label, he received BFC’s NEWGEN sponsorship for his SS06, AW06, SS07 and AW07 collections. Hewas awarded three ANDAM prizes in 2008, named Best Young Designer at the ELLE Style Awards 2009 and short-listed twice for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.

Best known for leather and sportswear, Nicolls’ collection incorporated his traditional sports-luxe, with black mesh and leather elements. He used a range of colours and fabrics from toughed-up black, blues, whites and neutrals and mixings of leather, cotton, denim, python print and mesh.

Blue — from baby blue to electric shades — was a standout colour used in many pieces in his collection. This included bomber jackets and trench coats in graphic prints, casual blazers and leather-panelled and mesh T-shirts with trousers or jeans. The overall feel was an odd mix of sports-luxe and goth that Nicoll somehow made work.

I also attended Nasir Mazhar’s show. He received support to showcase his collection as part of NEWGEN MEN, sponsored by TOPMAN. Famous for his headwear and tracksuits, Mazhar created a twist on urban sportswear and made gym-wear wearable for the runway.

This collection was loud and different — from baby pink towel jumpsuits to bucket hats, backpacks and sequined hoodies. Being the last show of this year’s LCM, it was quite a spot for Mazhar’s first runway show, but he definitely didn’t seem to disappoint. They dawned the Nasir Mazhar logo across headgear, backpacks and full urban tracksuits, grooving to the hip-hop tunes that played while six-pack models walked along the runway.

I would have to agree with Nicoll and quote him on the impact of LCM in London as being the catalyst to starting menswear.” I can only foresee the event will continue to grow, and I feel honoured to be part of witnessing what is only the start of LCM and a bright future for British menswear talent!

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Henley Royal Regatta 2013

Another highlight for me this summer was my third Henley Royal Regatta. Held at Henley-upon-Thames since 1839, the event brings together boat and fashion lovers on an annual basis. This year, as South England is currently experiencing a summer heat wave, it was one of the  hottest Saturdays in July yet! The heat drew record crowds to the riverside, which always attracts thousands of spectators to watch the rowing competitions, picnic and drink Pimm’s in the sun.

The Best Dressed list this year included bright and printed maxi dresses, hats and eloquent sandals on the ladies, while the men were preppy in traditional rowing blazers, bright trousers and bow ties.

My personal favourites were the groups of English gentlemen in matching outfits and the effortlessly stylish couples in the regatta enclosure. If you went in general-public areas along the river, any dress code was visible. With the warmer weather, more sundresses and open backs with interesting cut outs and shapes were seen among the crowd where it was okay to show a little more skin than in the royal enclosure!

I wonder what next year will bring… I guess there’s only one way to find out, so stay tuned for the 175th Henley Regatta!

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