The must-have accessory at this year’s men’s fashion week is without doubt the umbrella. Not only have the January showers been foul outside but they also made it rain inside during the Top Man show. Actually, the gimmick was a welcome dramatic touch in a showcase that has so far been low on theatricality, and high on men-boys marching about like teenagers in a strop all the way to their bedrooms. Maybe they’re still upset that they weren’t allowed to eat anything but sprouts over Christmas. Elsewhere, they may have been spiffed-up like sophisticated men-about-town, but still, the team of male models at the M&S show were described by one of their wranglers as “very high maintenance”.
Despite all the preening and the fact that the concept of the catwalk seems a bit last century, men’s fashion is now an industry worth £10.4bn a year, so it makes sense for London to elbow its way to the top as the place for people to see and be seen in very nice trousers and shirts — “with a twist” of course. Always with a twist.
And, to be fair, London Collections: Men is still in its early days (as the ungainly name might suggest). This is only its fourth year as a stand-alone event rather than being tagged on at the end of the women’s shows. So perhaps as it grows and gains confidence, it will become something worth battling through the wind and rain for.
Photos by José Farinha.