London Fashion Week is always an important date in the fashion calendar for those with an interest in the industry, and menswear is no different. It has been claimed that the menswear market has grown at twice the rate of the womenswear market equivalent last year and with LFWM SS18 returning for its fifth year running, it kick started on June 9, the day of the UK general election result, and ran until June 12 for a total of four days, as a biannual event. With the collections showcasing on such a significant day for British politics, we were preparing ourselves to see subtle hints of political statements, opinion and debate run throughout the different lines from a collection of designers, to reflect culture and society. And a main trend that we took from the various different design houses was in fact, gender fluid fashion. 2017 has proved to be a year where the issue of gender fluid is no longer a taboo in society and it is being addressed and expressed in full form, from fashion, make-up, music and film. It’s about blurring the lines between men and women, particular categories, stereotypes and influencing young people to express who they are, dress how they want to dress and have fun with fashion. Don’t conform to what society tells you to be like. It’s about having a voice, and making a statement, which is important now more than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the collections that portrayed this message and paved a new route for menswear…
Danish designer Astrid Andersen presented the latest collection for SS18 on Sunday morning with a contemporary, urban feel to the line. A range ideal for the streetwise shopper and street style lovers, the brand showcased cropped hooded jumpers, racer-neck vests, velvet tracksuits and a range of patterned bomber jackets and short sleeved mac coats. The collection was set to deliver the brands trademark urban influences with feminine details through the premium fabrics of lace, velvet and floral silk.
Topman Design director, Gordon Richardson said about the SS18 collection for the high-street brand that “Boys wanted to be looked at. They wanted to be adored” when explaining the influence of the early eighties era on his designs. The collection reflected the era, and gave a slight nod to Bowie-eque looks with a modern romantic vibe and quirky hairstyles with eccentric eye make-up. It shook up traditional menswear, brought in a new element to the high street brand and encapsulated Richardson’s hope for customers of Topman to ditch the skinny jean staple and venture into more daring trends like the ones he showcased this weekend, with the brand’s designer arm claiming their aim is to “change the perspective of menswear.” With bright block colours, bold prints, sharp shapes and structures, the collection delivered an ultimate eighties revival and demonstrated how the fashion-forward, modern man can style this trend from the high-street.
Danshan is a menswear brand by Dan from China and Shan from Hong Kong who focus on their own opinions and views on the way gender dynamics are changing and how it relates to the fashion industry. Their SS18 collection was very representative of gender fluidity and while being showcased in a school classroom environment, made us wonder if it was a subtle statement from the brand teaching people about gender fluid fashion and giving us a lesson in how to dress this way and execute these looks perfectly.
Matthew Miller took to London’s St Sepulchre church on Saturday to present the new SS18 collection. The line had an edgy, grungy feel to it with the gothic location and make up consisting of smudged black lipstick and slicked hair really setting the scene and the basis for the show. With sharp cuts and structures, the line loosely incorporated the gender fluid style in to the collection with the way a couple of the tops were draped and styled and mixing net dresses with wide leg trousers.