photo taken by Ed from Individualism
Sorry I’ve been so distant for the past week, it’s been absolutely manic dealing with the before and after of London Collections. While to some it may seem an event purely made for an an excuse to get dressed up, look at some models and then go partying after, I thought I’d explain my own perception of the three days for those new to the industry or those just plain curious.
London Collections: Mens ran from Sunday to Tuesday, and essentially features designers showcasing their new collections (in this case, Spring/Summer 2014) for those within the industry. This can mean buyers, press (journalist; bloggers), stylists and other designers and all sorts of other curious individuals and crazy characters. While it may seem as though that’s all that’s going on, there are also parties, presentations scattered around, hundreds of street style photographers and a few hotspots for people to hang out and chit chat. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet very wise and intelligent industry insiders, as well as get a peek at the odd celebrity (if you’re into that kind of thing). I met some incredibly nice people and many social media faces you see popping up all over the place, and it’s being at places such as London Collections that you realise just how crazy social media has become, and that you could be queuing next to someone you’ve been tweeting for last six months, which surreally enough did actually happen quite often.
left: Kay Kwok, right: KTZ
Seeing the famous catwalk is a unique experience; essentially you’re there to judge the clothing, but it’s also an opportunity to pinpoint industry faces and see who’s fortunate enough to be sitting front row. The wall of photographers at the corners of the catwalk provide the many photos you’ll be seeing all over the internet, magazines and newspapers, and the instagram feeds come from the sea of iPhones scattered throughout the venue. Once the lights dim, the music pauses and the people begin to hush, you know the show is about to begin, and out comes the first model, the music booms (which is very distracting; it’s usually so good that you forget you’re in a show and you remember you need to stop the head bobbing) and the lights flash. If you’re fortunate enough to be near the front, or at least standing near the front, you can get a good view and get a good picture. Shows such as Katie Eary are so popular that the standing space seems to be quite limited, so you’d be lucky to view the faces of the models let alone what they’re wearing, but saying that the atmosphere is very good and if required, queuing up early for the shows is definitely recommended.
After the walk there’s an opportunity to meet the designers for their 30 seconds if you’re willing to wait around a while. I managed to meet Matthew Miller after his show, who released another very cool and wearable collection. On the way to see Xander Zhou, I also bumped into Kay Kwok who I was very keen and lucky to meet. The great thing about the designers is how surprisingly humble they are; despite having their collections show cased to a round of applause from hundreds of people, they still make the time to talk to the odd fan, and do so with true gratitude.
above: Spencer Hart
Some shows and presentations are more theatrical than others, featuring cameo appearances or models who will cut through the crowd (see Velsvoir x October House). My personal favourite shows and presentations were Spencer Hart, KTZ, Baartmans and Siegels and Christopher Shannon. Christopher Shannon had glittery haired models and used some excellent colours and materials in his collection; KTZ had some theatrical pieces as always such as spiky head wraps, but really it was the explorer print collection that really caught my eye; Baartmans and Siegels had a presentation of their navy and black collection with a few khaki pieces, which was all incredibly wearable and looked great on the wet-haired slick back models; Spencer Hart had a lot of clean tailored looks, I’m a big fan of the white collection which was cleverly layered.
It’s a fantastic experience for those looking to learn more about the industry, and getting that sneak preview at what will be flooding the market next year. I’ll be talking about the menswear network in the next post so stay tuned! If you’d like to see more of it, check out the videos below for what went on day 1. Stay tuned for day 2 and day 3 :)
- Mr. Boy
left: designer Xander Zhou, right: designer Kay Kwok