Five young designers that delighted our eyes at London Fashion Week Men’s

Hailed by the British Fashion Council as a “celebration of discovery and the creative diversity that has made London an international hub for menswear,” the sixth anniversary of London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) was certainly that. With a reputation for showcasing the brightest rising stars and incubating raw talent, this week’s SS19 shows were no exception.

Much like its host city, LFWM is all things to all people. The international home of tailoring is as comfortable showing the weird and wonderful as it is with grown-up, more commercially assured design. And it wouldn’t be London without some kind of headline-grabbing sartorial chaos. Happily, design duo Rottingdean Bazaar was on hand to send their models down the catwalk wearing fancy-dress costumes and carrying placards listing the shop from which it had been borrowed.

This season there was also an undercurrent of quiet patriotism combined with an exploration of Britishness: James Long – whose eponymous brand showcased during the first iteration – came back home to London as head of Milanese label Iceberg, for the brand’s first LFWM outing. Meanwhile, Patrick Grant for E. Tautz celebrated British manufacturing with a collection that was produced entirely in UK factories.

As ever, LFWM provided the chance to discover designers of the future. Here are the five rising stars that caught Nataal’s fancy.

Drawing on her heritage for what was her second outing at LFWM, Farzaneh presented a collection inspired by Iranian New Year. A crisp and confident collection – in what is swift becoming her calling card – she made use of traditional paisley print, presenting it alongside a muted palette of earthy sand tones. Bringing together the worlds of sportswear and workwear, she crafted loosely tailored silhouettes, pairing cuban collared shirts with bermuda shorts and tuxedo trousers like you’ve never seen them before. Meanwhile, the inclusion of anoraks in technical fabrications, bucket hats and chunky zippers on bomber jackets, meant that her native Yorkshire never felt too far away.

Bianca Saunders
Much like fellow NEWGEN designer Grace Wales Bonner, Londoner Bianca Saunders explores the identity of the black male identity and stereotypes of masculinity. Saunders’s collection this season, Gestures, focuses on body language and mannerisms, and by manipulating the fabric to create creases, is examining the feeling of being comfortable in your own clothes. With tighter fitting tops representing the feeling of intimacy, flashes of skin at the waist were subtle hints at femininity and an exploration of sex appeal. While nylon trousers and cotton shirts – with a seersucker check injecting a subtle splash of print and colour – represented the classic masculine aspects of the modern wardrobe. Saunders will go far.

Labrum – from the Latin for detail – is the brainchild of London-based Foday Dumbuya. Born in Sierra Leone, Dumbuya took the music that was found in his parents’ record collection as the starting point for his new collection, Highlife Revival. Reimagining the highlife clubs from the 1920s, Dumbuya presented a celebration of the richness of West African culture, with influence taken from the great and good: from Malian photographer Malick Sidibé to Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and Sierra Leone’s own S.G. Rogie. Combining traditional silhouettes from home with contemporary sports luxe influences, it was a masterclass in relaxed tailoring. He also worked with designer Kelly Anna to introduce intricate patterns, geometric shapes and hand painted scenes into the typically pared back Labrum universe. More of this, please.

Nicholas Daley
Named after his father’s DJ name, Slygo – Daley’s third collection under the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN umbrella – celebrated his family’s role in British soundsystem culture. He recreated the original t-shirt from Reggae Klub, the night that his parents threw in the late 70s and early 80s, and teamed it with a classic kilt – in 1970s brown – from his native Scotland. Seamlessly merging his Scottish and Jamaican heritage, crocheted vests and hats sat alongside the easy tailoring that has made his shows such a hot ticket. Celebrating British craft and manufacturing, Daley continued to work closely with mills in the UK. This season he created boldly coloured, sumptuous silk jacquards with Vanners weavers, which he styled with traditional hunting garb. Modern Britain at its finest.

3.Paradis x PONY
Teaming up with heritage American athleisure brand, PONY, 3.Paradis artistic director Emeric Tchatchoua’s collection explored the concepts of ‘home’, ‘away’ and ‘migration’ in order to pursue the American Dream. He drew on PONY’s New York origins and sportswear background by using a wealth of different fabrics including velvet, denim, plaid, wool and nylon to create a combination of streetwear, utility wear and tailoring. Playing with textures, this season sees the brilliant use of metallic finishes, 3D embroidered logos and shocks of diamante detailing.

Published on 13/06/2018