Fashion’s gift is its curse. It has an alchemically transformative ability to take you away from reality and into a land of pure fantasy, where nothing but beauty is of importance or relevance. If you’re in London this month, a quick walk (though I recommend a slow and pensive one) around the free Tim Walker ‘Storyteller’ exhibition at Somerset house for the perfect manifestation of this. The problem of course is that fashion – as well as being an artform – serves as a practical means of clothing us, keeping us warm, and getting girls to think we might possibly be worth talking to. As the sprezzarati of the fashion world descended upon London for today’s first day of London Collections, I was in search of ways you could really dress better. Designers were showing for Autumn/Winter 2013 which traps one in a TARDIS-like state always between times and hence rarely in the present, and as such this is what you should be wearing the other side of however much of a summer we’re graced with.
The shining single item of the day was from The House of Nines where the design duo of Shamrez Marawat and Ross Paul Keenan created the turtleneck sweater pictured below. Yeah. A turtleneck sweater. That shit Steve Jobs was pioneering since day one. This one raises the game though, with incredible detailing on the chest depicting a snake wrapped round a pair of horns, complete with two buckles on the neck and leather shoulder patches. This isn’t one your weird teacher at school tucked into Dad jeans either; it fits slightly oversized on the arms, hitting that modern smart casual look.
Next up came a more avant garde (that’s French for more alternative than Fearne Cotton in her Tim Burton dreamworld) showing from NewGen designer Sibling. The most wearable item in the collection was this white polo shirt pictured below, seemingly capturing the consumerism of 2011’s riots with their send-up to the Nike logo.
What London does better than anywhere else in the world is its tailoring. My final show of the day was at Mr Start, and their collection was slick, measured and despite it’s absence of colour, surprisingly refreshing. Vogue called it “Savile Row by way of Shoreditch” – and I’m inclined to agree. (Photo credit: Paula Reid).
The standout collection of the day came from Alexia Hentsch’s presentation at Hentsch Man. It showed us that double-breasted suit jackets were here to stay and furthermore that their audience stretches beyond the elderly Pitti gentlemen on Italy smoking on those curved walls. It was fashion for the everyman and exactly what I was looking for that day. Peep the prints, open DB jackets and one of the muses, who had a tattoo of his ex-girlfriend’s face accented with, simply, ‘CUNT’.
Now, to close with looking about how the steeziest stunt. Take this as an utterly copyable guide of ‘how to dress’ – following Tom Stubbs, Tinie Tempah, and David Gandy.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for all the new from day two of London Collections: Men. You can check out Tom's goings on by following him on Twitter @tomayling