The recently concluded London Fashion Week Men’s that took place at the Somerset House from 4-6 January was heralded as the fashion industry’s first major event. It was proclaimed as the stage of up-and-coming talent.
What made London Fashion Week Men’s AW20 special
As opposed to the regular star-studded lineup that has set the pace for all London Fashion Week Men’s AW shows, this year’s edition saw a decrease in big-name designers as the setlist was primarily composed of UK-based artisans instead. While it may not exactly have been the expected turn of events for the 15th edition of the event, the lack of big names—such as JW Anderson, A-Cold-Wall, and Burberry—set the stage for smaller, yet equally-talented names to showcase their finest work. The AW20 show allowed attendants to feast their eyes on some of the country’s finest works to date.
Here are our top picks from the London Fashion Week Men’s AW20:
Wales Bonner ‘Lovers Rock’ AW20
Heralded as an artist whose works “[address] the politics of identity, sexuality, and race through projects that delicately balance multinationalism with a sense of personal subjectivity“, it should come as no surprise that Grace Wales Bonner pulled out all the stops in her latest showing.
For this year’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collection, Wales Bonner’s “Lovers Rock” ensemble took a trip back to the groovy ‘70s and rockin’ ‘60s—essentially putting the mastermind’s prize-winning creative heritage on full display. Symbolic of Bonner’s Carribean roots and inspiration from the ‘70s London reggae scene, each piece in this jaw-dropping collection was standout. It took classic designs and the Rastafarian flag’s colour palette and rehashed them into sleek, stylish ensembles. Make no mistake, however, because Grace Wales Bonner’s latest collection is far from “retro.” It breaks barriers with two-tone tweeds, tailored trench coats, and modern-cut trousers.
Edward Crutchley ‘Glam Epoch’ AW20
With his greatest collection to date, 2019 International Woolmark Prizer Winner Edward Crutchley brought an amalgamation of international influences in his “Glam Epoch” AW20 showing.
The co-ed AW20 Glam Epoch collection is regarded as a twist on conventional styling and a fusion of styles across centuries. It took influence mainly from traditional Filipiniana dresses, mid-18th-century English chintz, and Scottish graphic cable knits.
This particular collection, however, was not only limited to fusing influences from historically-ingrained reference points as it also put on a full display of camp with a few cues from Nudie Cohn’s western and campy country suits. Just like Crutchley’s previous collections, the “creative collusion in a confounding age” once again pushed the boundaries of borderline-asexual designs and fits with the use of bold silhouettes that utilised highly-detailed embroideries and artisanal textiles.
In spite of growing fears of a lacklustre display in the absence of the UK’s biggest names in fashion, this year’s London Fashion Week Men’s AW20 did not cease to stun and amaze with cutting-edge creativity and boldness from the country’s rising talents. While it may be safe to assume that the entire show was filled with undeniable talent from start to end, our top two picks definitely held a certain type of impact that undeniably merits attention and anticipation for upcoming fashion weeks to come.
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