Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: James Small

James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

I arrived at the James Small show pretty early – such is the bonkers London Fashion Week schedule that some shows overlap and then you’re left with huge gaps in your day. I joined the small but perfectly formed queue and waited for a pal to arrive. The show was delayed, prescription I was informed, because of the knock-on effect of late-runners throughout the day. The queue eventually began moving a mere 20 minutes late, and just as we were about to be let in, we were halted by an impossibly gorgeous PR girl. Her colleague came over and whispered ‘Kate’s imminent, we should hold the queue‘. Now, I don’t know if it was the pint I’d just enjoyed or the onset stir-crazy sensation I was experiencing after 6 days of shows, but I started sweating profusely. It couldn’t be, could it? ‘Calm down, Matt’ I internally repeated. It can’t be. She wouldn’t. It might be a code word. It might be Kate Adie.

Kate Moss by Antonia Parker

Eventually, after much discussion, it was decided that we should be allowed in because this mysterious Kate hadn’t yet arrived. We were escorted individually up the grand staircase of the Freemasons Hall, this Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, and assigned seats on the front row. Seating was heavily policed, and I enjoyed the personal escort, but it was taking bloody ages and another show downstairs was set to take place pretty soon afterwards. Jaime Winstone, looking incredible with a silver grandma up-do and vertiginous heels, entered the room and was seated with little fuss. Now I love Jaime Winstone, but if ‘Kate’ was a codename for Jaime Winstone, I was about to go berserk.

Kate Moss by Claire Kearns

Kate Moss by Gilly Rochester

The personal escort service soon turned into a scrum; somebody had clearly realised that it just wasn’t practical. I let out a huge sigh as I said to my friend ‘Well, Kate clearly isn’t coming.’ ‘What?’ my friend replied, ‘she’s over there!’ I turned to my left to study the front row. Somehow I had missed the arrival of Meg Matthews, Sadie Frost, Annabelle Neilson, James Brown, Jamie Hince and… Kate Moss. Kate FREAKIN’ Moss!

All photography by Matt Bramford

There was little fuss as I struggled to fight the urge to jump out of my seat, leap across the catwalk, gather Kate up in my arms and force her to take my hand in marriage. It all happened so quickly, and of course, now Kate had arrived, the show must go on.

James Small S/S 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

It was tricky to concentrate on the show knowing that My Kate was mere feet away, but being the consummate professional that I am, I took up my camera and started to study the clothes, being carefully to take a picture of Kate in between each look. The fashion on offer was actually great, and I don’t know why I was thinking that it might not be. The secondary venue at Fashion Scout is actually much nicer – a dark wood arch divides the old stone room, dark wood lines the floor and majestic chandeliers hover above the revellers. Models appear almost out of nowhere. You do lose sight of the models as they bound through the arch, unfortunately, but this ensured enough time to snap Kate excessively.

James Small S/S 2012 by Sam Parr

Hysteria mounted thanks to the special guests: Kate and her entourage whooped and cheered every look and wolf-whistled translucent shirts, which sent roars of laughter through the room. Last season’s sharp tailoring continued this time around, but had been given a more casual feel for the discerning gentleman who manages to looking devastatingly cool without any real effort during the summer months.

James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

Small’s mainstay silk shirts had been jazzed up with the aforementioned translucency, and romantic florals with an air of Liberty were the most aesthetically appealing pieces in the collection, particularly a shirt/shorts combination with identical print. I’m not sure I’d get away with it, but the model did with aplomb.

Small‘s sharp tailoring was dressed down with white ankle-high sports socks and Vans in varying colours – when I read this on the press release I wasn’t so sure about it, but seeing it in the flesh allowed it to make sense. Rich colours: plum and royal blue, and luxe materials: silk and velvet, made this collection Small‘s most sophisticated yet. Retaining an edge above his competitors with leopard print and camouflage short shorts, it’s Small’s sharp cuts and sophisticated tailoring that really set him above the rest. That and his stellar front row, of course.

Categories ,Annabelle Neilson, ,Antonia Parker, ,catwalk, ,Claire Kearns, ,combat, ,fashion, ,Floral prints, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gilly Rochester, ,illustration, ,James Brown, ,James Small, ,Jamie Hince, ,Kate Moss, ,Leopard Print, ,liberty, ,London Fashion Week, ,Meg Matthews, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Milly Jackson, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sadie Frost, ,Sam Parr, ,Silks, ,tailoring, ,The Kills, ,Translucent, ,Vans, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | James Small: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Menswear Catwalk Review

James Small A/W 2012 by Krister Selin

Last season I got myself into a bit of a state at the James Small show, solely because fashion superhero Kate Moss was in attendance. Apparently the Mossinator and Small are BFFs, so it was no surprise when I entered the Fashion Scout venue to find all sorts of camera-wielding maniacs. Everybody had a look of acute desperation, and as I tried to decide where to sit to get a good photograph OF THE CLOTHES THAT WE’D COME TO SEE, it soon became clear that it might be impossible.

James Small A/W 2012 by Lorna Leigh Harrington

It was mental. People stood on the catwalk brandishing their cameras whilst producers gave lectures of a ‘STRICTLY NO PHOTOGRAPHS OF KATE‘ nature. Despite this, fashionos shuffled in their bags to dig out every possible photograph-taking device they had – iPads, iPhones, Blackberries, Disposables – you name it, they wielded it. I could feel myself getting more and more irate, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to even catch a glimpse of her. It was pretty evident when she arrived – the room fell deadly silent and then hushed whispers echoed around the grand hall. Thankfully the ordeal ended there. When Kate’s in, we’re off.

I do love the alternative catwalk in the Freemason’s Hall, it has something a bit more ‘fashion’ about it, but the lighting isn’t particularly brillballs so apologies in advance for my substandard photographs.

James presented another small but perfectly formed collection. Entitled ‘Dark Arctic‘, James, like many others on Menswear day, dressed the explorer; kitting out models for extreme climates and expeditions.

James’ interpretation of how we’ll survive extreme weathers comes in the form of coats with (what I hope is faux) fur. One number had a peacoat body with fur sleeves, while another flipped this idea creating the look of a gilt worn over a blazer. This brought whoops and cheers from the crowd, which would continue throughout the show. Models had long hair tied in sprayed pony tails, continuing James’ love of texture.

James Small A/W 2012 by Lorna Leigh Harrington

Next came James’ staple tailoring with an athletic aesthetic we’re getting used to in menswear. Coats came with belts that tied around the waist or buttoned to one side, worn with skinny jeans. Baggy dungarees followed in luxe greys with straps that crossed at the back, worn over engineered shirts or plaid. We also saw tartan (TARTAN!) coats, styled similarly to the previous ones, and athletic pants with contrasting arch detail on the inside.

James’ collections always leave me wanting more – his 14 or so looks were exceptionally coherent but a few more variations wouldn’t go amiss. I mean this in the nicest possible way.

Oh, and here’s a picture of Kate from last season. She looked exactly the same anyway.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,A/W 2012, ,Belts, ,Blackberry, ,Dark Arctic, ,Dungarees, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Fur, ,ipad, ,iPhone, ,James Small, ,Kate Moss, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lorna Leigh, ,Lorna Leigh Harrington, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,photography, ,Sportwear, ,Tartan, ,Texture, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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