Amelia’s Magazine | Topman Design: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

It was raining, men at the Old Sorting Office on Monday for my first show of this (awkwardly branded) London Collections: Men A/W 2014 season – Topman Design.

Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

I can’t be bothered to drone on about the usual fuss that preceded this event, but I’ll just say that my standing ticket offered zero VIP service. Inside I stood in a herd of people five rows deep, aiming my Canon zoom lens through heads while those around me took terrible photographs on point-and-shoot cameras, iPhones and iPads. There’s a whole other piece I could write here, touched on much more eloquently than I could by Michael over at Anastasia Duck, but I will say this: I’ve invested in a decent camera and pride myself on taking decent images that I hope offer a slightly different insight to the normal catwalking shots we’re all familiar with. This is why I continue to work with Amelia because we share the same values when it comes to documenting the shows, but it seems to be getting increasingly difficult to do the job and I left feeling somewhat frustrated.

All photography by Matt Bramford

I probably say the same thing every season, but I’m always reserved about Topman. Aesthetically they’ve upped their game, and whoever is in charge seems to know what they’re doing in the hope of offering a collection akin to the strong contenders on the LC:M schedule. This season relied heavily on a palette of black and red with an injection of pale blue pieces. Box-shaped overcoats offered a different silhouette, sharp tailored blazers worked effortlessly with plaid shirts and heavy knitwear pieces adopting a variety of techniques were exciting.

As usual there were some slightly off pieces – a red tee with graphic lettering (above) looked like something you’d buy on a whim in Kavos after two fishbowl cocktails and some of the double-breasted coats looked awkward on slight-framed models, but overall this was a coherent collection. A reasonable price point means it does offer something more interesting than the rest of the High Street without an outrageous price tag.

For the finale, the heavens (well, the rigging) opened to soak the models as they reappeared for the recap. Not for the first time in history but it was a spectacle none-the-less, but I sure as hell don’t fancy getting caught in the rain in one of those chunky knits. I’m not sure if there was a message here, or how it related to the clothes. Perhaps it was an unsubtle way of saying LOOK OUR THREADS WITHSTAND RAIN, WE’RE NOT CHEAP; maybe it was merely for the aesthetic, but I bloody enjoyed it and everybody else seemed to.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,catwalk, ,Dom&Ink, ,Dominic Evans, ,fashion, ,knitwear, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,Old Sorting Office, ,Rain, ,review, ,Topman Design, ,Weather Girls

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Amelia’s Magazine | Xander Zhou: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review

Xander Zhou S/S 2014 by Isher Dhiman

Sometimes I look at fashion week press releases with the same disdain that I do art gallery captions. I have absolutely no idea where some of the designers (or press personnel) get their ideas from. I often stifle giggles as I read them, waiting for somebody to pop out and say ‘we had you there, didn’t we!’ And so it was highly refreshing when I arrived at Xander Zhou, my final show of this London Collections: Men season, to find not a rigid press release but a selection of thought-provoking words. Words like ‘personal’ ‘cosmetic’ ‘online’ ‘variety’ and, erm, ‘Thai boxing’ flooded a sheet of purple card.

All photography by Matt Bramford

I have to hold my hands up and say that I didn’t know much about Xander Zhou before this show. It turns out he studied industrial design in China and fashion design in the Netherlands, both of which have clearly had a resounding effect on his collections.

I was back inside the Old Sorting Office for the last time and by this point I’d worked out where the best spot was. An obscure, celestial soundtrack and a model clad in a beige latex blazer and shorts launched this S/S 2014 collection, which was to explore the internet and cyberspace through a range of futuristic garments. A selection of latex aprons followed, in muted colours, worn over crisp white shirts. Thin white garters worn on thighs and detachable collars completed these looks.

The collection then took a curveball direction into smart, dark tailoring with futuristic elements: double-breasted overcoats toyed with proportions and featured elongated sleeves; discrete checks, almost invisible to the naked eye, were constructed into sleeveless jackets and loose-fitting trousers.

More surrealist tailoring followed, including waistcoats with differing lengths and blocks of complimentary colours. Jackets nipped in at the waist to give a slightly feminine silhouette, styled with basic leather slip-ons.

Then came the most dramatic pieces. Show-stopping knee-length coats hammered home Xander Zhou’s internet-based inspiration, featuring images such as Google search pages, Facebook symbols, internet memes and dramatic photography – a masterclass in print.

More tailoring closed the show; pastel-coloured playsuits featured black highlights, but it will be the printed coats that I remember this show for.

Categories ,China, ,cyberspace, ,internet, ,Isher Dhiman, ,LCM, ,LCMSS14, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Old Sorting Office, ,tailoring, ,Xander Zhou

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Amelia’s Magazine | YMC: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review

YMC S/S 2014 by Natasha Likes Tea

Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins borrowed legendary designer Raymond Loewy‘s slogan ‘you must create‘ to launch their label back in 1995. The brand constantly evolves, better known by the acronym YMC, but the ethos behind Loewy’s words resonate through the heart of the clothing label even today.

All photography by Matt Bramford

A YMC show feels a bit like respite on the London Collections: Men line-up. The Corbusian mantra ‘form follows function’ runs through the core, and to judge them against Craig Green or Astrid Andersen would be totally missing the point. Relaxed tailoring with a modern edge, minimal silhouettes and unassuming, stylish, wearable separates have become the brand’s signatures.

This season the YMC boys took over the Old Sorting Office where I’d previously seen Topman Design. I derived pretty quickly that this was going to be right up my straße in comparison. A quietly confident crowd saw striped blazers and bombers with matching shorts, fusing the brand’s utilitarian aesthetic with a fun summer flavour.

YMC S/S 2014 by Natasha Likes Tea

These bold opening offerings were quickly followed by the brand’s unmistakable denims, tees and casual shirts. A quilted jacket was given a modern twist with a haphazard, swirling design in Chombray. Crisp, linen shirts featured oversized polka dots and revealed intricate, childlike patterns on the reverse. Sportswear complimented these subtle twists, from tapered joggers to sleeveless bomber designs with zip pockets. Floral shirts were worn effortlessly.

Oversized checks then made an appearance in subtle blues and greens. Basic white t-shirts with luscious marine-blue gradient hems made me yearn for a decent fucking summer.

A range of jackets closed the show: a blue overcoat with synched hood and sleeves, a play on the French utilitarian jacket and an oversized overcoat-cum-poncho with slits in the sides to expose arms.

Many a menswear designer could learn a thing or two from YMC‘s inimitable, laid-back blend of cool.

Categories ,fashion, ,LCM, ,LCMSS14, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Natasha Likes Tea, ,Old Sorting Office, ,SS14, ,YMC

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Corrie Nielsen

Illustration by Joana Faria

The My Beautiful Fashion venue is once again this season at the Old Sorting Office – a cavernous venue with an eery feeling of days gone by. The ethereal atmosphere suited Corrie Nielsen‘s show perfectly. I hadn’t heard of Corrie until last season, try and her sculpted numbers with huge nods to the past really took my breath away, visit web so I was excited to see what she’d come up with this time around.

Illustration by Claire Kearns
The Old Sorting Office has been adorned with hundreds of large light bulbs that hang from the ceiling – everybody who came in marvelled at the installation and most of the chit-chat from the front row was lightbulb related. I went with Chief Amelia and we sat at opposite ends to avoid taking the same pictures.

A/W’s latest trend – taking dire photographs on an iPad (!) and getting in the way of people who are actually trying to take good photographs. Anybody with an iPad – don’t do it. You look like a berk, you get in everybody’s way and you know that you will only end up looking on other websites such as this one that publish photographs that don’t look like my 7 year old niece painted them with her feet. Oof!

Goodie bags included yet more hair products (I really should start growing my hair to make use of all these freebies) and a huge slab of Starbucks cake that made me feel ill just looking at it, but which I then spent the entire day longing for and regretting my decision to leave behind.

Illustrations by Joana Faria
Sparse music meant the show was to begin. Models appeared from behind the brutalist entrance, walking at a snail’s pace to add even more mystery to this dramatic collection. The lighting, consisting of the bulbs and some harsh studio lights at the end of the runway supplied yet more drama as each of the models was illuminated in a ghostly fashion, giving Corrie Nielsen‘s magical contours even more life.

Photograph by Matt Bramford

Corrie Nielson SS 2011 review-photo by amelia

Corrie Nielson SS 2011 review-photo by amelia
Corrie Nielson SS 2011 review-photo by amelia
Corrie Nielson SS 2011 review-photo by amelia
Corrie Nielson SS 2011 review-photo by amelia

Corrie Nielson SS 2011 review-photo by amelia

Photography by Amelia Gregory

A move towards more commercial pieces appeared first, which was a little surprising after last season’s outing, but not disappointing in the slightest; and by no means commercial in a high-street sense. Crisp shirts and tailored trousers had a marginal hint of Nielsen, a blouson-sleeved shirt with a synched back and huge pleated trousers was one of my favourite looks.

Illustration by Claire Kearns

Photography by Matt Bramford

As the show progressed, so did Nielsen’s bravery and inimitable silhouettes. Flattering trenches wrapped tightly around the models in luxurious gold silks were Westwood-esque, and pussy bow waist ties added a touch of glamour. A lemon sorbet creation with huge puff sleeves and a tulip waistline managed to be both futuristic and neoclassical at the same time. That pretty much somes up Corrie’s appeal – marrying Edwardian hairstyling with futuristic shapes resulted in a unique and exciting collection. Loved it!

Illustration by Kirsty McGill

Photography by Matt Bramford

Corrie Nielsen takes a bow, photography by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Amelia Gregory, ,catwalk, ,Claire Kearns, ,Contour, ,Corrie Nielsen, ,Edwardian, ,Ethereal, ,fashion, ,Forward PR, ,Futuristic, ,ipad, ,Joana Faria, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,My Beautiful Fashion, ,Old Sorting Office, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Silhouette, ,Starbucks, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | KTZ: London Collections: Men S/S 2015 Catwalk Review

KTZ_SS15_by_Krister Selin
KTZ S/S 2015 by Krister Selin

It was at 9am when I rolled up at the Old Sorting Office for my first show of this season: KTZ. After a few too many Tequila-based cocktails at the Agi & Sam party the night before, I wasn’t in the best of states, but I was pleased (for myself, not for KTZ) to find that the venue wasn’t heaving. A raised standing area occupied one corner of the space and I was pleased that the organisers of London Collections: Men had finally given some thought to this issue.

Fiongal KTZ Amelias mag
KTZ S/S 2015 by Fiongal Greenlaw

Kenny Larkin‘s Drama remix of La Fleur’s Nightflow began pumping through the sound system, reawakening the remains of the previous night’s alcohol binge. I quickly found myself in the mood for what was about to be KTZ‘s best outing yet.






All photography by Matt Bramford

Inspiration this season came from Greek Hekatontarchs perfectly married with, as always, elements of street wear and hip hop culture. Pieces seemed infinitely more wearable this time, too – when you remove the sculpted torsos and headline-grabbing headwear. The opening section stayed true with the brand’s monochrome philosophy, starring oversized tops, pleated skirts, translucent shirts revealing bare torsos and basketball shorts. All of the above featured KTZ‘s staple ambiguous patterns; I noticed lightning bolts and elements of Greek architecture hidden amongst these ostentatious designs.








The latter section introduced a vibrant orange to the rest of the looks. Enveloping jackets, baseball caps, bombers with multiple pockets and tassels and towelling shorts were all highlights as the tangerine warriors drew cheers from the cavalry of KTZ fans inside.






The final pieces involved plastic weaves and tessellating plastic shapes: modern day armour for the modern day fashion fan. It was an incredible mix of historical references and contemporary styling and set a very high precedent for the next couple of days.





Categories ,catwalk, ,fashion, ,Fiongal Greenlaw, ,Greece, ,Krister Selin, ,KTZ, ,LCM, ,LCMSS2015, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Old Sorting Office, ,review, ,SS15, ,Tequila

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Amelia’s Magazine | James Long: London Collections: Men S/S 2015 Catwalk Review

James_Long1 _SS15_Helen_Marudas
James Long S/S 2015 by Helen Marudas

I haven’t been to a James Long show for a few seasons now. I’m not sure why. It might be that they just didn’t want me there. That’s fine. This season was a different story, though, and I’m dead chuffed that I went along. We were greeted by handsome chaps in trademark James Long graphic tees serving rosé wine. Just as I swallowed mine in two gulps, a lady kindly notified me that I could, had I wanted to, take it to my seat, which was a little embarrassing.






All photography by Matt Bramford

Anyway, gone were the glued-down hair dos and quilted fabrics of last season to make way for a fresh, beachy, summertime approach. Models appeared one after the other with flowing, surfer locks and nonchalant expressions as if they had strode in from some hipster beach that you haven’t heard of.

James Long S/S 2015 by Helen Marudas

Overall, it was a complex, multi-faceted collection. The show invitation had a small piece of fabric stapled to it, which would be a detail that formed the basis of many of the looks. The first model wore a denim jacket with aforementioned fabric stripes attached with abandon, teamed with a long, mesh t-shirt dress and jeans to match the jacket.








Then came shorts with the same treatment; frayed at the leg with thick, elasticated waists – a homage to boxers, which was a key theme here. Graphic, stripy t-shirts and stripy socks were aplenty. The emphasis was on jazzed up sportswear, with more mesh, more waistbands, tapered joggers and James’ trademark wrap shorts jazzed up for next summer. The quilted experiments of last season moved into bubble-knit sweaters, tucked into shorts to provide a laid back look that James has perfected this time around.





Statement pieces come in the form of t-shirts and jumpers with a loose, scripted ‘JAMES‘ logo that I am left lusting after. Appearing in different colours, this new logo filled the front and back of garments and crept up sleeves.



A collaboration with LUNETTES KOLLEKTION saw models wear a variety of circular, mirrored sunglasses and quilted nylon bags completed the looks. This was without doubt one of my favourite collections this season and I can’t wait to see what happens next.




Categories ,catwalk, ,fashion, ,Helen Marudas, ,James Long, ,knitwear, ,LCM, ,LCMSS2015, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,LUNETTES KOLLEKTION, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Old Sorting Office, ,review, ,SS15, ,stripes

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