London Collections: Men, The Report 0.1
London’s inaugural and much hyped stand-alone Men’s Fashion showcase London Collections: Men (LCM) lived up to all that it promised to be and more. From arrival on Day One at the ‘hub’ for the event, the impact was clear; hordes of well-dressed and stylish men and women, some suited, some booted, were scurrying in and out of The Hospital Club which was serving as the central location and press HQ for the event. Street Style photographers were everywhere, nary a turn could be made without being confronted by a flash bulb or a request for a photograph, snapping away attendees outfits and looks whilst dodging in and out of the path of the fleet of sleek silver Mercedes Benz courtesy cars.
At The Hospital Club, one could find static installations from over 30 UK designers that included Sibling, Christopher Raeburn, Christian Blanken’s debut menswear collection and Berthold amongst others. Established US label Joseph Abboud had set up shop in a showroom for the duration of LCM whilst P&G were operating a grooming lab for men in need of a quick fix up during the rounds of shows. As part of the British Fashion Councils Digital Innovation series, shows were being live-screened at the hub and the press lounge and bar served as a welcome respite space for refuelling.
Spotted in and out of the Club during the weekend were supermodel David Gandy (the elevator ride with the male supermodel was a definite highlight), Alexa Chung, rapper Tinie Tempah, uber street style photographer Scott Shuman of The Sartorialist, and The International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes. Several shows were also held at the location in the BFC Show Space including Lou Dalton, Xander Zhou and Pringle of Scotland.
For us fashionable folk at The Upcoming, LCM kicked off on the Thursday evening, the day many were calling day zero. Held in their pop-up store in Shelton Street Seven Dials, fast growing new all British label TOBEFRANK (every item is produced entirely and exclusively in the UK, even down to details such as buttons and embroidery) laid on a stellar presentation for their SS13 collection.
A flurry of bright young things packed out the split level space to view the ‘backstage’ themed presentation of TOBEFRANK designer Frances “Frank” Philips latest collection, a very modern and masculine outing inspired by “the real gentleman”. Colours were bright and bold, TOBEFRANK’s particular brand of colour blocking is for the brave fashion soul, and the silhouette and cut combined with striking reds, blues and yellows made for some very interesting jackets and outerwear pieces. The labels shirting was particularly strong as were Frank’s take on waistcoats: a highly wearable modern alternative to the traditional design.
TOBEFRANK proved with SS13 to be a viable option for the urban dandy who likes to cut a dash. The collection is a thoroughly modern take on a very traditional (and British) form of dressing. Following the presentation and raffle (guests had each been given a raffle ticket for a chance to win an original TOBEFRANK piece that was constructed literally as the presentation progressed), guests partied the night away in the company of the models and designer herself at London hotspot Mo*Vida. Visit TOBEFRANK here to discover this upcoming label.
Ian Michael Turner