1 Fashion’s been on a gap year
London’s designers seem to be harbouring a collective wanderlust, of the sort that would take more than a week in Borneo to satisfy. Styling tricks came straight from the Khoa San Road: prayer beads were clasped in strong hands at Astrid Andersen, while Topman showed hippie necklaces dangling delicately over collarbones. There was a punky take on tribal jewellery at Sibling, where necklaces comprised of stones, skull beads and bones. Hair was long and matted at James Long, while the models at Moschino wore fierce dreadlocked beehives – hairstyles that would take a year of full-moon parties and beach time to recreate.
2 The 70s are back
It’s not just Mad Men. Seventies style is being reassessed by fashion, too. JW Anderson’s collection turned 70s interiors – mauve carpet, diagonal stripe curtain prints – into fashion for boys. They also wore pussybow blouse ties, recalling a certain Mrs Thatcher on the late-70s campaign trail. Over at Topman Design, the retro of the 70s was diluted by mixing it with that other decade in favour, the 90s. See what might possibly be the ultimate rock god: a hybrid of Jimi Hendrix and Liam Gallagher.
3 Goalkeeper yellow is scoring
The goalkeeper is the outsider in any team – and their kit, always a different colour from the outfield players, marks them out as such. At London Collections: Men this week there has been a bit of goalie love – a singular yellow outfit (that classic Sunday-league look) has cropped up in shows including Richard Nicoll, JW Anderson and Oliver Spencer. Joe Hart‘s look for last weekend’s England match might have clashed with his hair but, in the run-up to tomorrow’s Uruguay game, it’s clearly time to reassess him as an unsung fashion leader.
4 Knots are a thing
Anyone who knows their double fisherman’s from their rolling hitch will have style advantage next season – knots are in. The cravat has replaced the Doctor Who scarf as the front-row detail of choice – Topman creative director Gordon Richardson looked particularly dashing in his. They also appeared on the Margaret Howell catwalk, while JW Anderson knotted pinstripes around models’ bodies for a more complex look. With belted dressing gowns also enjoying a bit of a moment, the message is clear: zips are so over. Knots are the only way to fasten your clothes next summer.
5 Japan is influential again
Kabuki makeup, kimono shapes and manga comics – Japan was big at LCM. Astrid Andersen used the sharp lines of origami but combined them with jelly-coloured streetwear and paisley prints. Alexander McQueen’s collection took the colours of kabuki and transferred them to laidback suiting. And Craig Green – widely considered to be the heir apparent to London’s menswear crown – mixed the influence of Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto with pyjama-like shapes with nods to karate uniforms.
6 The suit is dead
London menswear is so tied up with suiting that it’s usually a given at the shows – even beyond the traditional Savile Row brands. Not this season. Casual clothing prevailed and even when tailoring was used – at Oliver Spencer or Richard Nicoll – there wasn’t a tie in sight. The nail in the coffin came at Jimmy Choo. The accessories brand had its first full-on catwalk show this season. The usual trick would have been to have anonymous suits to make the shoes and bags stand out, but no. Katie Grand, stylist and general arbiter of the zeitgeist, kept the suits to a minimum and used casual separates instead. Dress-down Friday is every day of the week in summer 2015.
7 The bootcut is back
This will will strike fear into the hearts of many a thirtysomething man happily ensconced in his Japanese selvedge narrow legs. But the jean shape that has been out in the wilderness is back. If it had only been Topman pushing flared faded jeans (and push hard they did) we could have dismissed it as a one-season-only Richard Ashcroft-inspired blip. But here’s the damning evidence: Jonathan Anderson – a designer who is always two kilometres further down the road marked the future of taste – took to his catwalk in a pair of subtle bootcuts.
8 The 90s are still with us
It certainly feels that this is the case in fashion terms. Moschino’s entire collection was plastered in smiley faces on skimpy swimmers, on shirts and on the back of loafers. Meanwhile, Topman’s mood board featured parka-wearing, 90s swaggering Brit Pop heroes. Christopher Shannon, king of oversized tees and sexy sportswear, referenced emo bedrooms, teenage clumsiness with a general nod to the 1990s. It’s the decade that keeps on giving on the wardrobe front.
Sometimes the style lessons you learn off the catwalk are the most useful. The pavements around the LCM shows were paved with silver shoes (for men and women). And it was a theme that was echoed on the catwalk. Jimmy Choo’s silver hi-top trainers provided the expensive streetwear action. Silver is creeping on to clothes, too – tinfoil-esque hoodies and jackets at James Long and silver lined parkas and silver patch pockets at Richard Nicoll. It’s a detail that could mark out the fashion yays from the nays in spring 2015.
10 Fashion is getting crafty
Scissors, string and coloured macaroni at the ready. There was the whiff of PVA glue around the collections this season – with kitchen table craft enjoying some time on the catwalk. JW Anderson’s cross-stitch jumpers brought back memories of the haberdashery shop while some of Agi & Sam‘s prints looked, in the nicest possible way, as if they were made with potato stamps. Elsewhere, James Long used off-cuts of fabric to brighten up denim jackets. Sibling would win the school fair content, though – even if only on sheer scale. Its pom poms – one covering a model’s head – were man-sized.
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