1. Craig Green
Craig Green showed his first solo menswear show last season, and once again showed a totally mesmerizing collection for Autumn/Winter. He has a fantastic way of balancing the masculine with the feminine, pairing oversized, structured silhouettes with soft jersey in asymmetric cuts. The collection also made many references to protection vs vulnerability. While quilted jackets provided the wearer with an armour, the circular hole above the sternum represents the most vulnerable part of the body. The strapping detail that made his spring summer collection so iconic was minimized this season, but still present on military styled jackets and shirts. I really loved the paper bag waist trousers, I could see myself wearing them and feeling absolutely amazing doing so.
2. E Tautz
If nothing else, this collection makes me love the 'Great British Sewing Bee' that little bit more. Who knew Patrick Grant, judge of the aforementioned reality show, would be capable of such perfect menswear. The collection is absolutely stunning. The perfect balance between dapper and edgy, the collection featured classic menswear silhouettes with a new expanded volume. The double breasted, drop shoulder coat is THE coat of next season, and I, for one, want to be living in one all winter long.
A total departure from Patrick Grants offering at E. Tautz, KTZ presented a much more caricatured version of the British gentleman. Using 'A Clockwork Orange' as inspiration, the collection was full of references to to the outfits worn by the thuggish skinhead droogs of the film. There was less of a tribal streetwear feel to the collection than usual, but maybe this is a sign of the brands evolution. For me, the star pieces came in the finale, with the final few outfits feature entirely leather ensembles - and you know I love a good bit of leather.
4. Lee Roach
Incredibly, with the exception of the shoes and bags, every element of this collection is reversible. Every detail has been considered so that no matter what way the garment is worn, it still looks beautiful, from the intricate chain-link inserts, to the waist cinching belts that are able to work both visibly and invisibly. There are some fantastic silhouettes within the collection, and despite being concept led, it is still very wearable. Roll necks are still massive next season, and look amazing paired with raw edge jackets in black and soft grey.
5. Rory Parnell Mooney
Rory is the latest addition to the 'MAN' show, the joint initiative between Topman and Fashion East that proudly champions emerging menswear talent. The mainly black and navy collection showed minimalist punk-monks with loose silhouettes, floor-length coats and visor-meets-Dutch bonnets. Another collection channeling the oversized and structured, a standout piece was the perfect wide-leg trouser shown with almost every look. And the beauty is all in the details - frayed edge seams and intricate sheer checks made by painstakingly removing threads from the fabric of the garments.
6. Nicomede Talavera
For a second season, Nicomede Talavera is showing as part of the 'MAN' show, this time taking inspiration from Kurt Cobain and the Muslim boys of his youth, complete with a homage to the snap side trackies we all loved during the 90's (although slightly more sophisticated, using ties rather than poppers). The overall choice of fabrics and colour was, in my opinion, exquisite, and I love the rise in man skirts within menswear, slowly making the look far more mainstream and acceptable.
I can't decide whether it's my own tastes maturing, or simply a change in brand aesthetics, but I once again find myself disappointed by labels I historically love. Topman Design, Katie Eary, and this time even Sibling, presented collections that just really didn't do it for me. Despite this, there is still plenty to look forward to come Autumn Winter, and although I'm not quite ready to ditch my skinny jeans now, I'm sure by next season my wardrobe will be awash with oversized karate pants and wide legged trousers.