London’s Men’s Wear Shows Revel in the Club Scene


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A look from Charles Jeffrey at the MAN catwalk show during London Collections Men.

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Neil Hall/Reuters

LONDON — Under intermittent rain and the occasional occlusion of cement-colored skies, London Collections Men began the international fall fashion season for men’s wear on Friday, so hot on the heels of the new year, joked Dylan Jones, the editor of British GQ and the L.C.M. chairman, that “we like to think of it as a continuation of New Year’s Eve.”

Time, tide and clement weather wait for no man, and no fashion week. And so the event has been galloping along at a clip, with more designers than ever before and shows and presentations scheduled back to back.

Even at breakneck pace, a party spirit pervades, a mood of near-hysteric revelry. The very first show of L.C.M., Topman Design, was staged in an open-air, underground gallery as strobed with neon as any rave — never mind that it was held at noon. It only makes sense. The ongoing influence of party culture shows no signs of abating among London’s young designers, or those who seek to emulate them.

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Craig Green: Fall 2016

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There’s been rigor on display at this latest edition of London’s men’s wear showcase, from the eerie monasticism of Craig Green to the taut elegance of newcomer 1205. More on those to come. Before them, the giddy rush: of Patrick Grant’s roller-disco nostalgia at E. Tautz, shown to a Eurythmics score; of Alex Mullins’s paint-dewed boys in twisting jeans; and the over-the-top exuberance of Sibling, whose designers instructed models at their Grace-Jones-in-the-boxing-ring show: “You are the best thing Beyoncé never had. No moody ‘Zoolander’ faces, thanks.”

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Sibling: Fall 2016

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Maybe the festive mood is required, when there are so many brands and shows to see and only so many hours in the day. “If you’re going to get this many people in one room,” Sibling’s Sid Bryan said after the show, “you’ve got to do a bit of a song and dance for them.”

So far, the merger of fashion show and club night has found its greatest fulfillment at the MAN show, a young-designer showcase. Charles Jeffrey, a Scottish-born graduate of Central Saint Martins, sees his collection and his show as so inseparable from Loverboy, the club night he hosts at grubby Vogue Fabrics in Dalston, that “If you’re looking for the line between his collection and his party,” his seat-side manifesto read, “Don’t.”

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MAN: Fall 2016

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His makeup-smeared models caromed around runic, larger-than-life-size cardboard idols by the London-based genius Gary Card — assemblages, the MAN patroness Lulu Kennedy confided later, that seemed destined to come crashing to the ground. (At some point during the proceedings, a spider fell from somewhere out of the sky and landed in this reporter’s hair. The gravitational pull of the party is strong.)

But they didn’t, and neither did Mr. Jeffrey’s ecstatic collection of “drunk” (scrunched and pinched) tailoring and threadbare knitwear, wild and wacky as it was. It’s a uniform for dedicated deviants. How it translates when the party ends is the next question. What do you do with this when the sun comes up? this critic wanted to know.

“We sleep,” Mr. Jeffrey said, his Johnny Rotten T-shirt poking out from beneath his pinstriped three-piece suit.



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