This London season has brought an eclectic mix of heritage and contemporary brands: advances in technology were numerous in the Autumn Winter 18’ collections; however traditional silhouettes nevertheless remained prevalent. The Panoptic reviews this season’s fashion innovation highlights and inspirations in menswear.
Textile Technologies & Trends
Léon Bara focused on utility, functionality, and wearability – highlighting his use of SMARTech textiles. The latter are renowned for their use of bio-chemical and mechanical textile properties, rendering garments waterproof in their seams and seals (as opposed to woven fabrics) as well as using dual-membrane and laminate technology to make garments both breathable and hydrophobic.
Similar technology was featured on a collaborative AW18 collection between Barbour and New York-based designer Engineered Garments. Barbour and Engineered Garments have made use of a waxed cotton constricted to make waterproof raglan sleeves and storm seals. The 5-piece collection also features expandable pockets, rear-opened parkas, and Phantom zips – which were paired with a barrier fabric and enabled heat to be quickly dissipated.
8ON8 featured exclusive textiles which provided more structure than traditional Nylon or cotton, and could also be incorporated in suits and sportswear. MYNE – a Tokyo fashion household name but London emerging designer – made use of hydrophobic laminate paint on military textiles in a relaxed street-style statement.
Military themed garments also headlined on Christopher RAEBURN’s IMMERSE collection. Raeburn presented Royal Air Force helicopter winchman coveralls, finished with Avery Dennison RBIS’s velcro patches and complete with an original helicopter emergency evacuation pack designed in collaboration with Nikeisha Nelson. The same collection was complemented by ideas of the sea and albatrosses, as well as a drive for sustainable fashion.
JORDANLUCA implemented Agugliata – a modern Italian needle-felt stripe embroidery technique employed by few fashion houses like Anthropologie. JORDANLUCA also featured neoprene, no real leather or fur, as well as reflective fibreglass on Nylon. The designing duo sign their label as ‘meticulous design’ using ‘neurotic research’ to target a ‘dynamic generation’ – a brand destined for a London crowd.
Ka Wa Key manufactured his own fabrics using transfer paper and a fashion technology technique called dévoré, whereby viscose velvet woven fabric is transformed to look burned out and transparent. The AW18 collection coupled the dévoré fabric with denim jackets where lining is made visible through translucency.
AW18 designers distinctly drew inspiration from a plethora of stimuli – British design Alex Mullins considered the dual nature of our brains, thus looking to create garments which were tailored fit but with a creative twist. His uses of dirty beige corduroy and dual-tone striped denims were contrasted with ‘rainbow tie dye velvet’.
Similarly, Danielle from Raus envisioned using crowd psychology as her main source of inspiration for her highly tailored & luxury collection.
Band of Outsiders presented their merino wool-heavy collection on ice with models ice-skating to reveal winter-sports inspired raincoats, band bombers, and brand-renowned ‘formal tracksuits’.
Finally, the Ben Sherman x House of Holland capsule collection was inspired by Northern Soul: a 1970’s dance subculture which featured dancers on the catwalk and pictorial owl prints on the models.
Whilst heritage brands remained a fundamental part of the event, a wave of new menswear designers is gaining momentum in the fashion industry, ones that will push the boundaries of fashion technology and soon be highlighted at all major fashion weeks: they are the true ‘Ones to Watch’.
Images: Alex Mullins IPR, Roy J Baron, Olivier Claisse and Robin De Meyere