Our first day at London Collections: Men kicked off with the Universal Works AW15 presentation which saw a fashionably late start at St George’s Church in Bloomsbury.
Guests streamed into the space, and out of the rain, and slight confusion ensued. As the lights went down, the music (interspaced drumbeats) kicked in and models filed out from dark shadows at the back of the church.
‘Performace art’ and ‘eerie’ are words adequate enough to describe the brand’s display. The models gathered around in a perfect circle encompassed by the evening’s spectators in a mysterious move reminiscent of an occult movement, which was enhanced by the event’s location.
Cocoon coats are central to the brands aesthetic for AW15, which is focused on a rich, earthy palette of navy, black, greens and greys.
During proceedings the predominantly dark outerwear was removed to lay bare the core of the collection, evident that layering will not be shied away from in AW15.
Technique was interesting, if long-winded, and saw models move robotically and in sync to the pulsing beat as coats were removed and passed along to be tried on once again.
Standing out like a ray of light in the moody enclave was a burnt orange piece that attracted attention as it travelled the circle.
Single breasted suits were layered over woven shirts, while royal blue tshirts were paired underneath. Straight trousers were cropped at the ankle and worn with comfortable, black lace up trainers resulting in a relaxed but smart and self-assured look for the AW15 man.
The collection overall boasts wearability, functionality and versatility, evident in the synchronised handover of each coat, with even the standout burnt orange unable to be considered gaudy amongst its adjoining designs.
Following this display we hot-footed it across town to the proudly British made Private White V.C. presentation in Soho, filing in and taking a space in front of 6 podiums on which rested smartly dressed models displaying a clean, simplistic look.
The Manchester based company offered up plenty of shearling for AW15 while navy, tonal greens and earthy browns are also on point, along with rustic red and beige.
A smart, fitted suit in navy caught our attention while double breasted coats and gilded fastenings represented the quintessential heritage man. Large square pockets adorned lightweight collared jackets, incorporating style and functionality.
More menswear gems were tucked away further into the venue and here we perused rails of jackets and coats in darker shades that felt textured but soft.
An unstructured wool coat in grey stood out as an investment piece – smart enough for regal occasions but light (for wool!) enough to be worn casually, without feeling like dead weight.