Gentlemen, for years we have been on the receiving end of fashion’s perfunctory tokenism; with only one day at London Fashion Week dedicated to Menswear. Amidst the tottering of Christian Louboutins and champagne-sipping, haute couture clad fashionistas exists Men’s Day. Essentially, it’s a few hours in which designers showcase their male threads, before turning their attention back to Kate Moss and her crew. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a VERY nice crew, but I can’t help but feel that us guys are fashion’s l’esprit d’escalier – a nice afterthought when all the fun and games have finished. Well, gents, the fashion pack have listened and the time has come to raise your beer bottles or/and scotch filled tumblers at the news that London’s first EVER Men’s Fashion Week will take place from June 14th to 17th.
Following in the footsteps of Paris and Milan, where men have long enjoyed their own fashion weeks, on 14th June 2012, HRH The Prince of Wales will host a reception at St James’s Palace to celebrate the launch of LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN. Far be it for me to question the mathematical logistics of the event, it appears that it is more of a weekend than a fully blown, week-long extravaganza. However, with names like GQ Editor Dylan Jones, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, model David Gandy and rapper Tinie Tempah on the committee, if it’s being billed as a week, then a week it is! LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN officially begins on 15th June and will feature the very best in British designers, with a few Irish names thrown in to the mix. The British Fashion Council has said that the event is “a development of the Men’s day at London Fashion Week” and each showcase will be embedded into the city’s cultural programme.
LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN will open on Friday 15th June with shows from Steven Webster, Burberry and Oliver Spencer, before Saturday’s highlights, including Jonathan Saunders, RAKE and Belstaff. Sunday’s finale will see the likes of Christopher Kane and Richard Nicholl previewing their SS’13 collections and the day’s proceedings will be opened by Irish designer J.W. Anderson. There are a few invite-only gatherings taking place, with dinners being thrown by Tommy Hilfiger, Mr Porter and Tom Ford, just a selection of the weekend’s highly exclusive soirees. However, the large majority of the shows will be in The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, Covent Garden and are open to the general public. As well as featuring the usual high-end designers, LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN will be championing the newest names in menswear and the 3 day showcase will allow fashion’s newest talents to earn their stripes on the international stage.
With the first ever Men’s Fashion Week in London in the coming weeks, the Olympics beckoning and sound of music festivals on the horizon, the city is set to be a hive of activity for the summer months. Preceding the rest of the bi-annual European Menswear fashion weeks, LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN will kick-start the men’s fashion calendar. As fashion becomes more egalitarian and pays homage to us gents, a host of stars are set to turn up for the event’s launch on June 14th, and I’m sure none of us guys will object to “Kate Moss and her crew” making an appearance. Punctuated by style, sport and music, London really is the place to be for summer 2012.
For more information on London’s first Men’s Fashion Week, check out http://www.londoncollections.co.uk/men/schedule.aspx for a full schedule on the events and shows taking place.