Yep, aside from that glorious day in April, London has so far seen scant evidence that SS15 has arrived, but, in the world of menswear, it's already all about SS16... The last few days saw male models, celebs and fashionista(/o?)s galore descend on the capital for London Collections: Men, and, buoyed up by my newfound zeal for menswear, I was thrilled to be invited to work with two key brands: Aquascutum and KTZ.
Front of house for Aquascutum, one of Britain's most important "heritage" brands (they invented the trenchcoat, FYI - aquascutum being Latin for "water shield", dontchaknow), I played gatekeeper to the hordes of VIPs (including the gorgeous David Gandy, who turned up looking tip-top in top-to-toe M&S!) and blaggers turning up at our Soho townhouse in search of sumptuous suiting and free bubbles (before turning my hand to some mannequin stripping and dismemberment once the doors closed).
The collection itself retained the classic "gentleman about town" feel the brand was founded on back in the 19th century, whilst sneaking in several delightful little soupçons of modern flair, from ultra-skinny cuts to ultra-chic digi-prints.
In an underground Southwark club, catwalk bounded by caged sides and strip lighting, meanwhile, KTZ was a whole other story. No David Gandy this time, but the presence of 40ish super-buff, live models went some way towards making up for his absence (added bonus: no dismembering required at the end of the night, other than shoe/parachute de-lacing). No concessions to classicism here - this innovative and directional collection was all about looking forward. Want to get a headstart on your SS16 wardrobe? Get crafty with your bacofoil and chip paper now... P.S. How proud am I that the look featuring my painstakingly coloured-in-with-a-permanent-marker masking-tape-trimmed parachute laces became the most Instagrammed of the night (below centre)?
Outside of the shows I worked on, my favourite collection of the season had to be Topman's Northern Soul-inspired presentation. Directional, yet wearable (given a few tweaks for the man in the street!), I loved their update on the now-ubiquitous '70s trend, combining a dauntless appropriation of the "Oxford Bag" silhouette with a mix-and-match ethos (one pair of stripy trousers - 2 ways to wear!).
What do you think of this season's menswear collections? Can you see yourself or your boyfriend going Northern in Topman, donning a paratrooper-inspired ensemble à la KTZ or easing into printed suiting with Aquascutum?