The Spring Summer 2014 shows at London Collections: Men kicked off today and our roving reporter Nick Barron was on the scene to bring you the highlights from Day One...
1. Dominic Jones
Jeweller Dominic Jones today unveiled his first official menswear collection, although fellas have been wearing pieces from his main line for a long time. "They don't look after it," he told me, "they mess it up!" So Jones has created a line of staple menswear pieces made from solid silver and gold in the hopes that chaps will look after it, and wear it. A signet ring, a St. Christopher and a torque with signet ends were beautiful, all modelled by Jones' friends, who played poker under the theme of a boys' night in. "The winner gets to choose a piece from the collection," Jones said, "and the loser gets to take the poker set home to practice with." This boy's cutthroat tactics are almost as sharp as his gorgeous creations.
2. Jonathan Saunders
Jonathan Saunders' SS14 pieces were a typically colourful injection into the day. The brightness of the clothes was in contrast to the dimly lit, smoky basement they were shown in, which created a suitably sexy atmosphere for the easy-on-the-eye designer's new collection. There were Saunders' signature dot-prints and the fading out of colours across pieces, and his neon yellow bomber and overcoat were smashing. Gorgeous accessories, too, from Smythson - the colour-blocked briefcases were especially smart. And Saunders tapped into a trend we've seen a lot of today - ankle socks. Yep, the trend is not just for ladies, as we're seeing shorts matched with shoes and ankle socks pulled up high, which popped up a few times. It's coming, people - you have been warned.
The MAN show is the place to be for up-and-coming menswear designers cherry-picked by Topman and Fashion East. This season's roster saw Craig Green return for a second season alongside newcomers Bobby Abley and Alan Taylor. Abley was up first and showed a teddy bear motif printed on shorts and leathers, though it was most fun in three dimensions - he stuck a bear to backpacks in powder blue and pink. Dubliner Alan Taylor collaborates with mills in his home country to create the tweeds and silks he used to make the various short-suits he showed today, as well as the ankle-swinging trousers - ankles were a key theme again, as Taylor also went for the sock trend. Green, who went last, again covered his models' faces, this season with bandaging and the brims of hats, which caused one to get a little lost halfway round the catwalk. As per last season, Green brought conceptual art to the mix, with models again carrying plywood sculptures. The collection behind them featured sharply layered separates and a couple of knockout tie-dye looks.
4. Richard Nicoll
It can be hard to stay inspired, mid-afternoon on a packed day of shows, when you've had enough coffee to give you a headache, but not enough to curb the urge to nap. Thank heavens for Richard Nicoll and his lovely collection, which sees the launch of S/HE, a collaboration between Nicoll and artist Linder featuring her collage prints on pieces 'for him and her.' Well, hands off, ladies - we saw those gorgeous, printed sweatshirts first! Alongside the prints were smartly cut jackets, python jaquards and knits in blues and purples, which altogether made a collection that was beautiful, interesting and desirable. We'll have some o' that, please.
5. Agi & Sam
Agi & Sam's star has been burning pretty bright of late, what with their recently released collection for Topman, several pieces of which were sported by various of today's LC:M showgoers. The inspiration for their SS14 collection was an old man 'attached to his clothes' who 'loves them so much he still wears then, even though he's shrunk.' Cue an oversized sillhouette aplenty in coats and jackets of various colours - and oh, those colours. It seems our old fella had been on the train and a bus, and was drawn to the patterns on the seats of both. Agi & Sam translated this into multicoloured digital prints on suiting and separates. Later, 'some young lads' jump on the bus, one of them in pleated shorts, much to old man's surprise. Navy blue and knee-length, complete with matching jacket, the ultimate look was slightly more 1940s secretary than Dalston bus-hopper, but they were pretty sharp nonetheless. Agi & Sam shine on.
For more from LC:M, check out our gallery below. Hello, Gandy!