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British menswear comes home to roost (and preen)

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This week, in a feat not witnessed since Gareth Bale’s second-half hat-trick at the San Siro in 2010, London will steal Milan’s thunder in spectacular fashion. However, this particular thunder theft will take place not on the football pitch but the catwalk, and will last a little longer than 45 minutes.

Milan Fashion Week has traditionally ruled the roost when it comes to menswear, with the planet’s biggest sartorial names flocking to the Italian city to unleash their latest creations.

At Milan this September, however, several of those big names will be missing. Why? Because they’ve decamped to London Collections: Men.

Despite launching just last year, LC:M has fast become one of the most prominent features on the fashion landscape, and this year’s event – which takes place from 16-18 June – will boast first looks at spring/summer 2014 ranges from menswear behemoths such as Burberry Prorsum, which arrives in London breaking a 10-year tradition of showing its wares in Milan.

According to the brand’s chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, “The [UK’s] proud menswear heritage and outstanding contemporary talent give it a powerful energy. It’s a wonderful time to be bringing our menswear show home.”

And Burberry Prorsum isn’t the only British label that is gleefully coming home. Wallet-crippling loafer specialist Jimmy Choo, which has always shown in Milan since the launch of its men’s collection, is now set to launch its new range at LC:M instead. “London is at the creative heart of Jimmy Choo,” says the company’s creative director Sandra Choi. “The timing feels right to make the move.”

The timing appears to feel right for plenty of other menswear brands, too; both from Britain and beyond. US casualwear titan (and capital letter refusenik) rag & bone is abandoning New York Fashion Week for the UK this summer. “Our brand started life in New York,” say managing partners Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, “but as English guys, we’re delighted to be a part of LC:M. Our British roots have heavily influenced our aesthetic, so we feel strongly about showing our spring/summer 2014 collection in our hometown. LC:M is gathering momentum with each season.”

That momentum is set to snowball as LC:M struts into action. So if you want to know exactly what we’ll all be wearing this time next year, keep your eyes firmly on London’s catwalks this Sunday.

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