Fashion with functional purpose was the flag raised over the course of the first day of runway shows and presentations at London Collections: Men, with designers and brands looking to historical moments in exploration and industrial form for inspiration to shape their autumn 2013 collections. Gone were the hedonistic, sartorial and dandy references in favour of rugged outerwear, practical detailing and utilitarian basics crafted with manly purpose.
Topman Design said it best in a collection of oversized parkas and pea coats in Tibetan wools and double pleat trousers in drill, tucked into hiking socks, all realised in shades of polar white or intense tones of yellow and fuscia - a contemporary spin on the early gentleman explorer that played with the codes of volume and proportion.
Richard Nicoll, showing his second eponymous collection for men, was also a highlight of the day. This was a modern uniform inspired by post-punk no-wave rebellion, brutalist architecture and a mix of industrial, classical staples in denim blue, urban grey and safety orange.
Showing from the underground crypt of St Paul’s cathedral, Hackett closed the day on a high, with a more traditional approach to the season. Tartans and checked wools were used for immaculate tailoring borrowed from British eccentricity and the function of gentrified dwelling.
(Images: Georgina Martin, Getty)