Last night's James Long show demonstrated just why London is leading the rest of the world in menswear. Held at the London Collections: Men show space at the Old Sorting Office, the calm and casual pre-show atmosphere not only set the tone for the collection, but also meant the show actually started on time. The collection itself, watched by the likes of Henry Holland, was unmistakably Autumnal with shades of black, brown and slub yellow forming the core of the collection. Far from a predictable Autumn/Winter collection, inspiration was found in the form of John Waters and the characters from his films, as well as marquetry techniques. The unusual inspiration resulted in graphic patterns and innovative use of fabrics such as rubberised plaid and a specially woven chenille.
Shape and silhouette played a key part in this collection and the ideas were executed beautifully and intelligently. The pieces not only work together, but individually hold their own, and will be easy to incorporate into existing wardrobes. There were a number of bomber jackets, a favourite was the quilted one that looked like a light leather jacket – a new twist on a wardrobe staple. The focus on easy-to-wear, smart/casual, pieces was encapsulated in the new trouser shape – tailored at the top with bagging at the bottom like a track pant. My stand out piece was the rubberised plaid mac; it’s a unique and distinctive piece will make the wearer stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
The AW 2013 collection also saw the launch of a new collaboration between James Long and Kurt Geiger. Three styles will be available, the Jimmy, John and Jack, and all are far cry from the stereotypical men’s shoe with fabrics such as flexible plastic and horse hair. Of the collaboration, James Long said “It was great to have the creative freedom and quality working with Kurt Geiger London. It has been a very organic collaboration and I am extremely pleased with the outcome. Having the shoes work with the collections really finishes the look.”
Copy and photos by Sophie Hollins Fashiontent's Girl about town