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November 18, 2017
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From left to right: S/S 2014 from Hardy Amies, Gieves & Hawkes, Rake, Hackett London and Spencer Hart. Source: londoncollections.co.uk.
Hardy Amies SS2014 London Collections Men

Hardy Amies S/S 2014.
Source: londoncollections.co.uk.

While womenswear travels from New York to Paris with pit stops in London and Milan, all in the span of one month, menswear sees only a quick few days in London, Florence and Milan for the reveals of its upcoming season.

London, the "home of menswear" as London Collections: Men (LC:M) proclaims, has become residence to up-and-coming designers as well as Savile Row mainstays showing their latest designs. Presentations in menswear have become more popular than runway shows, as spectators have the chance to admire up close the expert detail that goes into men's tailoring.

Related: LC:M A/W 2013 Runway Rundown.

Last week, the still-young LC:M gave way to an impressive set of S/S 2014 presentations. Although there were a few stunning avant-garde designs, Savile Row tailors showed that the classics never go out of style.

Hardy Amies

Designer Mehmet Ali brought the Mad Men ad exec to the French Riviera for Hardy Amies S/S 2014. Housed at No. 14 Savile Row since its doors opened in 1945, Hardy Amies has long been a go-to for London businessmen.

Now, as AMC's Mad Men continues to influence fashion trends and men look to emulate Jon Hamm's suave portrayal of Don Draper, Ali's latest collection shows just that. Ali also looked to graphic designer, Saul Bass, for inspiration. With Hitchcock posters and Hardy Amies' own HA monogram, Bass' graphic design work provided the perfect context for a spring collection with a '50s look.

Ali kept the brand's traditional aesthetic with simple navy and khaki pieces, but nodded to Bass' graphic design with attention grabbing reds. Alfred Sargent and Grenson provided their shoe expertise to the collection's accessories: double monks and canvas sneakers, respectively.

Gieves & Hawkes

The Talented Mr. Ripley comes to mind with Gieves & Hawkes S/S 2014 collection. Double-breasted jackets paired with shorts provide the perfect spring wardrobe for a summer on the Amalfi coast. However, as the label is a mainstay on Savile Row and not a Neapolitan haberdasher, the collection features Gieves & Hawkes impeccable suits for the British sophisticate as well - perhaps the shorts can be reserved for a summer lunch on the beach.

Gieves & Hawkes SS2014 London Collections Men

Gieves & Hawkes S/S 2014.
Source: londoncollections.co.uk.

A pink windowpane suit was a standout in the presentation, as was a grey utilitarian safari jacket. Pairing the suit jacket and shorts look with slippers or espadrilles made the collection a bit more polished and a little less schoolboy.

Rake

An in-store presentation at Rake brought out a nostalgic collection from designer Clive Darby, whose résumé includes stints at Richard James and Kilgour. Drawing inspiration from late race car driver, François Cevert, the spring collection features the washed out colours of his racing helmet - red, yellow and blue.

Cevert's restored car welcomed guests of the presentation - setting the mood for a stunning show. Sharply tailored double-breasted jackets in pale grey and faded red cashmere sweaters were amongst the collection's highlights. Subtle athleticism is apparent throughout as peaked lapels of Darby's suits added a sporty flair, while jackets and blousons reflect a race car driver's off-track wardrobe. The bold plaids and prints in the collection's shirting are toned down amongst the rest of the clothes - a bright orange print seems anything but daring when paired with a pale grey jacket with contrasting lapels.

These seemingly minor but courageous moves made by Darby run in the vein of Cevert himself, a daredevil driver who lost his life too soon. Fortunately, Darby's designs for 2014 have insured his survival on Savile Row.

Hackett London

A household name in British tailoring, Hackett London is known for their dandy suiting. Although most men aren't daring enough for their theatrical runway looks, the label provides stunning classics that can be worked into any man's wardrobe.

Related: Fictitious Dressing - Fashion and the Tale.

This season, as in many of the London collections, Jeremy Hackett's designs featured pale neutrals and muted blues with accents of red. Drawing inspiration from the '60s and men's style icons like Sean Connery and Michael Caine, Hackett's latest collection is Hollywood-worthy to say the least.

Hackett London S/S 2014.
Source: londoncollections.co.uk.

A '20s dandy twist of showy prints and jaunty straw boaters accompanies its beautiful pastels and dapper stripes. Picture Bond sipping Negronis in between assignments and he should be wearing Hackett S/S 2014. The same could be said for Gatsby at his West Egg estate. Hackett London has an aesthetic that works season after season and, clearly, decade after decade.

Spencer Hart

Perhaps not the most traditional haberdasher on Savile Row, Spencer Hart is well-known for adventurous takes on classic suiting as stark monochromatic looks graced the runway.

Related: Spencer Hart and Savile Row's VIP.

The simplicity of the collection is refreshing amongst the shows of other London designers and their quintessential dandy suits. Shirts with mandarin collars were buttoned to the top under blazers without collars at all, going against the current trends of wide peaked lapels.

But perhaps Spencer Hart's latest collection will give way to a new set of men in street style photos. The sharp lines of the slim suits are almost arresting, and the long, untucked shirts are quite avant-garde for Savile Row. While the first looks in the show were mostly black and white, Hart kept a minimalist aesthetic while adding in dark blues and camel.

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