London Fashion Week Menswear

Lorna Claire Weightman reports from the front row.

The wheel of fashion does not stand still. Just as we were digging out our winter woollies, the autumn collections for next year were being premiered in London during fashion week. Clothes-mad writer, stylist and girl-about-town Lorna Claire Weightman, took along her notepad and pen to file a front row report. Here, she shares the trends that set the catwalk ablaze.

THE VIBE:
The menswear collections at London Fashion Week were a star studded affair and I spotted the likes of Ronnie Wood, Jamie Hince, Paul Galvin and Daisy Lowe mingling with the models and fashion press backstage. In terms of trends, brands such as Hackett London and Oliver Spencer never let us down, with an eye for design matched by few.

For autumn/winter 2013 they gave a lesson in intelligent dressing by showing a selection of suits and separates that were easy to wear - but incredibly stylish. I also thought that there was a nice balance between casual and tailoring represented on the catwalk. Colour wise, there were a lot of rich oranges and vibrant shades of red, which worked very well by adding a welcome pop of colour to the otherwise neutral palette.

Christopher Shannon at London Fashion Week

HARD TO WEAR:
JW Anderson, the Irish designer that everyone is talking about, premiered two piece suits in eye popping colours – with the addition of frilly shorts for men. I don’t expect to see that particular look sauntering down Grafton Street any time soon.

HOTTEST TRENDS:
Classic tailoring with a contemporary edge was to be seen at Topman, Matthew Miller and James Long. The move in menswear is towards a leaner, slimmer shape and suits were even skinner this year - with a short trouser emerging as one of the major trends. The look was modern and young - and many of the models wore brightly coloured socks to add a dash of playful colour to their look. There were also lots of all white suits on the runway but if that’s not quite your thing, navy was also a very strong theme.

James Long at London Fashion Week

KEY ACCESSORIES:
Oversized man-bags are set to be the ultimate accessory next autumn/winter. When we think of man-bags we, generally, imagine over the shoulder record style bags but that’s all set to change. Leather rucksacks in black and red at Matthew Millar and giant oversized holdalls at Johnnie Sapong looked modern and fresh this time around.

PIECES TO INVEST IN:
If I were to pick five pieces that were to form the backbone of any man’s wardrobe, I would start with a good knit. From fine to chunky, knits are very versatile and are a great wardrobe staple.

Secondly, I can’t underestimate the importance of having a good pair of jeans in dark denim. The darker tone makes your jeans look more polished and they are fantastic when they are teamed with, either a casual hoodie – or a smart jacket.

Speaking of jackets, a good blazer is something that every man should possess. This season velvet blazers are making a comeback and they look surprisingly good when they are worn over jeans or as part of a suit. Top colours for winter include chocolate brown, berry red and black.

Why not have a bit of fun with coloured socks? They can add a subtle detail to any outfit and are a great way to easily update your look.

When it comes to shoes, so many guys only have one or two pairs! They are one of the first things a woman notices, so if you want to score style points a great pair of shoes is a great place to start. My advice would be to avoid opting for your usual loafer and try a shoe with a bit of a point – as it will instantly add an edge to your style.

Lorna Claire Weightman