In its fourth season the London Collections is most decidedly and simply the best it's ever been. Providing a calm and organised break from London Fashion Week, usually brimming with long delays and unrestrained diva tantrums, London collections created the perfect professional and relaxed atmosphere in which to adore the fantastic designers that have given us a truly unforgettable AW14 season. Although not as well-known and popular as the manically glamorous fashion weeks, London Collections is finally getting the press and recognition it desperately needs and undeniably deserves.
This new found attention is down to a well-executed schedule of big name designers like Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, and Burberry Prorsum to name a few, and a plethora of lesser known contemporary and decidedly unique brands like Hardy Aimes and E. Tautz. But what has been particularly interesting and attention grabbing this season is the recognition and integration of very wearable pieces within the collections. London collections has often revolved around the extravagant and contemporary that provide the press with their best present since Christmas but are generally completely bizarre and un-wearable to even the most modern of men. That's not to say that these pieces aren't important or the attention they get isn't worthwhile. As we know fashion is forever pushing boundaries and finding ways to constantly question our ideals to the extreme. Take JW Anderson's yellow and orange flower suit from the AW14 collection, the outfit highlights a true uniqueness in shape with a large collar and broad shoulders contrasted against straight and largely cropped trousers.
But this year a new flavour has tickled our taste buds and alongside the seemingly outrageous outfits sits utterly gorgeous and completely wearable pieces. Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane have developed a perfect balance between unique lines and attention grabbing prints but in simple shapes that would look just as comfortable on the pavement as it does on the catwalk. Christopher Kane's chemistry inspired T-shirt is surprisingly wearable with jeans or suit trousers and Jonathon Saunders has made acid yellow knits an imaginative and completely desirable look for the season. Subtle differences in textures have also been key to many designers and have provided the classic Savile Row tailoring with a modern edge. Christopher Bailey used everything from shearling to fur to leather in the Burberry collection, creating a playful element to some decidedly serious pieces. And my favourite lesson was led by Richard Nicoll who showcased a colourful outlook to the new season, highlighting that black is not the only colour. With this diverse mix of classic and contemporary, simple and extravagant it's hard not to get excited about men's fashion and let the imagination run wild on how these collections will inspire and build confidence in the British man. It begs the question what else do the boys have to show us?