SS14 has been a hot topic since London Collections: Mens back in June. What we've noticed at LCM is how far removed the up-and-coming British designers are from Savile Row. The Savile Row revival was huge a few years back since men shopped for better quality essentials to reduce shopping in the long term. Now that the economy has stabilized somewhat in the past few years and men have a wardrobe full of trend-less clothing (as well as fatter pockets), we understand why men are now breaking the mold and looking for something new, fresh, and exciting. To put it simply, the fear is gone.
The exposure to several fashion styles and brands also had an effect on style too. Just look at the recent trend today. Longer shirt tails? Is this inherent across the board or was this picked up from the runway? In the pursuit for the best quality essentials, men went down the rabbit hole of menswear and discovered that there is more out there than just t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, and suits and that there are more brands than the ones that advertise on magazines and websites. They discovered that there are fresh and new designs available, but they all agreed years ago that it just wasn't time to indulge in the newness. Men are comfortable with their style and are enjoying expressing themselves and trying new things especially now that they have everything they need, which brings us to LCM.
At LCM, Alexander McQueen and Richard James showed that tailoring still has a hold on London, but Sibling, KTZ, JW Anderson, and more brands and designers were singing a different tune. In a different age of menswear, we would call their designs "out there" or "unwearable" or "unsellable", but in this age of menswear we actually accept the inspiration, cuts, designs, storyline, poetry, and artistic elements of these collections. In fact, that wasn't just the case in London, it was apparent in Milan and Paris too.
Now that men are ready to flex their creative muscles, we see an abundance of brands that are reinventing sportswear, reviving streetwear, creating new styles and visually pleasing looks that men are ready to dig their hands into. There is a wider selection of male types ranging from the streetwear guy, to goth ninjas, preppy dudes, and the occasional sprezzy grandfather. For once not all men are dressing alike and the clothes available can attest to that. The industry and the shopper are finally working hand in hand. It's safe to say that we're in the golden age of menswear.
The best part about the this time isn't even the here and now, it's the future. Style forums and eBay may be the top places to look for Hedi Slimane designed Dior Homme or Raf Simons' 1995 digs, but think about tomorrow when what we covet today will be in vintage stores and consignment shops. Never say never.