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London Fashion Week Men's: day two buyer diary

Art school ss19 at man (fashion east, topman) bow

On day two of London Fashion Week Men’s spring 19 edition, Selfridges’ buying manager for menswear Jack Cassidy talks us through his highlights from the day.

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Jack Cassidy, buying manager for menswear at Selfridges

The sun shone over London Fashion Week Men’s on day two – another varied day packed with the city’s famous creativity. Young talent was out in force at the Man show, while shows from Alex Mullins, Chalayan and Christopher Raeburn showcased the variety of designers in the city – from tailoring to urban streetwear inspired styles.

Incoming Louis Vuitton designer and head of Off-White Virgil Abloh’s appearence at Martine Rose and A Cold Wall caused a stir, as did the Beckhams at Kent & Curwen. 

Two of London’s up-and-coming star brands rounded off the day: Cottweiler, which showed a new age-influenced show at the Rambert dance company’s studio on the South Bank, and Martine Rose, who took over an entire Camden cul-de-sac to present her latest designs.

Selfridges menswear buying manager Jack Cassidy talks through his highlights from a busy day two.

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Kent & Curwen spring 19

Why do you come to LFWM?

I always come to LFWM, as Selfridges has long supported emerging London-based talent, and always looks forward to following the progression of talent on our home turf.

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A Cold Wall spring 19

How was today at LFWM?

Today was a beautiful sunny day and there was a great atmosphere. From morning to night it was such a strong line-up, which made for a really dynamic day.

What collections stood out from today and from LFWM so far?

The Man show was a particular highlight, I loved the intricate button work, rich textiles and bags from Stefan Cooke.

We started stocking A Cold Wall from autumn 18 and today’s show was a confident spectacle and a bold representation of the label’s world.

Yesterday I think Liam Hodges was the highlight of the day. It had a great sense of humour, and the prints and fabrication had really evolved. It was by far the most accomplished collection he has shown.

What other collections are you looking forward to this season?

Prada and Comme des Garçons are always personal highlights, so I’m looking forward to both those shows in Milan and Paris. I am enamoured by Raf Simon’s vision at Calvin Klein, so that will definitely be a highlight in September at the co-ed show during New York Fashion Week.

Stefan cooke at man (fashion east, topman) look 3

Stefan Cooke at Man, spring 19

Are there any trends that are emerging from the collections so far?

This season in London a more casual and clean contemporary look [has been] most prevalent. There is also a lot of technical sportswear, in an array of colours, along with military and utilitarian detailing, especially in pieces such as sleeveless utility vests.

With the shorter schedule, do you think LFWM is still an important event for buyers?

London’s advantage is that it is at the beginning of fashion month, which is beneficial in so many ways. Buyers are looking out for trends, giving the designers the ability to set the tone for the season. London’s talent is fearless, full of creativity and has a great sense of humour.

I think London’s biggest opportunity is to be the first fashion city to question and rethink the traditional [catwalk] show template. How else can designers showcase their work in an unexpected way that engages and inspires buyers, press and even customers?

Do you have a preference for shows or presentations? What do you take from both?

Each designer should choose the format that best showcases their collection. Shows have long been considered as the next step after a presentation but often during presentations you can see garments and their intricacies much better which could be a better option for some designers.

I think an interesting schedule needs a combination of all different formats.

Can you highlight up to three items that stood out for you from the day?

A Cold Wall: the yellow jacket (above right)

Stefan Cooke: the tartan jacket (above left)

Martine Rose: leopard print jacket and striped trousers

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Martine Rose spring 19

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