Sheer florals show soft side to British men's fashion

LONDON, June 17 Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:35pm EDT

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LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - British menswear designers showcased a mixture of transparent florals and detailed paisley prints accessorized with quilted handbags and coloured briefcases on the final day of London's first standalone men's fashion event.

Designer J.W. Anderson's showcase for London Collections Men featured teddy bear prints, sheer floral patterns and knitted ensembles. The models wearing black wigs and headscarves tied to one side carried quilted handbags and branded sketchbooks.

Vivid pink and red jackets were seen alongside knitted bell bottom trousers and tops, as well as shirts and shorts with a printed paintbrush effect.

A crisp palette of pale greys, white, blue and ochre with neat tailored finishes and contrasting colour details were seen at Richard Nicoll's debut menswear collection.

"I thought the colour was good. Good colour, good silhouettes. It looked well made. A lot of collections in London look very worked on but not necessarily well made. This looks chic," said style blogger Scott Schuman, of The Sartorialist.

Leather jackets in teal and aqua with contrasting details also featured alongside rich paisley prints, with models carrying coloured briefcases and duffel bags.

Menswear is the fastest growing fashion sector and the three-day London show has seen a mixture of haute couture and high-street designers showcase the best of British menswear featuring fashion luminaries such as Tom Ford and Paul Smith.

"You can go to Savile Row, Burlington Arcade or Jermyn Street and see fantastic heritage, and then there are probably the most cutting edge designers in the world showing in London, amazing street style, you sort of get everything," said Dylan Jones, editor of men's magazine GQ.

"It's the new generation of men who are actually spending money, they've learnt how to shop like women, and they're going out and buying clothes. It's great for the economy." (Additional reporting by Matthew Stock; Editing by Sophie Hares)