Lou Dalton Menswear Fall Winter 2013 London
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Lou Dalton Menswear Fall Winter 2013 London

When it comes to choosing an opening act to represent what ‘London Collections: Men’ is all about, Lou Dalton ticks all the boxes. Classic tailoring, edgy detailing, and a touch of that very British sense of rebellion, Dalton’s cool and restrained approach to menswear once again served as the ideal first voice of the season, further reinforcing the necessity and appeal of London menswear’s very own pedestal.

In a sober palette of charcoal grays, blacks, and navy, the RCA graduate showed a parade of impeccably tailored suits, shirts, and outerwear that would inevitably end up on the wish list of any male in the audience making wish lists, and even some out loud. However, what makes the Lou Dalton’s shows so distinctive is that despite their apparent classicism, her clothes and detailing always conjure a less-than classic sartorial character, be it a preppy WWII aviator to the street smart Taxi Driver-obsessed underdog from her last show.

This season, she’s brought us a Texan oil baron crossed with a Scottish local hero, clad in robust double-breasted coats, gorgeous Shetland jumpers and the occasional tartan trousers in green and red. There has been a shift from her street-inspired Spring Summer offering to a more grown-up, high-end feel, with luxuriously solid fabrics, neat patchwork, and cleverly placed panels of oil-slick sheen, putting Dalton ever more assuredly on the map of menswear stardom. That said, she didn’t lose her signature rawness and eye for blunt simplicity, showing most in her oversized overcoats and hooded parkas, slimmer-cut ankle-skimming trousers, and sturdy, squared-off boots with golden toes created in collaboration with heritage bootmakers Greenson.

On the backdrop of all the amazing subtle detailing, the oversized PVC trousers seemed more like an afterthought than the gasp-worthy moment they beckoned; on the other hand, the worker overalls-inspired one-piece and the teal suit closing the show, made definite show-stoppers setting us off in just the right mood for three days of celebrating innovation and achievement in menswear design.

-Maria Dimitrova