Lou Dalton Menswear Fall Winter 2015 London
Everyone Loves Lou.
That's the general impression at London Collections:Men, whether it's through knowing the likeable, passionate designer personally, or simply being a devotee of her quietly crafted, resonant clothing. Audiences are vocal, appreciative and enthusiastic. And Dalton's face, running out at the end of each show — thrilled, touched, pink with embarrassment — has become as familiar a part of the schedule as her collections themselves.
Today's show, with it's nearly-black palette of murky tartans and MA-1 nylons, was focused on one of menswear's seldom-articulated queries: what lies beneath? So Dalton exposed the vulnerabilities within her tailoring, and alluded to the anarchy suppressed by menswear's rigid, unforgiving control. Thwarted zip lines were cut through outerwear to reveal slashes of wool or Thunderbird comic-strip prints, and tufts of felted, brick-pink underlay crept out at unexpected joints in doubled-up coats and jackets.
Beyond the aesthetics, the show also highlighted Dalton's affinities with Margaret Howell, who will show in her Wigmore Street store tomorrow morning. The two share a passion for well-crafted, enduring menswear, albeit expressed in markedly different ways; Howell reinforces, adjusts and refines — whilst Dalton questions, endlessly pulling things apart. But it's not hard to see Dalton's future following a path like Howell's — becoming an independent, thoughtfully paced, quietly driven linchpin of 21st century British menswear. In fact, she's probably already there.