Say Yes To The Dress (Or Trousers)
In 2019, it’s no longer surprising to see a dress among the menswear collections. Just as it is no longer a surprise to see women wearing trousers. Gender and identity remain prevalent narratives on the runways, and while arguably any such movement can be turned into an exploitable trend, for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy it’s been his authentic MO from the outset. The charismatic Scottish designer, who is as famed for his club nights as he is his clothes, has long celebrated inclusivity and diversity in both his designs and his performance-like shows which so lend themselves to what London as a creative hub is underpinned by.
Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY Fall/Winter 2019 show in London. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
But far from being just a master of performance with an ability to create a convincing story and world, Loverboy proved he can create serious clothes. This season, in an ode to The Story of Peter Pan, the designer updated the magical fairytale through his own contemporary lens, to create a Neverland full of swagged and ruched or Art Deco dresses, vibrant knits, and exuberant outerwear for a multitude of trenches. While there was still a signature performative aspect at work and the grand venue of Wapping Power Station, neither of these elements could outshine the progression and development that was so obvious to witness in the brand itself. Clearly edited and refined made the output here ever stronger. No matter how you identify yourself, now would be the time to say yes to the dress – Loverboy had some great options to choose from.
Alex Mullins Fall/Winter 2019 show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
Meanwhile in a clever LFW twist, Alex Mullins showed a breakout Autumn/Winter 2019 menswear collection all on women. It was a shrewd move, and not a bit out of place. The designer merely referred to them as “handsome” clothing in a whiff of a press release. Western-inspired and with all the allure of a Calvin by Raf, but less complicated, there were yoke shirts and cartoon-clad trousers, an incredible ribbed knit ensemble for look two, oversized jackets, and flashes of neon. Apparently Mullins, in much the same way that JW did before him, had found his menswear designs being snapped up by womenswear buyers. It makes sense.
Details of the Alex Mullins Fall/Winter 2019 show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
The only real question to arise from any of this, however, has been how it will impact the fashion calendar, so many labels now showing together and choosing to do so during the womenswear season. How long before menswear fashion weeks will even exist is the latest question being bandied about.