Ladies and gentlemen (actually, really just the gentlemen as it is menswear fashion week), I present to you the halterneck for Spring/Summer 2019. Don’t you think your wardrobe needs one? It might not be the most obvious of propositions, more akin to being found among one’s Nineties or Noughties past (though the style was originally popular back in the Thirties and Forties, revived again in the Seventies), but this season London designers seem to be enthralled by the apron-like design that so loves to flash the flesh.
Daniel W. Fletcher Spring/Summer 2019 menswear show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
Daniel W. Fletcher, whose collection echoed a little too much of his JW Anderson consultation skills, showed off solid arms and backs with versions in white and blue worn tucked into jeans to give something of a retro sailor spirit to the looks. He continued with the reveal for corsets over shirts, tied utility-style at the side (Craig Green’s tech influence can be felt across the calendar this season), which filled out the rest of the collection – one that put spliced trouser ankles at the centre of its offering: one part going out, one part going to work.
The Central Saint Martins graduate and LVMH Prize-noted designer put only a peppering of those beautiful billowy shirts for which he’s so well known among the collection, which overall would have benefitted from having more of him in it. Because it all felt a little too familiar, and a little uptight on the catwalk. Yet when he stepped out at the end to take his bow, dressed in his own designs, they looked great and it worked – those trousers a genuine innovation in that menswear sector. If you’re not convinced by the halter, maybe try these instead?
Edward Crutchley Spring/Summer 2019 men and women show in London. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
Back to the neckline in question, though, and Edward Crutchley, another Central Saint Martins alumni and protegee of Kim Jones during his Louis Vuitton days, who put forward the option too – yet it was perhaps more tongue-in-cheek given that backstage he explained how he was marrying a more commercial element to his work for balance this time round and, yes, he did realise that perhaps not everyone is going to go for it… but it’s a show after all and he liked it. So there. But the designer was quick to laugh and chuckle at his backless segue. For him, the inspiration came from RnB in the early Nineties when roomy trousers were at large to anchor a halter below.
Alex Mullins Spring/Summer 2019 menswear show in London. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
Meanwhile Alex Mullins – yet another Central Saint Martins alum – explored more of an apron terrain: a floral halterneck completing the last passage of the collection: half equestrian, half weirdly-shaped accoutrements earlier on and neon vests over jackets to begin with. What’s interesting is to see designers exploring this idea of exposing something underneath on top – so something like a corset or a halter wisp over jackets and heavier garments to create a new silhouette and digestion of layers. What usually reveals flesh is now revealing clothes.
Mullins’ accessories continued with the quirky: pebble bags and those comprised of what could have been petals or prawn crackers in their curly formation. Boxy and breezy and in a colour palette that both calmed and zinged, this was a refreshing summer collection that tried to introduce us to clothing concepts we can’t usually quite get our heads around – cropped proportions and slits in shirts, and, of course, those halternecks.