London Fashion Week Men’s AW18: Ten Top Trends

With the beginnings of a new year, so too comes the biannual celebration of British menswear in the form of London Fashion Week Men’s. Notably smaller than its older sister London Fashion Week, Men’s offers a critical platform for both established and emerging talent upon the horizon of all our future wardrobes. Following his attendance of LFWM Autumn/Winter 18, Dale Lyster takes us through ten prominent trends omnipresent this season.

1. Corduroy 

Image: Isaac Carew for Oliver Spencer AW18. Credit: @TUSOLONDON

With a retrospective revival omnipresent in designers this season, it only seems natural that the coolest material in menswear has made a resurgence to complement leathers and suede’s across collections. Naturally leaning towards earthy tones ever-present at this time of year and well paired with a striking orange or red under-layer, corduroy in both jacket and trouser form seems the natural progression from denim in previous seasons. With many designers opting for a clean-cut approach to cord, it seems this trend will have longevity in it’s Seventies revival.


2. Seventies Referencing

Image: Harvey Newton-Haydon for Oliver Spencer AW/18. Credit: @harveynh

A somewhat forgotten about decade in menswear, atypically overshadowed by its eighties older brother, the seventies has made its eventual revival after seasons of referencing in the background. Designers from Oliver Spencer to Ben Sherman and House of Holland no longer flirted with the iconography of the seventies, but explicitly employed them through the fabrics, shapes and pieces themselves, whilst some updating them through cuttings and overall finishes. With corduroy dominating designer’s material of choice, and most opting for hues of dark wood and warm earth tones of peace, seventies menswear has well and truly made its stylist comeback.


3. Alternative American 

Image: An American asthetic reigns at John Lawrence Sullivan. Credit: @johnlawrencesullivan_official

At a time in which America is experiencing an identity crisis, it seems interesting John Lawrence Sullivan had his collection retrospectively reference a Western cowboy look in parts. Sullivan opted for very hard-hitting fabrics, predominantly consisting of leathers and the occasional glimpse of denim on a dark pallet. The pieces had an updated outlook and occasional nineties references in double-denim and The Matrix-esque coats and sunglasses. However, the main source of inspiration was that of American cult-pop, particularly from films such as Twin Peaks and Taxi Driver. With a great deal of American iconographies – see cowboy hats and boots – and a predominant theme of psychopaths, the show undoubtedly had a socially critical theme of current American affairs throughout.


4. The Bold Stripe

Image: Band of Outsiders paired the bold stripe throughout their trousers, in their Nordic collection. Credit: Band of Outsiders.

Spotted across designers from Band of Outsiders and Ben Sherman X House of Holland, the bold stripe trend can be thought to have come from natural selection following the dominance of sportswear in recent seasons. Consisting of one strong, primary stripe finished off with a complimenting thin stripe besides, the bold stripe has served as a loud additional to a traditional pair of trousers or jumper.


5. Checked Overcoats

Image: Checked overcoats came omnipresent in many forms throughout Astrid Anderson’s AW18 catwalks. Credit: @astridanderson.

A trend favoured from previous generations, the classic checked coat has taken a modern rethink in its over-sizing and loose cuttings upon casual weekend-wear. A trend embraced in tartans by Burberry and Paul Smith, additionally allows to be taken in a subtler tone by designers alike Ami, ASOS and Astrid Anderson (above).


6. A Masculinity Rethink

Image: Hard-hitting fabrics and traditionally masculine silhouettes and pieces take centre stage at John Lawrence Sullivan. Credit: @johnlawrencesullivan_official

Gender politics have taken centre stage in recent collections alongside many other social criticisms, with gender fluidity acting both implicitly and explicitly through collections. However, a more binary, retrospective approach was prominent this season. Many designers opted for traditional work-wear as silhouettes for models, with Oliver Spencer expressing his intention behind this was to mirror the social earthquakes of the Seventies, which seem apt to the modern day.


7. Hometown Glory

Image: Ben Sherman X House of Holland present traditional British tailoring and aesthetic, presented through House of Holland’s contemporary, playful touch. Credit: Ben Sherman

In a post-Brexit Britain, it seemed wise that many designers opted for a homegrown emphasis upon fabrics, pieces and inspirations in their shows. Whether this be for a more sustainable prominence or to highlight Britain’s menswear heritage and importance in the departure from our invaluable European cousins however remains unknown. Ben Sherman X Henry Holland placed emphasis upon Northern, working-class heritage in their dynamic, Billy Elliot-esque collection. Whilst direction placed upon both traditional British fabrics and contemporary designs allowed for smaller independent designers to come to the forefront.


8. The Cool Granddad Layering

Image: Street Style favourite Richard Biedul in Daks London and Chester Barrie for day three of London Fashion Week Men’s. Credit: @richardbieldul.

In traditional layering season, both designers and street-style goers naturally opted for their complimenting layers. However, what assumed dominance this season was the reinvention of the granddad look. The diamond print, sleeveless V-neck jumper was of popular choice in street style this season with a coordinated roll-neck under-layer. Whilst designers alike Qaisimi opted to layer their pieces in oversized, loosely cut pieces.


9. Sportswear Formal 

Image: Formal Sportwear is perfectly encapsulated in Tinie Tempah’s What We Wear. Credit: @ww.wear

With a dominance of sportswear across previous seasons and fluidity in formalities, it seems natural that Autumn/Winter would lean itself to a more formal update to traditional footwear, rather than sportswear casualising formal pieces from previous Spring/Summer seasons.  Tinie Tempah’s What We Wear managed to perfectly encapsulate this trend, with the designer and chart topper himself naturally leaning towards a more athletic aesthetic.


10. Non-conforming Suiting 

Image: Band of Outsiders present their take on the non-conforming suit, opting for an appropriate mustard, insulating take for their Nordic-inspired collection. Credit: @bandofoutsiders

With formalities being transcended across seasons for years now, it seems this trend has evolved into the non-conforming suit. Perhaps menswear is mirroring the more contemporary approach to the office, think of the non-conforming suit as the work-wear for the upcoming generation. Across many designers this season, matching two pieces were prevalent and in multiform; consisting of various fittings, silhouettes, patterns and hues, though all radically rethinking suiting.