The London Street Versus Jermyn Street
The cool, the bold and the boring at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017
Agi & Sam
A neat balance of street and chic at Agi & Sam in a Saturday morning show with lots of pep. Smeared camouflage suits, with jackets cut like delivery men; padded bowling jackets or a fab one-meter-long T-Shirt with an image of Dell-Boy Trotter. From cult TV show Only Fools and Horses about two boys from Peckham determined to make their fortune. A very insider English joke, and all the better for it. Best of all, reconfigured Eisenhower jackets in putty and pink – cleverly cut and very wearable.
These local award winners also introduced women’s wear, most notably a beautiful Chesterfield check combo, knee-length skirt and bomber/cape finished with midriff elastic stripes. Worn on a blonde Asian model, the sort any intelligent man would want to date. Accomplished and cool, Agi & Sam are a fashion house with a future.
Jermyn Street St James’s
We do love coming to London, but. Designed as a showcase for classic British fashion fare, the multi-brand show Jermyn Street St James’s was a travesty of editing and styling. Staged on a mini runway set on legendary menswear Mecca, Jermyn Street, this was an incoherent mish-mash, devoid of fashion news and failing in its desired goal – to highlight the skills and classicism of British gentleman tailoring. Instead, we got all-white linen suits worn on models that looked like the unemployed butler of a deposed African dictator; distressingly predictable linen suits, whose cuts were in fashion when the UK voted itself into Europe four decades ago. A clever casting and one truly fabulous brocade dressing gown from New & Lingwood provided a smidgen of relief, but not near enough. Talk about an incompetent runway show.
Cut outs galore at Nasir Mazhar in his warrior in an Urban Jungle collection. Mazhar mixed up large-format camouflage for nylon tanks, multi-pocket cargo pants and some sensational boxer shorts – made in layers of mesh and stain. Built on top of Terminator buckle boots the collection had plenty of kick. A blend of the bold and the absurd. Quite which young man – or woman – will wear his cut out parachute nylon ballet shorts was hard to imagine. However, his show was a jolt of energy in a low-key London season which has underperformed so far.