Monday 7th January

| BY Richard Gray

Fashion East: Menswear AW19

The capital’s conveyor belt of fashion design talent, Fashion East, continues to add a seemingly limitless register of exciting new names to the London Fashion Week Menswear schedule.

Tonight the Dublin-born, University of Westminster MA grad, Robyn Lynch Ireland showed her Irish roots when she smashed together traditionally made cable knits with sportswear. “Casual pieces” – read tracksuits in green, navy blue and white – paid homage to sportswear-heavy wardrobe worn by her father. Jeans came wide at the top and then belted as if “borrowed from your dad,” said Lynch. An Aran knit vest came with a nylon inset in the sleeves, leaving them wide and baggy. This caught the eye of the all-powerful Japanese store buyers who sat front row and manically wrote notes. Next stop Tokyo?

Nigerian-born, St Martins grad Mowalola Ogunlesi, describes her work as a “celebration of the black African male”. Tonight this exciting young talent looked to the “petrol heads,” of Lagos and the city’s psychedelic music scene for inspiration. It was an unabashed riot of sexy clubwear: a burgundy ciré coat stood out, as did Ogunlesi’s cutting skills. A classic white shirt was skilfully dissected; a burgundy leather version too – they were as clever as they were sexy. For the serious clubber: an abstract leopard print halter-top and jeans. These were crazy. And cool.

“It’s ghost printing,” said the designer Stefan Cooke of his white tassel-fringe print on black shirt and the vintage doilies print, that appeared on a red zip-front coat. It’s the designer’s latest technique, which explores the world of trompe l’oeil, as he and his partner Jake Burt continue to create some seriously standout clothes. But the duo’s tailoring was best: elongated wool coats came with quirky new pocket flaps, these will speak to the department buyers sat in the audience, and were immaculately cut.
The city’s reputation as the centre of new-style tailoring, and as the wellspring of world-beating fashion ideas, continues.

Photography by Jason Lloyd- Evans. 

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