Monday 6th January

| BY Paul Toner

John Alexander Skelton: Menswear AW20

We ended the penultimate day of London Fashion Week Men’s with a piping hot glass of mulled wine and the chance to experience a fashion show like no other. John Alexander Skelton’s off-schedule presentations have consistently challenged the perceived notions of what a presentation can be, known to drag the menswear press to dingy pubs and even having his models sniff spectators as they watch in awe. This season, the designer decided to skip both the boozer and a modelling casting process entirely. Instead stood only Skelton’s younger brother Ryan, who paraded around Zabludowicz Collection in Kentish Town reciting a poem pulled from Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas’ incomplete play which was eventually adapted into a BBC production when he died in 1954.

As Ryan released cries of “saliva, snowflakes and moulted feathers of dreams,” he grappled away white sheets that revealed mannequins sporting this season’s offerings – picking them up one-by-one with his left hand, spinning in circles before placing each upright. Skelton purposefully wanted to give life to even the ‘most banal of colours’ this time around – using putty grey natural wool yarns throughout. Whilst tail and waistcoats may appear simplistic at a first glance, some were made using up to 11 different types of wool that were handwoven by artisans in Scotland and Ireland. In researching Thomas, Skelton discovered the poet both liked a drink and was known to look a little disheveled. Jumpers were left purposely a little scruffy looking, with overcoats and blazers also appearing slightly wrinkled. Maintaining a terrific eye for detail, Skelton even added additional patches and pockets to trousers like the industrious workers did who would join Thomas down at the pub. Wear these down your local Wetherspoons and you’ll be the best-dressed chap inside.

Photographs by Oscar Foster-Kane.