Last month saw London Collections: Men (LCM) open the doors to its biggest and most impressive event to date. Unveiling the AW15 Menswear collection signalled the organisation’s sixth consecutive year, as well as an exciting start to 2015 for London Fashion. This four-day event included a host of returning global brands such as Alexander McQueen, Burburry Prorsum, Moschino, Paul Smith, and Tom Ford, as well as some new additions: Barbour, Coach and Todd Lynn.
Many of these brands demonstrate innovative takes on various iconic British styles, assuring that particular looks have become mainstays within international menswear collections. An element of this recycling was especially prevalent throughout the Alexander McQueen show.
The opening outfits had more of a punk feel than the later influence of military styling. Edgy models donned pinstriped suits labelled with the bold slogans– ‘honour,’ ‘valour,’ and ‘truth’, delivering the narrative, as well as the historical theme for the show.
Designed by creative director Sarah Burton, the collection this year was inspired by the theme of military uniforms:
‘It is sometimes forgotten that the uniform is a testament to equality. At work and at war, the dress uniform has long stood as a symbol that all men are equal in the face of duty – sharing equal honour, valour, and truth.’
Uniform is defined as a prescribed set of clothes identifying members of an organisation. Therefore, it is a testament to equality because all persons within a party are united in their purpose, demonstrated by what they are wearing. Subsequently, they merge together as one unit, serving a combined goal in the face of duty and sharing, as well as exhibiting, equal amounts of honour, valour and truth, as a result. Yet, uniform can also be conceived as a testament to differentiating between organisations. For example, in military terms, on the battlefield the German army would have been wearing a different uniform to the British. As a result, the armies were identified and distinguished from one another through their clothing.
Alexander McQueen’s AW15 menswear collection can be understood as a uniform symbolic of British history and heritage. Burton’s concoction of double-breasted jackets and saddlebag pockets mixed with earthy palettes of Khaki greens recalls the British military uniform. Moreover, the inclusion of the vibrant red floral printed velour suits create connections with the one hundred year anniversary of the First World War, which was commemorated last November. Further to this, the Savile row style tailoring, pinstriped suits and shiny brogues pay homage to traditional British styles and conceptions by serving as evidence for how certain looks have become mainstays within Menswear fashions over the years.