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Men's Wear Designer Inspirations: Back to the Future

Designers showing in London this season were inspired by everything from World War II military uniforms to U.K. heroes such as James Bond.

Menswear London Gieves & Hawkes

Savile Row Tailor Gieves & Hawkes

Photo By Tim Jenkins

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

Designers showing at London Collections: Men this season were inspired by everything from World War II military uniforms to U.K. heroes such as James Bond.

GIEVES & HAWKES

“This is the season of the modern gentleman explorer, the adventurer — he could be anywhere, from Africa to the French Riviera by way of the Grand European Tour of the 18th century. Our premises were once part of the Royal Geographical Society, and to draw upon this heritage is a remarkable privilege. What we have created is very elegant — a pared-down collection of cool colors — off-whites, creams and pastels. It is about how to live and dress in tailoring that is modern.”

— Jason Basmajian, creative director

NEXT: Nicole Farhi >>

RELATED STORY: Dapper Dressing Fuels London Men's Sales >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

NICOLE FARHI

“I was interested in exploring the idea of Botanitech — mixing the organic and the natural with the synthetic and the technical.”

— Joanna Sykes, creative director

NEXT: Spencer Hart >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Spencer Hart

Spencer Hart

Photo By Tim Jenkins

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

SPENCER HART

“Nearly all Spencer Hart collections are influenced by music. This season is the result of listening to a lot of funk — especially James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic. Listening to the music in my studio drives rhythm through what I am creating, though this collection is much more purist and uncommercial, finding where the brand really comes from — it has been more about what I wanted to do. I am also in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz in designing a unique, custom-built car, which I feel has informed my designs this season; very understated but very powerful.”

— Nick Hart

NEXT: Christopher Raeburn >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Christopher Raeburn

Christopher Raeburn

Photo By Tim Jenkins

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN

“This season is very arid — hot, sandy and utilitarian. It was inspired partly by the desert operations conducted during World War II, in which functionality was paramount. However, there was also an element of fun — the desert Land Rovers were a dusty pink! Our collection is similar; functional yet irreverent. Every feature has been considered — texture, layering, fabrics — each piece has been deconstructed and reworked.”

— Christopher Raeburn

NEXT: Katie Eary >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

KATIE EARY

“We are bringing it straight from the rabbit hutches of Leith, [Scotland,] courtesy of Irvine Welsh’s ‘Marabou Stork Nightmares.’”

— Katie Eary

NEXT: John Smedley >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations John Smedley

John Smedley

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

JOHN SMEDLEY

“Inspiration has come from a number of different sources, including garments worn by myriad international rowing crews at Henley Royal Regatta. Key styles are our fully fashioned pique polo shirts created by our 30-gauge, fully fashioned knitting machines.”

— Ian Maclean, managing director

NEXT: Mr. Start >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

MR. START

“Spring/summer 2014 will be another step forward for us, beyond the formalwear specialty we have established. The season will see softer tailoring and a more casual feel about the range; deconstructed blazers, polo shirts, intarsia knits and the addition of products including shirt jackets and blousons.”

— Philip Start

NEXT: Lou Dalton >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

LOU DALTON

“Relaxed, unstructured tailoring mixed in with printed cottons heavily inspired by aviation. Form, structure and light.”

— Lou Dalton

NEXT: Topman >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

TOPMAN

“Post-punk London meets Nashville.”

— Gordon Richardson, creative director

NEXT: Hardy Amies >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

HARDY AMIES

“Looking through our archives, we unearthed a working relationship between Hardy and Saul Bass in the Sixties, including an advertising campaign designed by Bass for Hardy’s range of scents and also his take on the ‘HA’ monogram. This led to a color palette inspired by Bass’ film artwork; specifically the poster he designed for “The Man With the Golden Arm,” and the opening sequence for Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” which directly influences the stripes within the collection. Broken stripes appear on exclusively developed U.K. woven fabrics used on unstructured tailoring and heavier canvases for outerwear. The highlights of fiery red, cyan blue and teal run through the collection, accenting our customary French navy, military green and bone color palette.”

— Mehmet Ali, design director

NEXT: Oliver Spencer >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

OLIVER SPENCER

“Texture, color, clean lines.”

— Oliver Spencer

NEXT: Richard James >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Richard James

Richard James

Photo By Tim Jenkins

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

RICHARD JAMES

“This season I looked at the theme of ‘sundown’ — I wanted to do something based around holidays, and that point in the day where one sits down, has a drink and considers how to spend the rest of the evening. It is a moment of absolute relaxation and yet anticipation — a simple concept, but a happy one. The use of bright cocktail colors inspires memories of holidays gone by, but it is refreshed through the quality of fabric. The suits are actually made from shirting linen. Two years ago, this would have been impossible, but changes in technology have allowed us to create suits which are almost weightless.”

— Richard James

NEXT: Rag & Bone >>

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

RAG & BONE

“For SS 2014, we explored modern Japanese minimalism and French workwear. There is also a nod to Nineties sportswear and, of course, military.”

— Marcus Wainwright

NEXT: Richard Nicoll >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Richard Nicoll

Richard Nicoll

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

RICHARD NICOLL

“I have been looking at the minimal 1977 portraits by Pietro Mattioli of young patrons of Club Hey in Zurich. The collection is a precise celebration of DIY glamour, modern androgyny and the outsider’s ‘beautiful ugliness’ to establish a new standard of normal. My favorite pieces are the Linder Sterling collage prints.”

— Richard Nicoll

NEXT: Christopher Shannon >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Christopher Shannon

Christopher Shannon

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

CHRISTOPHER SHANNON

“I was thinking about a period in my life which I was kind of embarrassed of — leaving school and going to clubs in town, in the wake of Cream and the super club, later Nineties when the grunginess had gone and people were setting up ‘clubwear’ labels. It’s such a specific period of time and a very certain look, I wanted to explore that for SS ’14, the opposite of tasteful, luxury fashion.”

— Christopher Shannon

NEXT: E. Tautz >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations E Tautz

E. Tautz

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Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

E. TAUTZ

“I am drawn to the idea of a richer men’s tailored wardrobe, like that of late 18th century, an idea that resurfaces repeatedly over time, most recently and dazzlingly in London in the late 1960s. Complex woven wools, intricate brightly colored jacquards, printed silks. Man as strutting bird of paradise.”

— Patrick Grant

NEXT: Rake >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Rake

Rake

Photo By Tim Jenkins

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

RAKE

“Our inspiration this season is the former racing car driver, Francois Cevert. He was the protégée of racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, who looked on him almost as a son, and after Cevert’s untimely death in 1973, Stewart never raced again. Cevert had trained as a classical pianist, but it is particularly his racing career that we took as our influence for the collection — especially through our color scheme, which closely mirrors that of Cevert’s racing colors; red, yellow and blue — what we are calling Cevert Blue. He was racing in a time when the drivers were gentlemen, when to drive was a true skill.”

— Clive Darby

NEXT: Pringle of Scotland >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Pringle of Scotland

Pringle of Scotland

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND

“Traditional tartan is explored through varying treatments and scales, including a pleating effect with the tartan in three-dimensional relief to create looks that are fresh and current, but take their starting point from the brand’s past.”

— Massimo Nicosia, head of men’s wear

NEXT: Hackett London >>

London Collections Men SS14 Inspirations Hackett London

Hackett London

Photo By Tim Jenkins

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 05/30/2013

HACKETT LONDON

“My inspiration this season has been the past heroes of the Fifties and Sixties — James Bond, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” the South of France. Colorblocking is important for us this season, and we have used a lot more color, with brightly colored shirts, trousers and even raincoats in yellows, reds and pinks. There is less emphasis on “sportswear” — but of course, the Breton stripe is always an easy classic for us, as are polka dots.”

— Jeremy Hackett