London Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2018 just gave us brilliant collections in the midst of political uncertainty. Known for its fearless, experimental fashion, London didn’t disappoint insiders with fashion that above all celebrated individuality. One message stands out clearly from the Spring 2018 shows: Gender-fluid fashion is not just a trend, but is becoming an important fashion aesthetic. London, the streetwear capital, has given us several collections that take on the gender-fluid idea and push the boundaries of menswear to the brink.
Vivienne Westwood, the grand dame of British fashion, wowed the fashion week audience with an extravaganza titled “We Are the Motherfucker.” See it below.
At this politically charged show, models strutted the runway in Westwood’s signature prints and tailored clothing. But she also created a gender-fluid feel by sending down male models in skirts and female models in suits. Never afraid of expressing her unique point of view, Westwood is always on track with cutting-edge fashion.
Besides Westwood, a group of new talents also emerged from this season, each with a distinctive point of view on the future of fashion. These young designers deconstructed traditional ideas of menswear, instead playfully incorporating the concept of gender-fluidity as part of their message by sending out collections of unconventional clothing.
These designers brought gender-fluid fashion to the next level:
1. Harry Xu
A recent graduate from the prestigious Central Saint Martins, Xu showed his third collection, which meshed masculinity and femininity. He mixed traditional chiffon fabric with high-tech metallic materials and created a streetwear collection that’s functional with a touch of fantasy.
His use of silk chiffon with transparency details added a feminine feel to the collection. The highlights of the presentation were his last two looks. Instead of showing traditional men’s formal wear, Xu dressed two muscular male models in flowy silk chiffon gowns with intricate floral embellishments (above). It was a dramatic finish.
2. Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s Spring 2018 collection is about color explosions. It’s also about the freedom to express yourself through the art of fashion. A graduate from Central Saint Martins, he looks to club kid culture for inspiration.
This season, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy paid homage to Westwood, McQueen and Galliano with a kaleidoscopic collection that’s both funky and romantic. From platform boots to peplum-detailed jackets, he gave us life when he sent out male models in flowy puff skirts.
3. Bobby Abley
What do Teletubbies and teddy bears in harnesses have in common? They were inspirations for Abley’s Spring 2018 collection. Known for his wit and humor, Abley entertained the audience with one of London Men’s Fashion Week’s most whimsical shows.
Images of Teletubbies were everywhere, appearing on backpacks, accessories and T-shirts. But it was the collection’s streetwear sensibility that captured fashion insiders’ attention. From oversized hoodies to colorful track pants, Abley gave his customers a wearable collection that’s is equal aprts youthful and cheeky.
MAN is a menswear incubator founded in 2005. This innovative concept allows new and upcoming designers, with the help of sponsors, to showcase their work collectively, and it’s never short of new ideas and inspirations.
For Spring 2018, a trio of new talents showed their collections together: Per Götesson, Art School and Rottingdean Bazaar. We’re most intrigued by Art School’s presentation, titled “a nonbinary paradise.” We saw a diverse cast of models, from plus-size girls to femme boys, sashay the runway in eclectic garments. With gender-fluid fashion and a spirit of body positivity, we applaud the inclusive message.
5. Edward Crutchley
Corsets, romantic prints, nylon knee-length stockings — Crutchley showed these exquisite pieces by his eponymous label with gusto. After 13 years with Louis Vuitton, he launched his label in 2015 with the mission of creating luxurious and exclusive clothing.
Crutchley’s Spring 2018 collection also showed off his impeccable craftsmanship. His gorgeous brocade print parka jacket and high-waist bombers were a few of the standouts. His last look particularly wowed the audience: a handsome male model in a romantic, navy leaf-print bouffant skirt with matching petticoat. The outfit beautifully captured Crutchley’s gender-fluid spirit.
Featured image by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD