London Fashion Week, June 2024: The Highlights

By Wendyrosie Scott

4 weeks ago

Here's what you might have missed


Wondering what went down at London Fashion Week Menswear this June? Wendyrosie Scott takes a look back at this wonderful event.

London Fashion Week Menswear Highlights

David Beckham and Caroline Rush British luxury news june 2024

Caroline Rush, David Beckham and 1664 Blanc open London Fashion Week June 2024. (c) Genevieve Leah

The June edition of London Fashion Week(end) more usually focuses on menswear, and in ongoing celebration of its 40th anniversary, the BFC (British Fashion Council) enabled much needed changes. As an entity with such longevity in an industry that is dealing with many crises both globally and nationally, the BFC – which formerly held a rather rigid and exclusive stance – has had little choice but to switch it up. Additionally, an emergent greater digital democracy in design is demanded by a confident new generation aware of their independent ability to formulate alternatives with impact both within and without the industry. We are all having to adapt, and thus operating in a world where collaboration and cooperation is surely seen as a positive. 

This year, the BFC endeavored to honor the range of British brands and designers in menswear, from notable luminaries such as the globally revered Saville Row tailors to diverse cultures that have a long-standing influence on the fashion industry. Over an extended weekend spanning three days, runway shows, presentations, exhibitions, panel discussions, dinners and parties made for a better-connected creative community. A noted positive was a more relaxed and receptive approach. ‘This is not a normal Fashion Week,’ stated Caroline Rush, Chief executive of the BFC. She continued: ‘We wanted to create a cultural moment to ignite the imagination and spotlight the breadth of British menswear and storytelling that makes UK menswear unique.’ The wider connectivity within the BFC meant the event stepped forward feet first. Here are some highlights…

ROKER

 

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Roker presented customised shoes for the dandy and daring, in several sophisticated tones. This was cool clobber for the feet, with an eye-catching collection and super stylish presentation. A staunchly independent brand, Roker is spearheaded by designer and founder Alim Latif, whose modest presentation was equally reflected in a man who is quietly confident of his ‘footwear finery’ and who let the presentation speak for itself. Desirable, delightful and provocative, the combination of fun, accomplished craftsmanship and attitude encapsulated a brand destined for greater success. With platform soles for men and women and Cuban heels aplenty, their exaggerated design could run into cartoon territory. But what is fashion if not over-exaggeration?

Hailing from the North East (hence their name), the brand’s shoes are handmade in East London using traditional machinery and crafted by folk with over 20 years of experience. These shoes are sculptural, structured and statuesque, with shapely heels and shiny, supple leather. A sensuous shoe suitable for any gender, persuasion and description, which amounts to genuinely inclusive footwear. Did somebody say high heels for men? Good gracious sire, whatever next. Well, watch this space and you’ll find out….(It’s been going on for decades, don’t you know….) rokeratelier.com

DenzilPatrick

Model wearing blue and white trousers with matching utility-style shirt and black shoes.

DenzilPatrick SS25

This duo comprises UK Northerner James Bosley and London-born Daniel Gayle, who together double up as future-forward partners in creativity and life, each in possession of good energy – as reflected in their clothes. The brand was formulated by Gayle. who is at the helm of designing eye-catching and damn fine clothing, while Bosley is Artistic Director. Their show collection encapsulated classicism and cleverly crafted tailoring into an expression of beauty, and the show theme was set within the context of a brass band. Runway models swung and clutched shiny instruments, honouring a melodic and cohesive collection. Delightful designs combined embroidery and embellishment, and there were many interpretations of what constitutes trousers – the very personification of fancy pants. It was an orchestral collection which created inclusive creations for everyone. 

With so much choice in one show, it may not have worked, yet this collection serenely connected, and it was a joyful, fresh and fruity (yes, fruity) perspective on menswear – an area which is often limited. Not only was it uplifting with its pastel colours (yikes, I’ve never been a fan, preferring solid and bold), but it cleverly combined fabrics, such as a sheer and diaphonous green sports style shirt-cardis paired with crisp, cropped, slightly flared pants, which were as dashing as anything from The Great Gatsby. Next was a model in a delicious mint green double-breasted trouser suit, with super cool ice-cream colours. A thick plaid strap placed on some outfits was a nod to the band and a fairly straightforward, simple design addition which created such sophistication that it was genius. denzilpatrick.com

Institute Of Creative Arts Exhibition

This focused on black culture and centred around self-love, featuring photography by Stephen Akinyemi and curated by broadcaster Clara Amfo. It also showcased South Asian culture and considered patterns, textiles and craftsmanship, with photography by Tami Aftab and curated by writer and content creator Simran Randhawa. The exhibition also touched on queer culture, with a spotlight on young creative voices from the LGBTQIA+ community, with photography by Dani D’Ingeo and curated by model Kai-Isaiah Jamal.

Maharishi

 

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The 30th Anniversary private viewing of archival Maharishi pieces – including a preview of the forthcoming Spring Summer 2025 collection – was a revelation. Staged at their ultra cool and swanky premises in Soho, it shone out like a rough diamond determinedly glistening in an area of London that, not so long ago, was authentically decadent, stylish and deliciously seedy, but now mainly hosts tourists and homogeneous, soulless stores. However, the brand is an old pro in the game of fashion, and is not simply surviving, but thriving. Their hand-tailored garments are wearable art pieces, each unique, often embroidered, and crafted in textiles such as hemp – an in-vogue material which has, thankfully, been better developed to sidestep the scratchy territory it formerly occupied. With commendable credentials and a vision to create environmentally conscious, durable, utilitarian clothing and technical outerwear in innovative fabrics, the brand’s long-term inclusion of organic cotton and upcycled military clothing reflects a respect for nature while applying the latest tech. Eastern and Western artworks and silhouettes combine hi-vis or reflective camouflage patterns and take a pacifist approach to military-grade design, determinedly detaching disruptive patterns from their noted military associations and reclaiming their symbolism as a power which steps away from war and toward an ethos rooted in nature and creativity.

The Final Word

The last day at the Groucho Club in Soho was certainly celebratory from AM to late PM, with events which took a lighthearted look at the fun side of fashion in jubilant celebration. There was also a presentation of showcase designers including Carlota Barrera, Denzilpatrick, Derrick, Harri, Kyle Ho, Paolo Carzana, Roker and LUEDER. The latter is London-based designer Marie Lueder, whose work was reminiscent of 1980s Gothic wear, straight out of clubland but with a twist. This is fully functioning, fashion-focused, engineered menswear which acts as armour for daily wear and life. A featured showcase creative, Leuder was one of the few women designers the BFC chose this LFWM Weekend, which is high praise indeed.  The inclusion of sustainable material such as organic denim, recycled jersey, and regenerated nylon saw her work favourably acknowledged within Cambridge University’s accelerator program for Sustainable Leadership.

This apt new look is welcome (and would surely make Dior proud!). Yet greater governmental support is required, and the BFC have identified five priorities for a (new) government to support economic and social growth, employment and opportunity in the fashion sector. Finally, the emergent generation of designers possess greater awareness of poignant areas such as ethically sourced fashion – which is costly – and are actively choosing not to accept support from brands who continue to use materials such as fur or exotic skins. At last, the BFC seems to agree. With their buoyant anniversary events continuing throughout 2024, watch this space for the latest in lifestyle and design…