Nothing quite represents the diversity of London menswear design talent like the Fashion East Installations. With its impressive alumni graduating to MAN (the joint initiative between Topman and Fashion East), NEWGEN and on-schedule solo shows, this is a preview of the menswear stars of the future. This season, a grandiose Georgian town house near Buckingham Palace was invaded by an eye-full of fashion. 'Each room packed its own punch, whether gentle, sexy, comedy, mysterious or warped,' said Fashion East founder, Lulu Kennedy. 'I couldn't have loved it more,' she added, 'talk about London falvour!'
First up was Joseph Turveys 101 Dalmatians themed presentation, complete with five adorable puppies. The canine theme ran from motif knits, right down to spotted Hush Puppies. 'It all started with Cruella De Vil,' said the LCF graduate, 'I wanted to make a gang for her.' Turveys pack also wore polka-dot bomber jackets with spotted silk scarves that will be a winter wardrobe hit.
Next up cosmic creations with Bobby Ableys solar system printed shorts and jackets, topped off with silver space helmets. One model even sat martian-style in a huge metal spaceship. Highlights included a boxy tailored jacket and backpack woven with shimmering copper thread and a teddy-bear motif. 'The bear is my mums which she gave me when I moved to London. Hell pop up somewhere in every collection,' said Abley, whos background at Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott explains his combination of craft with absurdity.
Showing for the third time with Fashion East was Kit Neale. Neale assisted Gareth Pugh and Way Perry, the former Fashion Director of magazine Man About Town, before settling on a degree at Ravensbourne. His varied background helped to produce a confidently styled collection of bold colours screen printed onto boiler suits, puffa jackets and backpacks, teamed with vibrant checked shirts. Preoccupied by the 'eccentricity of British establishments' (this time, 'the greasy spoon') this heavily-tattooed designer is definitely the one to watch for next season.
For his sophomore menswear collection, Maarten Van Der Horst (who also shows his womenswear line at Fashion East), layered well-known logos (see which ones you can identify) over his own heavy-metal inspired monograms. Inspired by 'consumer brand submission', Van Der Horst screen-printed his fascinating abstract prints across t-shirts, hoodies and baggy tracksuits bottoms.
Finally it was milliner Nasir Mazhar. Amid blasting hip hop beats, was a collection of striking urban headwear, including animal print box-peak caps, Star Wars style face masks and an upside-down bucket topped with a green cap. A quirky and characteristically theatric-cool offering from the young designer.