London Collection

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Photography by Mr Jacob Sutton | Styling by Mr Dan May
Words by Mr David Hellqvist
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With his SS12 collection, Mr Matthew Miller graduated from the Topman- and Fashion East-initiated MAN shows with a unique ability to fuse technical details with traditional craftsmanship. Having trained at the Royal College of Art, Mr Miller has also worked hard, in the four collections he has shown since, to contextualise his pieces; there's always rich research to back up any sartorial statements made by the Stoke-on-Trent-born designer. Known for his technological tailoring, Mr Miller's SS13 collection was an exercise in digital prints, laser cutting and intricate details - often seen on sharp tailoring. For his MR PORTER capsule collection, he focused on a sweatshirt, polo shirt and T-shirt, all of them with a foil patch that, when ripped open, will create both an interactive and uniquely personal piece.

Describe the garments you've created for MR PORTER.
I have created three pieces that encapsulate the essence of my SS13 collection, Citations. Each piece has a rectangle patch on the front, and the wearer has to destroy this to create a new function in the garment. This destruction subsequently creates a pocket and a leather key ring, and a tear across the front of the piece, unique to that garment and its user. I think design should be a process that is inclusive, and not dictated.
Did you cater them specifically for the MR PORTER customer?
The production is of a very high specification, with technical elements that are combined to create the ultimate SS13 piece. The fabrication is incredible; it was all woven in Italy specifically for these pieces - it's like luxury destruction!
What was your starting point?
It was all about the beauty of destruction. You know how beautiful something is when you have been a part of the process that destroys it; once it has been destroyed you can then realise and fundamentally appreciate the piece for what it is.
How are the pieces different from other items in the SS13 collection?
These are the more accessible pieces; the collection in full was incredibly intricate, delicate and technology based. The suiting is very beautiful and people have started to collect them as pieces to save and not to wear, which is strange for me as I'm ultimately a product designer.
What does it mean for you to do a capsule collection with MR PORTER?
MR PORTER is an incredible platform. It's a massive honour to be a part of it, to be honest.
What was your impression of London's first standalone men's fashion week last June?
It was amazing. The global reverberations have been phenomenal.
What can you tell us about the upcoming AW13 season?
The working title of my collection is Content Generation, Generation Content.
What makes London's menswear scene unique?
London is all about youth and its freedom to express identity through individuality.

Sibling was founded in 2008 by Messrs Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Ms Cozette McCreery as an antidote to grey V-neck knits. The trio, who together count Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Lanvin, Jonathan Saunders and Bella Freud as former employers, swore to bring knitted colours and prints to London's menswear scene. Since then, Sibling has gained its Sister womenswear line and the trio are preparing to stage their second men's catwalk show this month. It's a combination of humour and skilled craftsmanship that has enabled Sibling to establish itself as one of London's most sought-after brands. The SS13 Revolution collection, styled by Love magazine's Ms Katie Grand, is a perfect example of Sibling's love of colour and gold sequins - with an added rat print. Although the brand's signature prints, such as the leopard pattern, failed to make an appearance in June, the trio have brought them out for their MR PORTER collaboration. Ms McCreery explains why Sibling produced a T-shirt, sweater and cardigan that encapsulate the brand's essence while introducing newness through clever details.

Describe the pieces you've created for MR PORTER.
Joe [Bates] described them as "preppy punk", which nicely sums up the feeling. There is a large pocket cardigan in navy with a black jacquard leopard, which is rapidly becoming our signature. The crew-neck jumper is made with the same fabric, but the colour has been reversed, so it's pink with a black leopard and navy tipping. Finally, there is a navy and black leopard T-shirt. Each piece can be worn separately or layered up - we like a twin set but also think a flash of pink from under a suit looks smashing!
How did you try to cater them specifically for the MR PORTER customer?
Well, MR PORTER actually wanted us to be true to Sibling, which was lovely. We didn't really stray from our own aesthetic; it was quite refreshing for a collaboration.
What inspired the pieces?
The idea was that they should be easily recognisable, so we took the usual ingredients: colour, humour, graphic jacquards, and mixed them up.
How are they different from other pieces in the SS13 collection?
Sibling SS13 is about sportswear. With MR PORTER, we really wanted the items to have a classic feel and actually reference jacquards and shapes from AW12. Having said that, the leopard jacquard does feature in SS13 as a white on white version; it's a Sibling staple.
What does it mean to do a capsule collection with MR PORTER?
It's an incredible opportunity; we think that the MR PORTER customer will love what we are offering.
What was your impression of London's first menswear week back in June?
All three of us were thrilled to be a part of it. It was like being an ambassador for menswear. Our friends who work for big design houses in Paris said that watching the shows really worried them. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition.
How are preparations coming along for next season? Any hints?
You'll have to wait and see. It's a bit like Christmas!
What makes London's menswear scene unique?
Its creativity, the friendship between the press, buyers and designers, the support, and most of all... it's fun!

Few debut collections are so focused and complete as Richard Nicoll's SS13 men's show. Having studied menswear at Central Saint Martins and designing "menswear for women", it was only a matter of time before Mr Nicoll launched a men's line. When he did, it was as a re-appropriated version of his own wardrobe. From elegant sportswear to wearable yet stylish clothes, there's plenty of ways of describing the show but at its core, the collection worked around one colour (blue), one graphic motif (a square) and one fabric (a traditional Regency floral). On top of these fundamental aesthetic ideas, he skilfully filled his collection with leather anoraks, sharp shirts, macs and bomber jackets. Mr Nicoll's idea of creating clothes that are "special normal" or "the perfect boring" comes to life in his MR PORTER capsule collection. Based on pieces from both his men's and women's SS13 collections, the tops perfectly illustrate how the Australian-born designer fuses and merges his ideas.

How would you describe the MR PORTER collection?
I chose three future signatures in the form of two sweaters and one T-shirt. They are all simple and versatile styles: the square motif merino jumper in an exclusive colourway, a merino colour block sweater originally seen in the SS13 women's collection and adapted for men in an exclusive colourway, and a white and grey marl jersey colour block T-shirt.
How would you define the collection?
They are easy-to-wear, signature, sports-inspired pieces. I worked closely with MR PORTER to choose the perfect styles and colourways for them, making them exclusive to the website.
What does it mean to do a capsule collection with MR PORTER?
It's brilliant to have the debut men's collection supported by such an iconic site!
What was your impression of London's first menswear week back in June?
I think everyone agrees that London Collections: Men was a fantastic idea and that the breadth of London's menswear talent deserved a week of its own, rather than be on the last day of the women's London Fashion Week.
How are preparations coming along for next season? Any hints?
The AW13 collection is coming along well and will take a similar approach as SS13 in that it will be a collection of simple but interesting, easy-to-wear wardrobe essentials, in the right colour, material and fit.
What makes London's menswear scene unique?
The broad range of styles because of the independence that most labels in London enjoy. It celebrates individualism and anti-homogenisation of style and culture, and there is an undercurrent of rebellion.

Making what is best described as "Street Couture", Ms Katie Eary perfectly symbolises London's menswear scene. She's got attitude and energy. Her six collections to date all prove that. But, as a Royal College of Art graduate, Ms Eary also has the technical skills and research ability to back up her collections. Inspired by music - anything from heavy hip-hop to screeching indie - the Katie Eary brand is a potpourri of colour and print. Nowhere was that as visible as in Ms Eary's SS13 collection: her oversized, loose silhouette was played out against over-the-top baroque prints in gold, white and turquoise. For Ms Eary, it's all about the perfect T-shirt and hoodie, so it made sense to build on that for her MR PORTER collaboration. Focused on a baroque fish print, Katie Eary offers up gold, orange and yellow versions on sweatshirts and T-shirts.

What can you say about the capsule collection you've created for MR PORTER?
I wanted to make catwalk pieces more accessible, believable and, lastly, wearable, so I took pieces straight from the catwalk and readjusted them for everyday wear, while still maintaining the quality and not diluting the prints whatsoever.
Did you angle it towards the MR PORTER customer?
I wanted the fashion-savvy buyer to see the transition from catwalk to store and acknowledge that we didn't cut any corners design-wise, so you are still buying into something worthy of the catwalk, just more wearable.
What was your starting point?
I was looking at California skaters and their attitude.
What does it mean to you to work with MR PORTER?
It means an awful lot - I'm excited that the product will be put out there on a global level.
What was your impression of London's first standalone men's fashion week?
It was so exciting. I think there was more of a buzz than during women's fashion week.
How are preparations coming along for next season? Any hints?
The fabric selection for AW13 is pretty mind-blowing. I'm sure everyone will be expecting streetwear swagger, so my hint is to expect the unexpected.
What makes London's menswear unique?
No one does it like us. Seriously!

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