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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

James Small: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Menswear Catwalk Review

KATE MOSS! KATE MOSS! Yeah, saw her last year, Pals. James Small presented his 'Dark Arctic' A/W 2012 collection in the grander salon at Vauxhall Fashion Scout on Wednesday 22 February.

Written by Matt Bramford


James Small A/W 2012 by Krister Selin

Last season I got myself into a bit of a state at the James Small show, solely because fashion superhero Kate Moss was in attendance. Apparently the Mossinator and Small are BFFs, so it was no surprise when I entered the Fashion Scout venue to find all sorts of camera-wielding maniacs. Everybody had a look of acute desperation, and as I tried to decide where to sit to get a good photograph OF THE CLOTHES THAT WE’D COME TO SEE, it soon became clear that it might be impossible.


James Small A/W 2012 by Lorna Leigh Harrington

It was mental. People stood on the catwalk brandishing their cameras whilst producers gave lectures of a ‘STRICTLY NO PHOTOGRAPHS OF KATE‘ nature. Despite this, fashionos shuffled in their bags to dig out every possible photograph-taking device they had – iPads, iPhones, Blackberries, Disposables – you name it, they wielded it. I could feel myself getting more and more irate, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to even catch a glimpse of her. It was pretty evident when she arrived – the room fell deadly silent and then hushed whispers echoed around the grand hall. Thankfully the ordeal ended there. When Kate’s in, we’re off.

I do love the alternative catwalk in the Freemason’s Hall, it has something a bit more ‘fashion’ about it, but the lighting isn’t particularly brillballs so apologies in advance for my substandard photographs.

James presented another small but perfectly formed collection. Entitled ‘Dark Arctic‘, James, like many others on Menswear day, dressed the explorer; kitting out models for extreme climates and expeditions.

James’ interpretation of how we’ll survive extreme weathers comes in the form of coats with (what I hope is faux) fur. One number had a peacoat body with fur sleeves, while another flipped this idea creating the look of a gilt worn over a blazer. This brought whoops and cheers from the crowd, which would continue throughout the show. Models had long hair tied in sprayed pony tails, continuing James’ love of texture.


James Small A/W 2012 by Lorna Leigh Harrington

Next came James’ staple tailoring with an athletic aesthetic we’re getting used to in menswear. Coats came with belts that tied around the waist or buttoned to one side, worn with skinny jeans. Baggy dungarees followed in luxe greys with straps that crossed at the back, worn over engineered shirts or plaid. We also saw tartan (TARTAN!) coats, styled similarly to the previous ones, and athletic pants with contrasting arch detail on the inside.

James’ collections always leave me wanting more – his 14 or so looks were exceptionally coherent but a few more variations wouldn’t go amiss. I mean this in the nicest possible way.

Oh, and here’s a picture of Kate from last season. She looked exactly the same anyway.


All photography by Matt Bramford

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