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Ones to Watch Men: Tobefrank and Julian Zigerli: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Menswear Catwalk Review

In the first of two reports from the Ones to Watch Men show, take a look at Julian Zigerli and Tobefrank, showing their collections at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue on Wednesday 22 February.

Written by Matt Bramford

Technical drawing from Julian Zigerli A/W 2012, courtesy of Julian Zigerli

As if the blossoming on-schedule menswear day line-up wasn’t enough, Ones to Watch Men at Vauxhall Fashion Scout presents four fresh designers on the block. Here are the first two.

Unsurprisingly the Freemasons’ Hall was mobbed, but I managed to squeeze in at the end of the front row with Bainser and a poor girl who, by the time the show started, was dealing with a few too many of my body parts. In my haste I had forgotten to remove any outerwear and I was already at boiling point when Tobefrank’s first model opened the show.

Tobefrank A/W 2012 by Helen Beeston

Tobefrank is the label of Frank Phillips, who is inspired by the ‘original gentleman’. Cue deconstructed menswear of all kinds – blazers with futuristic shoulder elements and multiple pocket flaps.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Frank also showed raw denim shirts with contrasting collars; jackets with additional shoulder lapels that buttoned down, adding a slick, tailored look; shorter trouser hems adding a contemporary flavour; a rich red double-breasted jacket and a huge, chunky-knit sweater bearing the Tobefrank sword/quill logo.

Technical drawings from Tobefrank A/W 2012, courtesy of Tobefrank

Models had foppish hair-dos and carried loose bunches of red roses – I’m not sure why but it sure added a surreal but modestly romantic element to the collection.

Julian Zigerli
Julian Zigerli‘s name appeared on the backdrop, I heard mutters from the row behind that Julian was *the* one to watch with this ‘To Infinity and Beyond‘ collection. Julian sought inspiration from the Möbius Strip: a concept I still can’t get my mathematically inept brain around even after trawling through Wikipedia. In Julian‘s own words, ‘the Möbius Strip… with its single surface… stands for infinity and draws a line between the past, the present and the future.’

Technical drawing from Julian Zigerli A/W 2012, courtesy of Julian Zigerli

Julian‘s first look saw a model wearing a knitted sweater/shorts combo – the former in a deep red, the latter in grey. The pattern in the knit was very exciting indeed, and the contrast made both items work independently. Then came luxe sportswear, including padded puffer jackets and printed puffer vests with built-in rucksacks that enveloped models. Later came more padded garments embellished with (what I now think was) a knitted Möbius Strip design.

Julian has a defined aesthetic and experiments with innovative production techniques to create unique pieces: laser-cut leather gloves being a prime example. Also on offer were translucent tops, thin and long windbreakers worn by the hood only.

Julian describes his men as ‘confident individuals who carry with them the conservation of infinity and a memory of boyhood’ and I’d like to add that it will be the fashion-forward male who snaps up this collection first.

All photography by Matt Bramford


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