After 12 seasons of on-schedule shows at London Fashion Week, this Autumn/Winter 2018 marks J. JS Lee‘s debut in menswear, but you really wouldn’t know it. The designer, who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2010, was part of a particularly minimalistic year which also saw Simone Rocha and Thomas Tait finishing school in the same class.
Her first offering to London Fashion Week Mens is an excellent extension of the androgynous tailoring we see so commonly in her womenswear line. This time, though, the silhouettes have a distinctly masculine feel. Boxy shapes and roomy trousers with generous front pleats all draw on a nostalgic feeling of retro tailoring. Hung from the ceiling in this morning’s presentation, we notice a subtle homage to ’50’s formalwear in wide-leg pants, double-breasted jackets, and braces.
That’s not to say this a stuffy show though. The aforementioned braces are intertwined through holes in garments to connect everything together, linking trousers to jackets, mingled into mini welts and zipped sections.
Deconstruction is a key theme in this selection, too, with the opportunity to button on the hem of a coat for a longer length, detachable linings, and evidence of pockets and design details that are absent from garments. It’s clearly taken some exceptional pattern cutting to achieve a three-piece jacket, too, which separates into a waistcoat, sleeveless layer, and single-breasted blazer.
Particular favourites are a brushed wool checked coat that draws to mind similar renditions seen on Lee’s womenswear catwalks. It’s the ultimate in autumn/ winter dressing, and, given the gloomy London weather, we’re desirous to bundle up in it right now. Another stand-out piece is an amalgamation of a rollneck sweater and twill dungarees, which peak out from a welted front seam – again, we’re reminded of the cutting skills and creativity it’s taken to produce this first foray into menswear.
Words: AMY MILES | WRITER | @amymiles_