Topman’s star studded event made sure that the 2016 London Collection: Mens got underway with significant pomp, but it was a more subdued mid-afternoon show which caught the eye of many. This was Paula Gerbase’s first full mens show with her 1205 brand at LCM, having focussed for the past few seasons on women’s wear.
Launched in 2010, 1205 focuses on the ‘quality of cut, fabric and proportion’ with an emphasis on traditional craftsmanship – values evident from Gerbase’s time on Saville Row – all of which permeated a collection which focused on tonality and design rather than embellishment and eccentricities.
The subtle styling of the collection was a testament to Gerbase’s commitment to ‘seeking the silence within the noise’. In a recent interview with NY Times, Gerbase announced that ‘so many people [make] so much noise, and I always felt that it was quite empty noise’. In a weekend which featured demanding designs from the likes of Moschino and Nasir Mazhar, 1205’s dedication to silence forced the audience to pay attention to the more delicate aspects of menswear design.
The AW16 collection offers a progression from silence towards gently sustained notes, carried by hues of navy, olive and grey in harmony with layers of contrasting fabrics. Tweeds and wools featured across tailoring and outerwear – the latter of which was a highlight – with the muted shearling jackets creating notably masculine silhouettes.
The collection offered an assured transition towards the AW16 trends which were ubiquitous throughout LCM; slouchier fits, mixed fabrics and cropped trousers. Gerbase may be seeking silence but her AW16 collection deserves nothing but rapturous applause.