Diving across town to an underground carpark in Pall Mall makes for very dubious sounding blogger activity. It’s either a fashion happening or a on the QT meet-up with an MI6 agent. Natch, during London Collections Men it was the former.
Just say the name Richard James and there’s all sort of luxury, distinctive out-there outré tailoring in mind selling to high rollers and high profile clients like the Furnish and the EJ. It’s always going to be classically cut but wholly louder than the average Saville Row stalwart.
For SS’16, Toby Lamb as stand in for the designer (who is still on sabbatical) produced a collection termed ‘My Green Trauma’ that was our man in the Mexican jungle by way of Havana. The start off point of inspiration was Las Pozas which was the mad folly creation of English poet and surrealist Edward James. The collection veered from the very good taste (the immaculately cut one button suit in two tone eau de nil and the sumptuous suede peacock blue trench) to pattern on pattern on pattern (shirt, ties, shoes, tailoring) which kinda’ worked in a Mick Jagger-is-sure-to-love-this way.
The collection vibrated with life as Saville Row met The Simpsons in Technicolor. Sure, the fabrics and cut as ever was superb. There were some really stand out pieces (the trench, the suede ‘jean’ jackets, the simple one tonal button suits). Big colours and big patterns oft do not make the man. The main concern was that all this vitality may be more akin to the louder celebrities on our screens rather than the refined rakes that stalk the streets of London.
More concentration on cut and finesse (as befits the label’s classy reputation) rather than lounge/lunge lizard would be preferred.