Jonathan Saunders A/W’12 menswear review

by Katie on January 30, 2012

It’s taken a while for Central Saint Martins graduate Jonathan Saunders to reach his current untouchable status in the fashion industry. Saunders made his debut on the London schedule in 2003, whilst designing prints for Alexander McQueen, the last British designer to truly make an indelible mark on the global fashion map, and has since gone on to design for Chloe, Pucci, and high street department chain Debenhams. Thankfully he’s managed to shake off the Designers at Debenhams Kiss of Death and last year won Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards.

Saunders’ eagerly awaited collections for women have praise heaped upon them season upon season, unsurprisingly as the designer always unerringly hits that exact point between retro and modern, good taste and bad, flattering yet directional. A brilliant trick if you can pull it off, which Saunders does with aplomb.

With his womenswear firmly established, Saunders has recently branched out into men’s clothes, the results of which currently have every male fashion journalist in a bit of a tizzy, and it’s not hard to understand why.
His Autumn/Winter collection follows on from his womenswear, in that he’s taken a moment from the mid-20th Century and lacquered this with his signature clashes of colour and texture, and added some innovative textiles developed in partnership with British mills.

The resulting collection works better as a selection of independently covetable pieces, rather than a single overpowering theme.  This is good. Saunders understands that men don’t want to wear a label from top-to-toe, lest they appear to be trying too hard. You can dip in and out of this collection. Maybe wear the angora and rayon plaid twinset with some jeans, or a less startling shirt with the somewhat busy suits. This collection is crammed full of what we like to call “Hero Pieces”, items which will instantly pep up a wardrobe on the wane. The use of colour is challenging, but not so challenging as to scare the fashion-savvy gent off back to the torpid tones shown elsewhere.

So, a Scottish designer pwning Milan menswear week with British fabrics in an uncompromising palette. Not only that, it’s not difficult to imagine some of these ideas filtering down to the Topmans of this world. He might be hailed as “The Saviour of London Fashion Week”, but Jonathan Saunders may well be the saviour of men’s fashion too.

Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.
Imagery kindly supplied via

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