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10 Highlights from the London Collections: Men

From John Galliano's return to a coughing fit at Moschino.
Purposely trashy at London Collections: Men. Photo: Christopher Shannon

Purposely trashy at London Collections: Men. Photo: Christopher Shannon

Another "London Collections: Men" has come to a close, and what a ride it was. London menswear is often weird but never dull, and this season saw everything from Lego masks to models wearing plastic bags. Read on for your guide to the most memorable moments – plus the take-away trends to know for next winter.

1. John Galliano's Margiela debut

OK, not part of the schedule – but John Galliano’s debut Maison Martin Margiela couture show took place on the Monday of LCM, taking advantage of all the international fashion press in town. We’re only in January, but it’s hard to imagine that any other show this year will be as anticipated as this one.

The purpose of the event, which will be repeated in Paris, was clearly to ease Galliano in with a sympathetic London audience – and he definitely got that. Not only were press and buyers clamoring to get on the list, but designers including Christopher Bailey, Manolo Blahnik and Alber Elbaz were all there to offer support. In all this fuss, something newsworthy almost went unnoticed, until Vanessa Friedman pointed it out: Maison Martin Margiela has become simply Maison Margiela. New creative director, new era.

2. A coughing fit at Moschino

Back to the menswear, and let’s start with Moschino. Jeremy Scott designed a flashy skiwear collection and sent it down the runway accompanied by a flurry of snow from the rafters. So far, so picturesque – but moments later, the artificial snowfall started to aggravate our throats, and half the guests were coughing by the finale. Luckily, these unphotogenic coughing fits all occurred off-camera – the models kept their cool.

3. Shearling everywhere you look

In this seasonless modern world, where you can buy a designer swimsuit in December and a fur cape in July, it gives us a nostalgic buzz to see a weather-appropriate trend. So all hail shearling, which will be the must-have fabric for menswear next winter. It was everywhere, from a neat, paneled bomber jacket at J.W. Anderson, to a purple coat at Burberry. Topman Design gave it a '70s New York feel with wide collars and over-sized pockets, while Coach channelled more of a "Top Gun" vibe with a glossy black, shearling-lined jacket. Men, you’re going to be so cozy.

So cozy. Photo: Burberry Prorsum

So cozy. Photo: Burberry Prorsum

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4. Selfridges fetes Nick Wooster

Upmarket British department store Selfridges threw an exclusive dinner in honor of Nick Wooster’s new menswear collaboration, Wooster + Lardini. It was the place to find a hot, bearded model on Friday night, with Jack Guinness, Robert Konjic and Ricki Hall all in attendance. The most fun spot at the party was the smoking balcony, where guests huddled around heaters and Wooster shared his cigarettes.

5. Christopher Shannon's knitwear that talks

Designer Christopher Shannon rekindled our love for the slogan sweater with a witty collection inspired by litter. His models wore intarsia knits that showed plastic grocery bags and soda cans, emblazoned with snarky phrases like ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’, ‘Broke’ and ‘Save Me.'

6. Tom Ford bows to the smartphone

Tom Ford took one more step towards accepting modern life: for the first time ever, he allowed buyers and press to snap pictures of his menswear collection. In fact, he went one better, setting up a professional photo-shoot set, with 10-foot lights and a white backdrop to show off the clothes to their best advantage. No dimly lit, unflattering Instagrams would be allowed on Ford’s watch.

tom ford

Perfect Instagram conditions at Tom Ford. Photo: @hattiecrisell/Instagram.

7. The lack of A-list celebrities

You rarely see an A-lister at the London menswear shows, but the event is all the more enjoyable for how informal and easy it feels – no scrum of paparazzi and no waiting for big stars to take their seats. Front rows consist of a low-key selection of stylish, handsome men. This season’s familiar faces included Andrew Scott, David Gandy, Douglas Booth, Henry Holland, Tinie Tempah, Dermot O’Leary – and Jourdan Dunn, resplendent in a rust-orange suede trenchcoat at Burberry.

8. The return of the sock

More good news for men who want to be warm next winter – and that’s all men, surely – the trend of going sock-free is over. Flirting with the world via an expanse of naked ankle is no longer acceptable. Your feet must be fully-dressed in at least two layers (sock + shoe), because designers including Lou Dalton, Margaret Howell and Kit Neale have all declared it to be so. No more smelly shoes or fungal infections for you, sir.

9. Craig Green's new kind of sweater

Last season, Craig Green’s collection moved editors to tears, so there was a weight of expectation for his fall/winter 2015 collection. He tackled this by introducing something that is at least entirely new, even if we’re not sure men actually want it: a mid-torso peekaboo cut-out in a sweater. Maybe you don’t need to see your boyfriend’s lower rib-cage during dinner, but we’re guessing this piece could look great layered over a contrasting T-shirt.

10. Agi & Sam's playroom nostalgia

Agi & Sam, the young design duo who won an Emerging Talent Award in 2013, researched their fall/winter 2015 collection by visiting schools and branches of Toys ‘R’ Us. As a result, we got playful color-splattered suits and faces covered in Lego blocks. 100 points for any valiant street-style blogger who tries the latter look.