This Patchwork Isle: London Fashion Week Men’s AW20

Never mind Brexit. The rich diversity and inclusiveness of London and Britain at their best were celebrated through an impressive array of shows at London Fashion Week Men’s for A/W 2020.

Patchwork was a key trend for many of the designers showing at Truman’s Brewery, east London, from January 4 to 6. Patchwork that represented a joyous mix-up of fabrics and design motifs, but patchwork that also represented the cross-cultural power of London.

London Fashion Week Men’s may have lost designers such as Craig Green (to Paris) and Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall* (to the Milan runways, although still presenting an installation in London), but there are still plenty of names to set the pulse racing and lead menswear forward into the 2020s.

Here is our pick of the best:

Grace Wales Bonner

Staged on a wooden dance floor in the historic Edwardian Lindley Hall, the Wales Bonner AW 2020 collection was a homage to her father’s youth in 1970s’ London, in part inspired by John Goto’s reportage photography. Titled Lover’s Rock, the collection was a meticulously researched exploration of a unique moment in British Afro-Caribbean history. Tinted in amber, carmine, and emerald green, the clothes perfectly blended Rastafarian influences with Saville Row tailoring. Wool paperbag pants, finely detailed knits, tweed Mod jackets and archive Adidas trainers finished off the collection with an authentic London polish. 

Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY

HELL MEND YOU was the shout-out title of the collection from Charles Jeffrey, king of club-kid weirdness and euphoria. Pledging in his show notes to put equal emphasis on human wellbeing and sustainability alongside financial growth as he evolves his business, Jeffrey posed a direct response to the political turbulence that has defined the past four years in Britain. The collection was a provocative affair, described as “a dance to the death” but it also harked back to old British traditions: druidic symbols; trippy, swirling stars among watercolours; Lochcarron tartans, impeccably tailored suiting printed with magic mushrooms. Whimsical and avant-garde – Jeffrey never disappoints.

Astrid Andersen

A charming collection inspired by the designer’s childhood memories, her parents’ home, and especially a piece of furniture bought by her mother in 1971 – a rose printed sofa. We could feel the collection was intimately talking to us, taking us on a journey to the designer’s past. The mood was bright and warm, with a hint of the 1970s; free spirited, summed up in the  ponchos and knitted shorts. Also in the mix: muted pastel camouflage, big puffers and a highlight wintery parka.

Band of Outsiders

Designer Scott Sternberg was inspired by nostalgia. A bright palette of canary yellow, fire engine red and sky blue ran through relaxed trousers paired with bomber jackets and illustrated t-shirts — a trip down memory lane. Models surrounded a bright red 70s’ camper van. The brand’s signature laid-back and effortless style, combined with contributions from artist Egle Zviblyte and outerwear brand Lu Mei, enhanced the sense of community and bonding. 

Martine Rose

Held at Martine’s daughter’s primary school in Kentish Town, this AW20 collection was an impressive ode to London and community. An expert in the subtleties of subversion and self-reference, the designer drew from Mod-casual culture (including a collaboration with Farah) and her life in London. Models, streetcast locally, walked in oversized sta-press trousers, half-zip sweaters emblazoned with “Martine Rose, Expect Perfection” and an array of colourful bottle-top badges. She also sent out shirts, blazers and skirts that delivered a shout-out to the London neighbourhoods with which the designer has a connection – Clapham Junction, Tooting, Tottenham, Hackney Road. 


An Iranian wedding ceremony was part of the show, referencing the designer’s roots. Utility, practicality, and sustainability ruled in all 20 looks, as models in earthy-toned cargo pants and windbreakers stepped off-stage into the wedding party. Hoods and Farzaneh’s signature Iranian prints were stand-outs. The Latin emblem adorning the frame of Central Foundation Boys School’s auditorium stage read Spe, labore, fide – hope, effort, faith.

Edward Crutchley

Glam Epoch was the title of this brilliantly talented Woolmark Prize winner’s latest collection, drawing on influences from across the globe, presenting a showcase of international collaboration, culture and luxe. Suiting was expertly tailored, but relaxed, in clashing checks; bright, shiny silks featured the work of artist Erik Jones. Scottish thistles appeared on voluminous maxi-coats, alongside plush Cruella De Vil furs and oversized denim jackets. Everywhere, rhinestone Japanese chrysanthemums danced in the light, appliquèd on sleeves, lapels, pockets. And we loved the fezes by Stephen Jones.

Art School

The genderqueer world of designers Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt is evolving. A restricted colour palette of black and off-white gave the collection a raw vibe. The idea of the artist was showcased in pieces such as their A-line button-down dress, mirroring an artist’s smock. Materials ranged from fabrics typically found in workwear through to crystals, adding sensuality to the clothes that always have a certain darkness. Artists Maggi Hambling and Richard Porter contributed to a powerful collaboration.

Bethany Williams

In a new era of environmental and social consciousness, 30-year old designer Bethany Williams stands out through her commitments. Her collection, titled No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) was created in collaboration with the Magpie Project, aimed at protecting children and mothers in temporary or insecure accommodation. Highlights included an oversized lightweight jacket and a pair of matching trousers featuring Melissa Kitty Jarram’s mother-and-child drawings, splashing primary colours on a blank canvas. Silhouettes were both oversized and streamlined silhouettes, nipped-in tops paired with wide pants. A collection full of intense commitment and a spirit of hope.

Bianca Saunders

Saunders’ AW20 collection brought together the designer’s British-West Indian background with the vibrancy of urban London to create a gloriously new kind of British menswear style. The designer, who studied at the Royal College of Art, drapes cloth beautifully. From the tight tees right through to the tailoring that reinvents the idea of the suit, Saunders is a name to watch. We predict great things.

  • This report includes contributions from: Zoel Hernandez Lopez, Lisa Zirngast, Dora Boras, Chiara di Bernardini, Sophia Mozzali, Katia Smirnova, Shriya Zamindar, Hilda Kosunen, Léana Esch


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