Collabro @ London Fashion Week Men’s… from the p.o.v of four relatively inexperienced people!
One thing that’s super scary about fashion week, is when you’ve never set foot in a fashion show before and you’re set with the task of picking your own outfit. Turning up to an event, for the first time, when you’re used to wearing matching suits, is not an easy thing to do – especially when everywhere you go everyone is immaculate, interesting, on-trend and out-there. Now, don’t get us wrong – we aren’t unfashionable people. We keep up to date with recent collections from high street stores, and we are masters at putting four great suits together for a gig, but fashion week is a step up by anyone’s standards.
So, the day before the first event we attended we met up at Topman and started browsing, and immediately we all went straight for the plain jackets with plain tees and black jeans – safe is the word! After a while we got into our stride and starting putting stuff together. Probably the funniest part was when Tom sent a picture of a leopard print blazer to the group WhatsApp because he thought everyone would think it was outrageous, and everyone immediately told him to bring it up to the changing room and try it on. It’s funny how a person changes an item of clothing from when it’s on the rack, the blazer really suited him! We ended up turning up to the Barbour show on the Friday afternoon (sans Jamie who was having a hospital procedure) like this:
Now, for three people who usually get styled for TV appearances and tour, we were pretty proud of ourselves for turning up to a fashion event having taken a bit more of a risk. Give us suits any day of the week and we can put something together in five minutes, but aside from that we are definitely relatively inexperienced. We each have our own style, but there’s a difference between what you wear to see your friends or to head out shopping and what you wear to one of the world’s biggest fashion events of the year. One of our favourite pieces was Tom’s Noose & Monkey jacket, which, as we said before, he tried on in Topman because it was one of the most ‘out-there’ things he would have bought, and he ended up loving it. Michael’s maroon/salmon ensemble was perfect for his skin tone. Michael has a very classic look we decided to do a modern day 50’s look for him. Matt is our boy next door, so we went for a grey/monochrome ensemble from Topman, which was smart, but casual. The shirt was beautiful (as was his face).
One thing we really enjoyed about the Barbour show was how relatable the clothes were. It was probably a good icebreaker for us. When people think of a fashion show, the image that immediately comes to mind is of super-high fashion, wearable art that beautiful people wear up and down runways. This is obviously something incredible and enjoyable for a percentage of people within the fashion industry, but to the majority of the public who don’t consider themselves ‘fashionistas’, that image doesn’t really work in tandem with the word “accessible”. Barbour however was filled with outfits that we ourselves, would definitely have worn. We loved watching the embroidery being done, and the motorbikes made everything pretty exciting. Obviously, we would like to say that we would have been able to ride the bikes as well as wear the outfits but alas, no. Being able to see the models stationary really worked for us too – it gave us the chance to really study the clothes and understand what Barbour were trying to do. Jamie, upon seeing the photos, said that all the mannequins looked amazingly life like, until Michael pointed out to him that they were real people and that he had a problem. It really was a great day for the three guys who managed to get there and was a pleasure to have attended.
So, we came home from the Barbour show feeling more confident, having felt excellent in our outfits, we were ready to move forward with the Candid Magazine launch of their 14th Issue, the “Art Issue”, at Century Soho the following day. Upon arrival we were greeted by some really, really (really) strong cocktails, which set us up pretty nicely for the press wall:
Jamie had joined us by this point wearing a Peter Werth Coat. Jamie always dresses to accentuate the fact that he’s tall and slim, so his signature pieces tend to be three quarter length coats and skinny jeans! Matt had stuck to the monochromes, which suit him very well. Tom had changed his shirt for a Topman white number with metal detailing on the collar with an amber inset necklace, playing on his rocky vibe. Michael wore a Zara coat with patterned trousers and his ankles out! How risqué. What was really nice about this was the fact that whilst we were using parts of the outfits we had already used for Barbour, we decided to change them up and integrate some new pieces. The devil is in the details! We also picked some bits out for each other. Michael chose Tom’s necklace, Jamie picked Tom’s shirt, Matt picked out Michael’s belt and so on so forth. Basically it ended up being a four-man version of Trinny and Susannah without Trinny and Susannah and any form of expertise. But it was fun, and we loved it.
It resulted in being a brilliant evening. Our friend Sam Callahan was the guest DJ for the evening, and we bumped into some great people who we hadn’t seen for a while. Courtney Blackman, editor-in-chief of Candid Magazine, was particularly welcoming, engaging and hilarious. Michael bumped into Julius from Made in Chelsea, an old friend of his. We stayed for quite a while and enjoyed a number of free cocktails, and then we went outside and made friends with people on the roof terrace. There’s always something about when you’ve had a drink and the fresh air hits you, and it definitely isn’t a good thing! Anyway, it was fun nonetheless. One girl caught us outside the toilets and asked us to rate them between 1-10 before she would go near them in her outfit, which was fair enough seeing as it was D&G and certainly not worthy of toilet floors.
The best part, however, was when an independent fashion journalist tapped us on the back in the drinks queue and quizzed us on who had dressed us, where our clothes were from and what we did within the industry. When we explained, she couldn’t believe we had put the outfits together ourselves. This was nothing short of awesome and left us all with a pretty damn good feeling. It absolutely could have been the cocktails kicking in, but for us to have turned up to our first fashion week and, not only avoid standing out for the wrong reasons, but be complimented on our choice of outfits – that was ace. Obviously we aren’t going to go into the street and start telling people how to dress for their shape, or how to look good naked (what?), but it was a nice boost!
Sadly, we were meant to be attending the Songzio event, which we were all super excited about, however, the tube strike and subsequent commuter hell in London had us sitting in another set of (what we hoped were) great outfits, still about an hour away from the show when it started in ten minutes, sadly it wasn’t going to happen. There’s nothing quite like being all dressed up with no place to go, but stuff happens.
So, that unfortunately ended our (short) first fashion week. We’ve always been a bit afraid of fashion week and doing our own thing in front of the world’s most brilliant fashion minds, and it definitely was eye opening and really interesting. We loved being able to wear our own styles and experiment a bit – a big thank you to everyone who invited us to shows and presentations, and to Disorder Magazine for letting us blog about the whole thing! We will definitely be going again (if not just for the cocktails).