In Turbulent Times, London Designers Are Keeping Calm and Carrying On
“Keep calm and carry on.”
So reads the poster issued by the British government in the run-up to World War 2, re-printed 2.45million times, and used on what feels like a galaxy’s worth of cheap tourist crap. The phrase is emblematic of a culture that had to recover from two world wars; the stiff upper lip that’ll carry Britain through hell and back.
In 2018, London Fashion Week: Men’s, the British capital’s dedicated menswear week, has a lot to, well, not be calm about. Brexit is inescapable, the giant question mark hanging over the country. The pound has already crashed once, putting a spanner in the works for designers that do their business internationally (i.e., all of them). On top of that, the very concept of fashion week feels outdated in an era ruled by smartphones, and many of London’s biggest names — Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Burberry — are absent from the schedule.
The silver lining is that London Fashion Week: Men’s is all about the new: young, wide-eyed, imaginative designers who are giving London a buzz to rival its competitors in Paris, Milan and New York. They have to not only contend with a precarious situation at home, but stand out among the countless other designers crowded onto jam-packed fashion week schedules.