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What to expect from London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week occurs twice a year, the first in 2016 takes place from Friday 19 February until Tuesday 23 February – also known as LFW AW16. Organised by the British Fashion Council, it hosts the world’s best designers showcasing their Autumn-Winter 2016 collections to the global press, industry buyers, photographers, bloggers and fashion aficionados. Full schedules for each day detail who is showing where and when.

The impact of London Fashion Week

It is hugely important for the British designer community to promote their garments and increase their profile on the global stage. Also for the British fashion industry to become a world leader in creativity, business and innovation.

During the shows, the feel of the set design, the music, the ambience as well as the clothes all combine to appeal to our senses and pull us into a ‘lifestyle choice’, which we as consumers aspire to buy into.

As well as unveiling the cuts, fabrics, colour palettes and styles that will hit retailers and the high street later this year, the more out-there micro trends will also offer inspiration that can be adapted by many to make their look on-trend.

Trends to look out for

The Autumn-Winter 2016 season will be highly influenced by more delicate, graceful and androgynous looks, along with subtle fabrics such as silk and satin.

Following on from the feminine feel introduced at Gucci last year, the theme continues with 1970s patterns and fluid fabrics. Angela Missoni’s collection incorporates the rock star look with Himalayan wools. Nasir Mazhar’s all-black attires are inspired by club outfits and Goth fashion. Stephane Ashpool’s classic sportswear range in soft colours will again bring a feminine touch. Statement cardigans, boxy tailoring that evokes a poetic yet pragmatic look and updated military vibes are other key trends to check out.

Fur made a big statement in Milan Men’s Fashion Week AW16, with many designers integrating this style into their collections. Dolce & Gabbana produced huge oversized fur coats, while a more toned down version of the trend was used by Marni and Giorgio Armani with fur stoles. Also, Valentino exhibited mixed pelt gilets, and fur shorts were displayed by Boris Bidjan Saberi. New innovations in technology improve the synthetic process year on year, so it’s possible to produce faux fur with the same level of quality, warmth and feel. Therefore, this look can be replicated ethically on the high street for a fraction of the cost.

Watch the live stream

I don’t think there will much fur involved when it comes to men’s suits but it will be interesting to see what styles and cuts will be making the catwalk this year and what kind of accessories will be trending.

You will be able to catch the live stream of London Fashion Week here: http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/live.aspx

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Making Valentine’s Day a sartorial occasion

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Are you making preparations to celebrate as Valentine’s Day approaches? In addition to planning where to take your significant other, what you decide to wear is just as important. A style that’s dressed-up or dressed-down, or somewhere in between may well depend on the stage of your relationship as well as where you’re going.

Whichever you choose, to feel good you need to look good whilst also being comfortable. Too tight, too short, too big or too out-there won’t let you relax and focus on your date. You wear the clothes – not the other way around.

There are many options so you can dress to impress on this special occasion whether you’re going on a formal date, to the theatre, a dinner date or out for drinks.

Formal date
If you find yourself needing to follow a dress code, you can’t go wrong with the trusted navy suit (which should be in every man’s wardrobe) with a closed-front French cuff white dress shirt, a slim dark tie and pair of Oxford shoes. To invest in this option also means you’ll have the ‘go-to outfit’ for the majority of formal functions that arise in your diary.

Theatre date
To look your best for a trip to the theatre, a variation of the formal suit detailed above is an ideal choice. You can loosen up the look by not wearing a tie and loosening a couple of buttons. Choose a textured fabric such as tweed, cotton or hopsack in grey, khaki or brown. A simple striped shirt and brown or black loafers complete this simple but effective style.

Dinner date
Instead of the semi-casual look of jeans with a shirt, why not switch it up to the next level? A pair of slim trousers or chinos, an Oxford cloth shirt with a V-neck jumper or tailored jacket conveys you’ve taken the time and effort to look good for your date. If in doubt, stick to neutral colours because black, grey and blue are always suitable for evening events.

Drinks/Casual meal
To show you’re treating this occasion as more special than other nights out, wear something trendy and stylish such as a blazer or smart jacket. Because it doesn’t have to be formal, pick a knitted style or deconstructed cotton version with a neutral shirt and pair of casual chinos and desert boots.

With minimal planning you can aim to surpass expectations, not just meet them, with your outfit choice. Your date will be suitably impressed with the effort you’ve taken as well as your style.

I hope you have a romantic and sartorial evening!

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Planning your spring wardrobe

I know it’s hard to think about spring when the rain is lashing against your windows and the wind is buffeting against your conservatory but it might just put you in a better mood if you do.

Daffodils and crocuses are already starting to emerge and sooner or later you need to be turning to your wardrobe to see what you’ve got available and what new garments you may need to invest in.

The changes you make at the start of spring can be fairly subtle. There may still be a nip in the air so rather than make changes in cloth at this stage you should be looking at colours. The deep dark colours of winter can start changing to the gentler hues of greens, mid-blues, and lighter greys. Waistcoats can still be worn and you may want to invest in a lightweight coat to keep the chill out.

As the temperature creeps up you can gradually put away your heavy wool suits and move to lighter flannels, cavalry twills and milled worsteds. Every man’s wardrobe should contain a lightweight suit and sports jacket that will serve them for the spring season and moving to more pastel colours such as beige, tan and ivory are ideal for this time of year.

For a more casual look then a smart pair of chinos, a soft and lightweight blazer, a pale relaxed shirt and a silk pocket handkerchief cuts a fine sartorial figure. For the office, then light grey, mid blue or beige two piece suits in soft cotton or light wool will set the tone perfectly.

Cloths that allow the air to circulate through them are a good choice for spring so wool-linen blends or silk blends may be a good addition to your wardrobe. Now is a good time to look at your spring wardrobe and see if it fits the bill. What have you got planned for spring? Are you taking a short break? Will you be going to a sporting event? Plan your spring wardrobe now so that you can look sharp for the season.