It may seem strange to some that it is a female designer who has a clear definition of modern man, and that a woman opened the latest edition of London Collections: Men (LC:M).
But Lou Dalton has truly asserted her place in a man’s domain, with Robert Johnston from GQ dubbing her the “Queen of Menswear”.
Her spring/summer 2015 collection continues to showcase her signature contemporary classicism and refined tailoring, but perhaps with a little more control than in previous collections.
“It’s defining who we are as a brand, who I am as a designer, where we’ve come from, and where we are going now,” she says.
Once again mixing non-traditional tailoring with sportswear, Dalton presented well-crafted garments and returned to the use of Cool Wool -which we saw used so effectively in her SS14 offering. Incorporating fine, lightweight Merino wool into garments specifically for warmer seasons and climates, Dalton worked alongside UK mill Charles Clayton and Lanifico F.lli Cerruti to present her SS15 collection.
“I’m very excited about working with (Lanifico F.lli) Cerruti this season, it’s something that I have wanted to happen for the last two seasons and it has finally come into fruition,” explains Dalton before her LC:M runway show.
“It’s incredible to work with a company that is highly regarded in the industry for fabric innovation. I combined the Cerruti fabric with some more technically advanced cloth so you get this hybrid of something that is a little bit more technical as well as something a little bit more formal.”
Dalton’s continual work with The Woolmark Company has also seen her develop a greater appreciation for Merino wool, as well as a more advanced grasp on working with the fibre.
“Support for spring/summer 15 from Woolmark is fantastic, being associated with such an organisation has played such a big part in the growth of the collection and the mills we are able to work with,” says Dalton.
“Cool Wool makes an appearance again throughout the collection, from the wonderful UK mill Charles Clayton and one of the most exciting developments is to have been sponsored with cloth by Cerruti."
“I am obsessed with wool and its capabilities, so to have the opportunity to work with such mills is fantastic.”
Models wearing traditional tailored outwear mixed with rebellious ‘English’ sportswear were sent down the runway for Lou Dalton’s SS15 LC:M show.
Patch pocket blazers are as if turned inside-out, sometimes in dry navy wool, other times in pink jacquard. Mesh facings on the outside reinforce the idea of revealing what’s within.
Just as the blazer is performance wear for the city, Lou Dalton also looks to pieces from the country, a cheeky reminder of her upbringing. An army field jacket is rendered in dry wool, with a shorter version in the light wool check of a country gent. The buckles and straps of another performance jacket are echoed in a vest of technical navy mesh.
Fine knit sweaters are vivid in red and cornflower blue with an abstraction of flower photography, while straight-necked sweaters are a new essential, and knitted T-shirts have neat striped sleeves.
Sweatshirts have heat-sealed tone-on-tone patches that decorate and give movement to the sleeves, while strap-shouldered sweatshirts have a front panel in textured white cloth and a back of cotton pique. Trousers and shorts – the natural option for the city – are sharply tailored, both also offered with a side panel of tone-on-tone mesh trim.