The menswear. By Penny Armstrong was really fun. Graphic printed trousers, cropped below the knee, with fringed mesh (chicken wire-like) shirting and trousers, this was a fairly futuristic yet playful collection. Knitted loops embellished a jacket to create an oversized, semi cocoon shape, while the royal blue, red and grey palette worked perfectly with the mosaic graphic.
Caroline Mead's menswear however was full of heritage styling of plaid checks in mohair, maxi jumpers that swept the ground and pulleys that drew garments in creating balloon effects.
The menswear at Manchester was strong and Rebecca Neary's built in back pack jackets were well constructed and though not a new idea, a fun one nonetheless. I really liked the inky prints and the patchy dyes of the jackets in various blue tones. Whether leggings will catch on for boys or not, Neary is feeling the cream wool kind.
The strapped on multi gas mask inspired bags were cool, although I'd never find anything in them!
I loved Jessica Nicol's multi sleeve jackets that built up to look like walking pom poms. Hands were key and the white hand cut outs that dropped down created black shadow hands underneath. It was a clever concept.
Tulled chiffon also intrigued Poppy Warwicker Le- Breton who combined big ruffled top structures with snake charmer basket style skirts, they were huge knits and showed great skill.
This reflected well with Michael Bolton-Heaton's origami pom-pom skirts that added dimension to body con jersey tops with racer back panelling and cut outs.
Finally Sophie Blennerhassett's mis-matched, layered and raised knits teamed with chiffons in a host of navy, grey and chatreusse green were fun and eclectic. I loved the city shorts and the skinny ankle swinging trousers.
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