British menswear puts its best suit forward

LONDON (Reuters) - From high-end to high-street, Britain's fashion designers are trying to lift men's clothes, the fastest growing fashion sector, out of the shadow of the more glamorous womenswear collections.
The fashion bloggers, at least, seem enthusiastic about the male models in sharp suits, colorful socks, studded loafers and necktie details posing outside London's Royal Opera House.
London Collections Men, which runs for three days, will see a mixture of haute couture and high-street men's designers showcase the best of British menswear with fashion luminaries such as Tom Ford, Burberry and Paul Smith hosting dinners, talks and presentations.
British Fashion Council Chief Executive Caroline Rush told Reuters it was time that menswear hosted its own event.
"We've seen an incredible growth in the emerging talent from the brands and Savile Row ... and it was about time. We have this incredible heritage here in London in British menswear and we've got a huge amount to shout about."
The event started with Hackett presenting sharp three-piece tailored suits in soft creams, blues and beiges teamed with baker boy hats inspired by "The Great Gatsby".
Topman presented a eclectic mix of vivid prints, slouchy jumpers and neon sportswear pieces. Models sported long dip-dyed hair, mesh tops and silky trench coats.
Topman design director Gordon Richardson said he wanted to focus the collection on clothes that evoked an energetic mood alongside a blend of interesting surface-style prints.
"We tried to throw all those elements together, which is the outcome of the show, you've got all of those hand-painted prints, you've got the surfer-skate kind of story ... it's always that big melting pot of stuff that we work on," he said.
Model David Gandy, who attended both shows, said he hoped the event would grow in time to take on Milan and Paris.
"It's all eyes on Britain at the moment, so it's perfect timing. I think we just have such a heritage here and I think the rest of the world is demanding that heritage and that history and British style."


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