Sometimes fashion works best when it's driven by a simple idea. In a season where maximalism has ruled the roost, some collections have suffered from over-enthusiasm; too many ideas and references fighting for space on the runway. The best showings have been the ones where this fun and frivolity has been streamlined into a concise and considered idea, which when done at its best (read: Shaun Sampson) has managed to move a designer forward without changing or jeopardising their core aesthetic.
The newbies on show have demonstrated a particularly impressive level of skill and restraint. This was shown most clearly at the MAN collection - noted far and wide as a stellar offering - mostly due to the fact that Sampson, Agi and Sam and Astrid Anderson all used the opportunity of a heavily-hyped runway to pinpoint their identity and focus their vision.
A similarly strong showcase was seen across town at the Fashion East Installations, held at the luxurious Carlton Gardens. Particularly notable was recent Central Saint Martins grad Craig Green, who, in his own words, built a collection around 'simplicity', focusing on crafty DIY techniques, unusual finishings and clean neutral colours. This was menswear innovation at its best, no puffery of unnecessary bells and whistles or pointless embellishment, but beautiful, clever clothes that made their point without having to shout. Stand out items from the fifteen pieces on offer include his crinkle-wash raw-cut calico shirts, skillfully finished with anti-fray industrial paint, and his mohair and yarn knitted jumpers accessorised with rubber-dipped sleeves (genius). There was true love put into this collection, shown in everything from the hidden internal frills on shirt hemlines to the perfectly punched out button holes, ensuring that these clothes are gifts that will keep on giving with every wear. Not content with impressing on his own turf, Green's talent also found its place on the runway thanks to a continued headwear collaboration with Christopher Shannon - we first saw Green's skills at Shannon’s S/S 2012 runway show in a series of eye-catching coloured combs. This season, Green turned his hand to creating scarecrow-cum-Morris-dancer fringed hats, to compliment the folksy looks on display. All in all, an impressive offering throughout. The future’s looking great for Green.