This is the age of the high-street. Luxury fashion is now trying to keep up with mass retailers who can offer next season’s designer styles at a tenth of the price before most collections have even gone into production. So it was nice to see James Long make a case for the value of his garments by championing party pieces for S/S 16. This wasn’t about formality or traditional ‘luxury’ so much as craft and things that feel touched by hand. The show notes described it as a ‘collection of special pieces.’ Indeed, it looked like Long had collected together a selection of his pal’s best-loved favourites - the odd, slightly off-the-wall garments that have a special place in all our wardrobes; items that are irreplacable, unexplainable in their appeal and totally priceless. Long’s roots as a knitwear maestro were on show to great effect - those bonkers technicolored jumpers were the standout. Also on show was hand-painted denim, patchwork outerwear and tie-dye jeans.
Some ideas worked better than others - it’s hard to imagine a market for those deconstructed patterned waistcoats - but maybe this wasn’t about created a solid collection of all-pleasing winners. After all, isn’t personal style all about choice? One man’s sartorial pet peeve is another man’s go-to look. This was a tribute to rule-breakers and fun lovers. They’re sadly a dying breed, so a flag waved for them is always a welcome sight.