Lou Dalton is a quiet star on the London menswear schedule. Her collections are consistently good, her clothes always wearable. They’re neither predictable nor safe, but they’re inviting, covetable and, to an extent, accessible - things that can often be under-prioritised in the face of designers with slightly wackier preoccupations. But Dalton’s success (commercial as well as critical - a tricky balance) comes because she has her finger on the pulse when it comes to how men - actual, real men, not just men in London, or the guys in the fashion pack - dress. In other words she has her feet on the ground. This was especially true for S/S 17 - an exploration of walking. She talked of the happiness she felt when walking with her brother as a child. ‘Walking to me has always meant freedom, something that I wanted to express in this collection’. Freedom - what an apt starting point this fashion week, when so many designers seem saddled with fundamental decisions about the future of their brands, the practicality of fashion week and the intricacies of the show and production schedule. But you get the sense Dalton tries not to think about that and, to echo the walking theme, simply treads her own path. For S/S 17 that meant more of the great mix-and-match separates and fine overcoats we’ve come to look to her for. The lightness of many of the fabrics helped keep things modern. The vaguely sensual shiny black and navy that opened the show gave way to cheerful and well-selected hues like tomato, sunshine yellow, forest green and sky blue. All in all, it was a breath of fresh air.