Felipe Rojas Llanos showed his menswear designs for the first time in runway format during London Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2012 as part of the MAN initiative that supports emerging designers. Ever since watching this show, The Style Examiner has regarded this as one of the most promising menswear labels on the London fashion scene, and we very much looked forward to its latest collection for Spring/Summer 2013, which was unveiled during the inaugural London Men’s Fashion Week. With an apparent relaxed feel to it, the collection did not disappoint in the subdued ways it revealed sophisticated inspirations, colours and tailoring.
Inspired by the possibilities and conditions imposed by variable summer weather, the collection’s garments were designed to be worn come rain or come shine. To this end, the colour palette focuses on shades of blue and black (which were predominant in previous collections), but with the addition of an elegant silver grey in a stunning overcoat. To reinforce the seeming casual aspect of this collection, the designer chose more sportswear-oriented fabrics, with nylons mixed with cottons to allow the clothes a creasing memory while remaining light and neoprene used in a showpiece jacket to provide a wetsuit look. T-shirts are made of silk and a jacket comes in the brand’s signature fabric of duchess silk.
As for design and tailoring inspiration, Rojas Llanos continued to drink from elegant couture shapes of the 1940s and 1950s, namely from Balenciaga, Dior and Saint Laurent, but reinterpreted for contemporary male taste. Elegant shoulder and sleeve line effects are made possible by stitching almost equal front and back patterns with visible seams, while generous amounts of fabric and elongated slits contribute to bulbous and stylish back shapes. In contrast to the sharp angular lines of overcoats and jackets, the silk tops drape from the shoulders and flow over the torso.
Currently based in London, Felipe Rojas Llanos was born in Chile and brought up in Sweden. He studied Fine Arts at Värnhemsskolan, a prestigious school in Malmö, Sweden, where he developed his signature drawing style. He eventually moved to London to study Fashion and graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design with a First class BA Honours Degree in Menswear in 2008 and got Distinction for his MA Degree in 2010. His undergraduate work garnered some high-profile UK and international awards for young and promising designers owing to its dramatically voluminous designs, couture-like attention to detail, and a minimalist and yet luxurious approach to design. In addition, his MA collection was bought exclusively by London boutique Browns (responsible for having introduced designers such as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane).
Since graduating, Rojas Llanos has shown his collections during London Fashion Week and his designs have had significant press coverage in publications such as The Guardian, Time Out, GQ, Dazed and Confused, Vogue Hommes Japan, i-D, WGSN, Wonderland, 7th Man, Grazia, Vanidades, Paper Mag, Schon, Varon, and Interview.