Lou Dalton’s menswear designs are intended for men who cherish fashion but do not necessarily wish the rest of the world to be able to identify their private creative desires. Hers is a fashion that, while anchored by pragmatic utilitarianism, manages to incorporate subtly seductive details and extremely proficient tailoring in a whispering dialogue between material and concept that, quite often, borders on a perfect silent understanding of the sartorial lexicon.
For her Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collection (which opened the third edition of London Collections: Men on 16 June 2013) Dalton celebrated, once more, the rich industrial working-class heritage of Great Britain. This process started by establishing a very assured choice of colours that remained an unfaltering homage of British urban and bucolic landscapes throughout the collection: black, white and grey balanced nature-inspired hues such as light lilac, sand and a strong green. Equally, codes and letters of Royal Air Force planes were used in the lining of jackets and throughout the collection on shirts, t-shirts and jumpsuits in an approach that is stylish in its proud patriotism.
This was a collection that incorporated elegant pieces in a most subtle manner that undoubtedly will please fashion-conscious men from all walks of life: classic tailored jackets were reinterpreted to accommodate functional boxier shapes; a cotton-linen duster coat resembled a factory uniform or an artist’s scrubs; sweatshirts were made from unbleached loopback jersey; zip-up jackets and pleated shorts incorporated pastel silk brocades; functional white nylon was used in hoodies, gilets and trousers to evoke a technical ambiance; knitted jerseys revealed a lace chevron knit pattern; and British wool was used in exposed-seam single-breasted jackets and in flat or pleated trousers that cut wide before tapering at the ankle. In addition, a line of black boots made from canvas and sporting a light sole was designed in collaboration with British footwear brand Grenson, whereas aviator watches conceived in partnership with G-Shock reproduced the original designs worn by Royal Air Force pilots.
Photographs courtesy of Lou Dalton