Covent Garden is no stranger to fashion being home to some of London’s top designer stores, but if you happen to notice a higher proportion of well attired and hip looking gents over the next few days its because Friday 12th June sees the British Fashion Council’s bi-annual London Collections Men (now better known as simply LCM) descend on venues across Covent Garden & Bloomsbury for three days, featuring over 70 menswear designers.
The main hub of the event will be at Covent Garden’s Hospital Club on Endell Street, with BFC presentation spaces and designer showrooms at The Sorting Office on New Oxford Street and Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square.
From 12-15 June, there will be an array of shows unveiling the Spring/Summer ‘16 collections from designers and brands as varied as Universal Works, Aquascutum, Private White V.C., Hardy Amies, YMC, Oliver Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Margaret Howell, Joseph, Richard James, Christopher Raeburn, House of Holland, E. Tautz and Dunhill, with the final day seeing shows from big hitters including Jimmy Choo, Tom Ford and Covent Garden’s own Paul Smith.
For the first time, many of these shows, along with supporting events including book signings, film screenings and fashion talks will be open to the public and any budding fashionistas.
Thursday 11th June sees a pre-event celebration of men’s fashion at Covent Garden’s Seven Dials with a day of exclusive in-store offers, activities, giveaways, drinks and DJs.
Ahead of the event, we asked Head of Menswear design for legendary London label Vivienne Westwood, Francis Lowe for his views and tips on London life:
Please introduce yourself:
Francis Lowe – Head of Menswear Design for Vivienne Westwood
I travel a lot so love nothing more than coming home to my family in South London
Best coffee in town?
I visited the Best of British Annual Fair in Farringdon and had a flat white from Origin, it was so good I immediately went back for second! They’re coffee roasters, but have just opened their first shop in Shoreditch.
Your favourite Street?
I don’t really have a particular favourite street, but I love the South Bank for a walk along the river taking in the historic sights and landmarks and so many things to experience: stalls, food, museums, its great day or night.
The shop you frequent the most (or would like to) is…
I like Liberty it has a certain atmosphere and charm with its spectacular atrium and creaking staircases my experience is always un-rushed.
Your favourite watering hole?
The Crooked Billet on Wimbledon Common, they do a nice spot of Sunday lunch too.
Best place for everyday eats?
Mishkin’s on Catherine Street in Covent Garden, a proper New York style Jewish deli, the Reuben on rye is legendary, I’m partial to macaroni cheese and sliders usually washed down with a couple of old fashioned cocktails.
Favourite place to eat for a treat?
Hawksmoor at Seven Dials in Covent Garden, great stakes, an amazing Kim chi burger and probably the best sticky toffee pudding that will pass your lips. Proper food.
The view, building or piece of architecture that inspires you most is…
I love the sensation of being high up (although I have a slight fear of heights!) and the view from Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate is pretty spectacular, although I’ve yet to go up the Shard.
If you could change or improve anything in London you would…
Make it cheaper to get around.
What do you miss most when out of town?
My family and the familiarity of London, I’m always happy to be back after my travels.
The ultimate place in London to live would be…
I have a fairly modest taste and am more than happy where I live now! So long as I have my family.
What’s a ‘must do’ for anyone new to London?
Go to a Theatre and see a show, anything, it’s one of the best things you can do! We are one of the world’s most cultured cities, there’s so much to choose from so there’ll be something that appeals to everyone’s taste
Any top-secret tips you’re willing to share?
Visit Merton Abbey Mills (near Colliers Wood) on the river Wandle, once the workshops of the textile designer William Morris and then of Liberty & Co the department store. It still has a working water mill, a riverside pub, cafes and restaurants, and then close by is Deen City Farm and the beautiful Morden Hall Park, one of the best places in London for Picnics!