Over the last decade, men’s fashion has sprung to life, now competing on the same high level as womenswear fashion houses. We asked four of our menswear alumni, up and coming menswear designers Oliver Ruuger, Domingo Rodriguez, Matteo Molinari, and Asger Juel Larsen, about menswear and their time as students at London College of Fashion. Here’s what they told us:
How would you say simple and classic menswear has changed from when you started designing and how do you want it to change?
Matteo: In my opinion, relevant menswear is never simple or classic in the meaning of boring. Nowadays, there is more interest in menswear and the actual clothes are returning to be designed in a more sophisticated way. Menswear is mostly about engineered cut, high quality fabrics, exquisite construction and finishing.
Domingo: I think men’s fashion today is very eclectic; men are much more open to experiment and have much more interest in fashion. It’s been a woman’s game field, but now it’s more open and competing. There’s a lot more men’s street fashion nowadays.
The growth of menswear in London is something that is well documented, what do you think is leading this growth?
Matteo: A great educational offer is leading the growth in London. Public colleges like London College of Fashion are amazing institutions where you can conduct your study at the highest level, with strong fundamentals.
Oliver: The classic British gentleman is known around the world for a reason, and the stereotypical accessories that you associate with a British gentleman, such as the bowler hat, the umbrella, and the briefcase, are all beautiful objects. I think there is definitely a trend worldwide for the British look.
In terms of style, how do you best prevent a simple, classic menswear look from appearing ‘boring’ or ‘common’ to the eye?
Asger: One thing I quite like doing is to make the sleeves on my jackets a bit too short, so I’m able to see my watch, and the time, but it also shows off my jewellery. That’s a style tip that you should do right now, ha ha!
Matteo: The cut of the garments is fundamental. What may feel boring, a suit and a white shirt for example, in reality can offer infinite chances of variations and approaches in cutting. The personal cut, and making of course, is what makes the difference between mass produced garments and the finest and truly inventive prêt-a-porter.
You were all selected to take part in LCFM, London College of Fashion’s first standalone menswear show, how would you describe that experience?
Oliver: For London College of Fashion to support their alumni, by putting together such an event for men’s fashion week, is a really beautiful thing for a designer because it can be very difficult to reach such an audience on your own.
Domingo: I remember being really excited to show at London College of Fashion LCFM. It gave me the platform to show my collection, and since my collections are really subtle, and quite quiet, it was nice to have the spotlight on them and to give them the space to breathe and to tell the story.
Matteo: It was a great opportunity to give visibility to my business activity as a menswear designer, and my theoretical research as a PhD student under the direction of Professor Sandy Black.
Asger: I was really excited about the London College of Fashion Men’s show and to be showing with Matteo, Oliver and Domingo as well. We all do something very different in terms of menswear and our study is very diverse, so it was great.
Matteo, you are currently finishing a PhD in menswear at LCF, what would you say to someone currently considering whether or not to study menswear?
Matteo: Come to LCF! My MA tutor, Darren Cabon, and the amazing technicians, like Annie Robinson, are the people to trust and to learn from if you really want to understand menswear, be a consistent menswear designer and tailor state of art garments.
If you are thinking of applying for a BA or MA in menswear, check our course pages for more information:
You can also check out: