As in previous editions of London Fashion Week, menswear label Baartmans & Siegel eschewed the runway format and opted for a more unusual presentation of their latest collection during the official calendar of London Collections: Men for Autumn/Winter 2013. The setting was a room in a multiplex cinema in central London and, despite my reservations of such a conventional location, the display worked extremely well as it allowed for ample viewing and analysis time of the 14 looks that took to the stage.
In contrast to the riotous experimentation of shapes and colours for which most young London designers and brands are renowned, Baartmans & Siegel embraced a subtle and elegant interpretation of menswear and resorted to luxurious fabrics and classic details in what is perhaps their most stylistically conventional collection to date. Furthermore, and even though I have always believed that Baartmans & Siegel are at their best when designing clothes for colder weather, their Autumn/Winter 2013 garments can be seen as perhaps too toned-down for some and as marking a conceptual departure from the previous Spring/Summer 2013 offering.
The collection resorted to a traditional palette that included black, grey, white, and muted dashes of colour in aubergine and crimson, and it featured pieces such as hand-knitted Arran-cotton fishing jumpers, waffle jumpers, oversized mohair roll-neck sweaters, Napa suede trousers, a slim-fit and single-breasted wool suit in a large herringbone pattern, double-breasted suit jackets in wool jersey, and boucle-terry towel suits and overcoats. However, it was the outerwear that made the collection stand out, with appealing pieces such as Linton metallic tweed sport coats, felt pea coats, wool dress coats with mink-lined deep pockets, a mink-lined duffle coat, military-inspired jackets with protective storm flaps reworked with a luxurious intention, and a see-through puffer jacket that made visible the internal white goose down.
Overall, this was a solid and mature collection that will undoubtedly appeal to the growing number of followers that Baartmans & Siegel have been garnering over the last few seasons.