It was no coincidence that the presentation of the Hardy Amies menswear collection for Spring/Summer 2014 took place at the domed top floor of 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London and not closer to the venues chosen by most other brands and designers who showed their collections during London Collections: Men. Access to the interior of the Norman Foster-designed building (better known as The Gherkin, a nickname coined after its shape) tends to be by invitation only and surrounded by strong security. Once at its summit, which is used for exclusive events, those who are granted access can (literally and metaphorically) look down on the rooftops of one the world’s most powerful financial centres. An affluent man who moves in these circles and shops his clothes on Savile Row matches the ideal consumer profile that the House of Hardy Amies wishes to attract these days.
While guests were served drinks and canapés during the presentation, 12 models stood on small plinths sporting 12 looks inspired by the work (and particularly the colour combinations) produced by graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass. This inspiration from 1950s’ design could be seen in the graphic stripes of shirts and on monogrammed ties and pocket squares. Despite the appreciation for sartorial heritage, a take on reinterpreted formalwear codes could be noticed in the combination of contrasting pieces such as single-breasted suits and evening jackets worn with casual gingham shirts, cotton Chinos and loose knits made from wool-linen-silk blends. Outerwear pieces came in lightweight fabrics and summer jackets were allowed unstructured tailoring. The collection’s palette included French navy blue and bone grey whereas bright red and burnt orange provided accents throughout.
Footwear for the collection came in summery shades of sand, vintage cherry and powder grey and included designs such as double monk strap suede shoes and loafers by Alfred Sargent, and a newly commissioned collection of formal shoes by Grenson featuring canvas. English bag company Chapman produced a range of holdalls and tote bags to accessorise the collection.