Lou Dalton has often based her collections on the men in her life. For Spring/Summer 2017 – inspired by the walks she and her brother went on as children – Dalton brought hiking gear up to a more wearable level. Appropriate on a humid and intermittently rainy day, the dewy hair and faces of the male models really did suggest they had been out facing the wet weather. They wore TEVA asymmetrically strapped, velcro sandals with ITEM m6 socks, putting their best feet forward for functional fashion and championing nerdy chic.
Dalton’s show was a glorious celebration of outerwear in all forms, referencing the outdoor theme. Fabrics were waterproof and technical. Sheeny nylon took its traditional form in zipped anorak style, or was used to update more classical menswear in boxy mid-length lapeled coats, two button blazers, or light blouson jackets and pleated trousers. Sheeny vinyl was seen in hooded ‘binbag’ jackets layered under other outerwear. PVC was played with and printed on to create optical illusions, laminating metallic checks or printed on directly: Dalton used the fabric in pyjama style overshirts and even shorts.
Seen on many men’s catwalks of SS17 was the co-ord. Dalton took this a step further, matching outfits to outerwear and creating a range of interchangeable three piece sets in various colourways: dark navys and greys, oranges and yellows, with harsh graphic prints or relaxed neutral striping. A nylon suit in a metallic grey was a utilitarian take on tailoring and the same style, but with shorts, was bare and breezy in lightweight orange or white cotton. These short suits were given another dimension with enlarged pockets which overlapped and manipulated basic silhouettes. Combining technical fabrics and typical menswear styles, Dalton once again, successfully made the practical fashionable.