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London Releases its Jam-Packed Schedule

Godfrey Deeny
April 27th, 2012 @ 11:41 AM - Paris

The biggest question everyone is asking in fashion this week is who isn't going to appear in London's debut menswear season, which kicks off on Thursday, June 14.

Everyone from Prince Charles to Louis Vuitton to a half dozen major American labels are staging events in the three-day season, whose collection schedule was released Wednesday, April 25. It marks the biggest push yet by the British Fashion Council (BFC) to develop an independent menswear season in the U.K. as a viable entity.

The main item in these London collections, though, will be runway shows and presentations by several dozen British labels and designers, in a very Anglo-Saxon moment.

What the BFC has christened the London Collections: Men will kick off on the Thursday evening with a high-security reception by The Prince of Wales in the State Apartments of St. James Palace. A save the date for the event sent out this week, alerts guests an "official invite and security briefing to follow."

Major league British brands like Burberry, Dunhill, Hackett and Pringle of Scotland will stage either runway shows or live model presentations, while a a hoard of young talent will also be showcased - Christopher Kane, Oliver Spencer, Jonathan Saunders, J.W. Anderson and Richard Nicoll, the latter with his men's line debut.

Leading the American invasion is Thom Browne, who is to introduce his latest take on the Little Boy look in iconic department store Harrods; Tom Ford will host a private dinner; Joseph Abboud and Tommy Hilfiger will stage presentations.

Plus, the corner stone of U.K. menswear, its bespoke tailors and Savile Row houses - such as Hardy Amies, Richard James and E.Tautz - will throw events throughout the weekend in the West End of London.

In the past half decade, the BFC has put increased emphasis on its men's designers, by adding a special day devoted to menswear on the last day of the main London season. However, as this coincided with the opening day of collections in Milan, the men's shows in London tended to be sparsely attended. That should change dramatically with the Britain's own designated menswear weekend, designed to compete with the major men's catwalk calendars in Milan and Paris, scheduled this year to run consecutively from June 23 to July 1.

But before those Continental catwalks, the world of men's fashion will be focused on this unique new London season, whose climatic event is a GQ dinner hosted by Calvin Klein. Talk about keeping up the Special Relationship.

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