The Universal Works AW16 presentation continued with a bit of a theme that was developing on the first day of London Collections Men: brands paying homage to their hometowns. For Universal Works, said hometown is Nottingham, with this particular collection taking inspiration from the travelling fair that comes into town at the end of each summer, marking the changing of the seasons.
A 700-year-old tradition, this fair is as much a part of the city as Robin Hood and Raleigh bikes, with London’s Carousel (fitting) transformed into Universal Works’ very own version. The smell of popcorn greeted us, the walls adorned with neon posters advertising hot mushy peas with mint sauce, fortune telling and candy floss for £1 a bag.
Attire at the fair is mainly all about layering, which is the track this collection went down. It was typical Universal Works; traditional workwear-inspired jackets worn over zip up bombers and turtle neck jumpers, loose-fit woollen trousers and large-collared shirts – all in every-day colours of olive, navy, tan, black and grey.
Outfits were worn with leather lace-up pumps, while accessories came in the form of knitted beanies, sticks of candy floss and even the requisite goldfish in a plastic bag. These were more than just incredibly stylish fairground attendant looks; this was a collection that the most stylish of men would do well to emulate next season.
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Words and images by Angharad Jones