Lou Dalton Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
The Style Council’s cover of the house classic “Promised Land” during the finale of the Lou Dalton show perfectly captured what the designer called the “euphoria” of the Hacienda scene in Manchester around 1989 to 1992. She said she wanted to revisit that positive moment and make it her own, but just like the song itself, you wondered if perhaps the collection had a melancholy tinge. Youth just can’t be relived—or can it? Dalton said she remembered how sexy the guys were during the era and wanted to make her own Dalton-esque version of the Happy Mondays and the Mancunian scene. Some things were delightfully trippy, like a distorted madras check in vivid orange and blue, but the general feel was more of appropriating utilitywear for the good times. Cargo pants (and shorts) were out in force, while plastic macs added a transparent layer over the trippiness.
“I wanted it to be sophisticated and raw,” Dalton explained after the presentation. “I lived through that time.” It was clearly a very personal show, and it was all the better for it. The collection centered on Harrington jackets, which came in several iterations, often with bellows pockets, sometimes with diagonal, supersize ones. The Prince of Wales check coats were lightweight, silk-like, and with a clear A-line cut. But it was how Dalton first took familiar patterns and classic menswear details and colors and turned them into something very now that impressed the most. This could have been a nostalgic collection; instead it felt life-affirming and uplifting, proving that while youth sooner or later fades, the fun times are here to stay.