Quietly Spoken Quality
Lou Dalton is quietly carving out a place for herself in the tricky world of menswear design.
Men’s fashion trends move more slowly than women’s and are often less adventurous. Toeing the line between innovation and practicality is Dalton’s preoccupation and where her appeal lies. Her designs don’t shout, but instead draw you in with their expert tailoring and refined references. It’s evident that Dalton understands her customer deeply and doesn’t underestimate their taste.
After leaving school at 16, Dalton began her career as an apprentice pattern cutter to a bespoke tailor before embarking on a degree course aged 19. She then went on to hone her skills with a masters at the RCA, where she met friend and contemporary Holly Fulton.
Before starting her own label in 2005, Dalton built up her business and designing acumen working in Italy and in the UK for Hamish Morrow, Stone Island, Crucianni Knitwear and Charlie Allen.
Dalton’s designs are deceptively simple, the quality of the cuts and the seriously sharp tailoring make for a polite sense of insouciance. Her menswear collections aren’t afraid to make statements that go beyond the sartorial either; the inspiration for her SS14 pieces came from the cause of conscripted ‘lost boys’ in the armed forces.
Despite owing much to a certain Italian flair, Dalton’s laid-back brand of luxe and the quality of her tailoring speak of an old fashioned Britishness. Pieces often riff on well-known classics, re-imagining them to fit the increasingly discerning requirements of the modern well-dressed man. With a paired-back approach, her quiet designs provide pleasant shade from the sunny experimental style seen elsewhere at London Collections: Men.
Much like her recently-established label, Dalton’s designs do a lot with very little and we look forward to seeing what she has in store for the coming seasons. Be sure to look out for our review of Lou Dalton Spring/Summer 2015 and Lauren Sharkey’s (winner of the International Fashion Writing Competition) forthcoming interview with the designer.
All images courtesy of Lou Dalton – Collections up to AW14