A reduced production of 101 Dalmatians (Joseph Turvey), a retro trip to outer space (Bobby Abley), Michael Clark (figuratively) in a greasy spoon (Kit Neale) and the relationship between fetish and branding (Maarten van der Horst). Nowhere but London could you find collections so idiosyncratic, let alone stood next to each other as they were at the Fashion East Menswear Installations, in a mansion off The Mall, a stone's throw away from Buckingham Palace.
This is why the world looks to the UK for new design talent; London is a city of the unpasteurised and the original. In menswear's renaissance, the capital is increasingly establishing itself as one of the few cities to take chances – here the showpiece can thrive, there are no boardrooms breathing down designers' necks wanting 20 different chinos for selling.
Nasir Mazhar, showing upstairs past a grand staircase studded with gold cornicing and chandeliers, has always been more than a (talented) milliner. Mazhar works with clothes for vibing – sweatshirts and joggers – adding cheetah-print masks with huge rhino horns and introducing the fashion ready-made via the big plastic buckethead (this time with big eyes and a sticking out tongue). With grime whistling out of tinny speakers in the corner, the feeling was of youth blasting out bangers on a smartphone on the top deck of the 55.
Kit Neale, downstairs, pushed his collection on to puffa jackets and wipe-clean onesies, like Nasir speaking through the vocabulary of the city we know and love. The print prince offered his collection in a life-size Kit's caff, a greasy spoon complete with plates of pie, peas, chips and half drunk cups of tea.