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James Long Menswear SS14

Long hits back with a Tour de Force of slick and sexy sportswear

On the final day of LC:M, as James Long sent his gang of models down the runway, I couldn’t help but think back to the reference wall in his studio. It was a strange mix of images from a young Leonardo Dicaprio, to Hell Angels bikers and sartorial cyclists in Florence. As the first few looks appeared on the runway, it all began to make sense - it was all about re-contextualization this season. Long had taken the vibrant colours, pace and visual impact of moving cyclists – think of the sensory experience of watching the Tour de France - and given it a certain toughness.  Long also turned focus to the body with this collection. Skin-tight cycling tops were layered over shirts and fine-knit mesh jumpers revealed parts of the body. “The endurance and toughness of it is very specific to cycling, which I always find fascinating when the body is so relevant,” Long told me last week.

It really felt like Long had reached new heights with this collection. He introduced some beautiful pieces of knitwear, comprised of a hypnotic collection of blue, pink and red stripes. His models appeared with slicked back hair and tinted glasses adding a certain charm and sex appeal to his designs. On the last day of LC:M, Long has given us a collection that re-affirms his position as one of London’s great menswear designers.