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Mouth gags, perverse leather gloves and ankle-grazing coats...LC:M suddenly got dark

TextSusanne MadsenPhotographyLea ColomboPhotographyJoe Ridout

It’s not every day that you get to write the words ‘warm winter coat’ and ‘sex’ in the same sentence. But yesterday, at the Topman Design show, there was something quite fetish-y and decidedly sexy about the long and oversized coats that stalked the rain-slicked runway. Unflinching in its masculinity, the new coat is almost intimidating in its scaled-up proportions. And paired with PVC trousers, plaid shirts covered in cling-film plastic and dripping wet hair like at Topman, it’s off the twisted hotness chart.

Alan Taylor’s closing look at MAN – an ankle-grazing, massively oversized black tweed coat with flecks of silver – also had an air of danger about it, underscored by the neat and menacing leather gloves it was paired with. It’s probably bad style to quote yourself, but last year I did a piece for Dazed Digital on the wardrobe of The X-Files where I said that “nothing says creepy eeriness quite like a billowing coat”. And the timeless and ever so unsettling power of the sweeping hero coat (or should that be villain coat?) was definitely out in force yesterday.

Where the SS14 London shows talked about sex by flirting with a traditionally soft and feminine vocabulary – the prettiest of lace, wispy organza and sensual silk – AW14 so far looks to be a much more tough, dominant, take-no-prisoners creature, dressed in leather, tape-bonded jackets and all that bossy, heavyweight wool outerwear. Playing to the idea that evil has always had more fun than good, Bobby Abley went all out on his ode to Maleficent at MAN, filling his imaginary Phantom Manor with ghouls, ghosts and barbed wire prints. And with their metal gimp mouth opening contraptions, his fantasy horror gang gave more than a faint nod to S&M.