Review: J JS Lee Menswear Collection Fall/Winter 2018

Jackie Lee is Central Saint Martins alumni, establishing the brand J JS Lee during her time at the prestigious art college. She was noticed and supported by Vogue back in 2013 as an up-and-coming designer and now has a permanent spot on British Vogue’s website, showing her collections over the years, dating back to 2012. So far, all her collections have been womenswear.

By Megan Schiller

When I heard about J JS Lee Man, I was intrigued – I wondered if her menswear would have the same minimalist style that has been consistent in all of Lee’s previous designs.

The launch of J JS Lee Man was held at 180 The Strand, where several other designers were also showing their pieces in a larger room together. I expected something similar for J JS Lee, but this wasn’t the case. The collection had its own room – the aptly named ‘Discovery Lab’, and the mood changed from light and airy to darker, more enigmatic. The distinct, and very effective, feature of mini screens hung from the back of the room played a mock-show created by the designer, ‘The Late Night Show with Finn’, featuring models wearing the collection.

In the room there were 10 outfits suspended from the ceiling, lit up in the otherwise darkened space. It was a great way of showing the pieces; it meant that it was immediately obvious what themes the collection had, such as the black, white, cream and camel colours that were seen in most of the pieces.

The collection itself definitely had a past-meets-present feel to it – one example is a double breasted, pinstripe suit paired with a shirt that, on closer inspection, had a slight shimmer to it. The minimalistic approach to all the pieces also reinstated the idea of the masculinity and class of the J JS Lee man; the tweed jacket, the trench coat, the pinstripe suit all present similar ideas about the traditional male.

What really struck me was despite the trench coats and suits, there is also a jersey and cropped trousers combo, as well as a zip-up sweater paired with tailored suit-trousers. The refreshing modern twist on the collection is exactly what made it well and truly unique.

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