One of the few female designers on the British menswear scene, Lou Dalton has fast become a figurehead for homegrown talent at London Collections Men.
Her USP? Having an innate and all-encompassing understanding of what men want from their clothes: practicality, a dash of adventure and, above all else, something that makes the wearer look damn good. In short, it’s masterful menswear with, as the designer herself would say, “Charm, Charm, Charm”. Having left school at 16 in her home county of Shropshire to take up an apprenticeship in bespoke tailoring and pattern cutting, she moved to London to study menswear at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1998. After this Dalton cut her tailoring teeth at a variety of brands both here and abroad - notably as a consultant for Japanese workwear-crafters United Arrows, and Iceberg and Stone Island in Italy - before founding her eponymous label in 2005. Since then Dalton’s collections have often been inspired by the men in her life: her father and her partner (and keen cyclist), Justin Haigh, as well as her Shropshire roots.
All three keep her collections continually grounded in wearable menswear reality, while she stirs in a variety of intriguing curveball influences, from the Apollo missions to caravan-dwelling farmhands to Texas oil barons to Taxi Driver. However, whether it’s bleached-denim, Peptobismol pink cotton or brown corduroy that’s her showcase fabric for the season, you can guarantee that every item is cut to slim, trim perfection with the skilled hand of a designer who knows their craft.
It’s this immediately-apparent talent that has led to her becoming one of the most in-demand designers in the fashion industry right now. Having produced capsule collections for Dover Street Market, Grenson, Liberty and Opening Ceremony, demand for Dalton’s line is growing every year with her clothes now not only stocked in the UK, but also in continental Europe as well as in the USA, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea - and, as of earlier this year, at her e-shop which now ships her items to anywhere on the globe. She’s conquered Britain - now she’s taking on the world.