Monday, 23 February 2015

Belstaff Womenswear AW15 - The Pursuit of Freedom

Taking inspiration from the first pioneering women to dress in Belstaff, aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson, the collection explores the concept of a woman taking off into a natural realm with no frontiers or limitations - the Free Spirit.

Outerwear oversized at times and worn layered for a sense of protection. Traditional male shapes of  parkas, capes, quilts, pea coats, and Belstaff iconic Roadmaster are tweaked for the female silhouette.

Down brings a modern outdoor functionality but is treated in a feminine way. An updated bomber and parka bring a fresh interpretation of volume to two classic shapes. A variety of quilted liners and hoods - in keeping with Belstaff’s heritage offering - are easily mixed between jackets.

 Tailoring counterbalances the omnipresence of outerwear. Pleated pants of a 1930s shape in gabardine appear to be borrowed from the men. Shirts feature a cotton neck strap, characteristic of Belstaff’s outerwear and further exploring the concept of protection. Dresses play with new silhouettes for the brand, including a wrapped one which is at once sensual and cosy. The classic boiler suit is reinterpreted in a highly feminine way.

 Leather is also tailored to create an alternative smart day look, with carrot trousers, full long skirts and a café racer blouson all cut with precision in skin and hand-waxed. The biker jacket is present in various forms, each with a unique attitude; the café racer is cut high and nipped in at the waist for a strong feminine look, while a Perfecto with effected worn leather appears borrowed from the boys.

 Knitwear plays with texture, providing protection as well as comfort. Cashmere, mohair and textural wool combine with unique stitch patterns inspired by biker elements. Jerseys and fleece, influenced by military undergarments, are given a luxury spin in cashmere. A wide selection of scarves simulate the same styles.

 Footwear is focused and references elements of the collection, i.e. biker details and shearling trims. Boots range from a combat with eyelets, to a classic Chelsea with a buckle, and an aviator-inspired block-heel in suede and leather. High thin-heeled ankle boots feature larger silver eyelets that mirror the silver details throughout the collection

The collection, Delphine Ninous’ first for Belstaff as Vice President of Women’s Design, was presented in a beautiful, slightly crumbling mansion, among a setting of vintage parachute silks, evoking the heritage of the brand as supplier to pioneering pilots and the British army.

Photos by Dave Benett

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