Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Belstaff’s SS17 womenswear collection celebrates the centennial anniversary of an epic 5,500-mile motorcycle journey across America by Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, two fearless sisters who campaigned for the right of women to serve in the US armed forces as messengers and dispatch riders, and ultimately helped pave the way for the female vote. Only 24 and 22 years old respectively, they were the first women to ride coast-to-coast and were instrumental in empowering and inspiring women all over the world.

This collection draws upon the military and moto-style apparel they wore on the ride, while also referencing the dramatic and various landscapes they came across through colour and texture, and more feminine silhouettes.

The key silhouette for SS17 has been influenced by the long dispatch riders coats that the Van Burens wore on their journey from New York to Los Angeles. The Lowther coat channels an Americana aesthetic through a Buffalo check cotton bouclé featuring a martingale belt, a motif which appears throughout the collection.

The same bold check is also present in the cropped Lytham jacket.

The Lowther silhouette also forms the blueprint for its more technical cousin the bonded cotton Tenterden coat which comes in a rich cognac colour. It is finished with heat-sealed taping for a full water-proofing effect.

A new fabric innovation for this season is an Aero Dry Wax Cotton, crafted from a fine 220 thread count cotton fabric treated with the driest wax finish and combined with an emulsified wax for water repellence and a light silky wax finish. The garment is then softened by a unique Aero tumble process. The finished fabric has a soft, relaxed natural appearance and is a unique lightweight alternative to a traditional wax coat. It has been used to create the completely unlined Rivingten Parka featuring ruched details on the upper back and finished with a soft draw cord with leather stoppers. The Rivingten silhouette has also been proposed in a cotton linen blend with a metallic coating for a more vibrant contemporary style.

Belstaff introduces two new four pocket shapes for women this season: the Hatton in water-repellent bonded cotton and the Hoghton in a Japanese cotton drill, both finished with a micro-sand soft wash. The Hatton is a very feminine four-pocket shape with a martingale and throat latch closure, with the same silhouette also seen in double-face nappa. The Hoghton takes its cues from Belstaff’s classic four-pocket Roadmaster and its vintage collar and patches were inspired by the Van Burens’ great adventure across the American wilderness.

Leatherwear forms two categories this season: a water-repellent contrast double-face lambskin nappa and a water-resistant lightweight nappa. Of the former, the Americana aesthetic seen in the Women’s Pre-Spring 16 and Men’s Main SS17 collection inspired by the film “On Any Sunday”, has been developed further in the guise of the silky Whitaker moto jacket and Marton riding trouser. The graphic star motif is a nod to the American motor-racing obsession. The Carnmore jacket in a beautiful tan introduces Belstaff’s iconic four-pocket silhouette in contrast double-face nappa with a martingale and throat latch closure. Finally, the Avenham represents a brand new moto style given its removable waist section, allowing it to be worn as a cropped blouson on top of dresses.

The Hidcote parka and the Havana bomber come in a water resistant lightweight nappa - both unlined for a chic lightweight drape effect. The Hidcote, like its cotton parka sibling the Rivingten, has ruching across the shoulder blades rendering it more feminine and current, whilst the Havana channels a sports luxe versatility.

Lightweight cottons and cotton blends contribute to a wonderfully draped jersey and shirt collection for summer.

A relaxed and easy draping effect is the cornerstone to the season’s cotton dresses, with ruching details an important feature throughout. The Haley, a viscose cotton crepe dress comes with a visible mesh lining, while the Hershot is a very feminine lingerie-inspired silk Georgette dress in black or dusty white with a zip front and smocking details.

 For a strong contemporary look, Belstaff also introduces the Ashwick jump suit in a soft cotton gabardine.

Belstaff introduces an exciting new hi-top for Summer 17: the Dillon is offered in both a white nappa and silver laminate nappa and takes its design cues from American moto-racing motifs of the 1970s.

  Photo credits: Jason Lloyd Evans

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