As mentioned in my previous post, I was very excited to attend this evening’s Belstaff Womenswear Presentation for their Autumn/Winter 15/16 Collection at the Old Session House in Clerkenwell.
Firstly, because it was one of the most prestigious British luxury brand for utilitarian outerwear in the world, and had always been since 1924, when its founder Eli Belovitch and son-in-law Harry Grosberg began producing all-weather jackets for motorcyclists in Staffordshire. World renown for highest quality of craftsmanship and cutting edge functional design, one could expect top quality protection from any severe weather conditions in whatever environment from Belstaff garments. After all, they were THE supplier of weatherproof jackets and protective garments for pioneering pilots for the growing aviation industry, and also the British Army during the World War II. With such a unique brand heritage, I was intrigued to see how Belstaff takes this archive forwards for the modern day women.
Secondly, because weatherproof outerwear was something that is absolutely essential for me when I work, especially during construction phase when projects were on site, so this presentation would certainly showcase looks and items that I could actually wear everyday.
Having attended the show, I must warn you that this is going to be a very very long post, because it was so inspiring and such an empowering collection, that I had a lot to say about it…
Anyway, first thing first…
THE COLLECTION : “THE PURSUIT OF FREEDOM”
The Collection inspired by aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson, first women who dressed in Belstaff, was all about strong empowered women who were not afraid to explore the unknown. She’s confident, knows what she wants and not afraid of new frontiers! A Belstaff Woman was versatile yet elegant, tough yet sensual, an embodiment of contradicting qualities which expressed visually via the play of masculine and feminine cut in the garments, the layering of soft vs rough texture in the materials; down to the fresh natural dewy skin look on the models faces with minimal make up.
|A Play on Masculinity vs Femininity at Belstaff Woman AW15|
The outerwear played with volume and length, subverting traditional male shapes of the Belstaff jackets into female silhouette, with luxurious trimmings of fur collars or contrasting colour piping details.
All of Belstaff classic archive were infused flawlessly into each look such as the Roadmaster with rabbit fur collars, the leather Blouson layered under a pastel blue pea coat. The fabrics were all about providing protection against the natural realm with fur, shearling, woven wool, waxed cotton and leather.
What I loved the most about this collection was the practicality and simplicity of each look. They were so effortlessly put together and could easily span both day and night, work and play, which would work really well for modern day young professional women. One outfit could transform from formal to casual just by taking off a jacket, or vice versa. Each look balanced masculinity and femininity, as well as casual and elegance perfectly, not too boyish yet not too girly, not too casual to wear to work or meetings, but not too formal to wear to dinners or drinks after work with friends neither. There was sophistication in the minimalist look that I thought was really cleverly done in this Collection.
I pretty much loved the whole collection, my favourite looks from the evening were:
The oversize ivory blanket cape layered over the leather blouson, white shirt, black trousers and ankle boots worn by Model of the Moment, Sam Rollinson. The effortless cool oozing from this look was just unbelievable!
|All About Layers at Belstaff Woman AW15 Presentation|
The long white dress with side split worn with a padded jacket and ankle boots. I loved the mixture of luxe and casual in this outfit, which could easily suit both day and evening. Casual look with the jacket, which transformed into an elegant look without the jacket.
|A Perfect Balance of Luxe and Casual at Belstaff Woman AW15|
Opposite also applied to a formal coat over casual outfit…
|Minimalist Cool at Belstaff Woman AW15|
|Ready for all weather at Belstaff Woman AW15|
|Casual can transform into luxe just by removing a coat at Belstaff Woman AW15|
|Pea coat with piping detail and textured landscape inspired knitwear at Belstaff Woman AW 15|
|Ohhh… THE FUR!!! at Belstaff Woman AW15|
|Another one of my favourite outerwear at Belstaff Woman AW15|
|Layering of rough vs soft textures at Belstaff Woman AW15|
Last but not least, The Classic Belstaff Leather Blouson….
|Cool Classic Belstaff Leather Blouson worn over tailored white trousers and black jumper at Belstaff Woman AW15|
|Fresh dewy natural look with minimal make up at Belstaff Woman AW15|
THE PARACHUTE SET
The Georgian Architecture of the Old Session House with its crumbling walls was the perfect surrounding for this immersive “Pursuit of Freedom” experience inspired by aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson. With Vintage Parachute dropped from the sky surrounding models standing on white plinths, guests to this presentation also became part of the show. I loved the interactive ambient of this whole presentation format. This was my first time going to a show that was not a catwalk format, and I had to admit that I loved it! It was like walking into a movie set, where I was allowed to explore the collection freely amongst an old crumbling ruin where these amazingly cool girls dropped from the sky with their parachute.
|Entering the World of Belstaff Free Spirit Women AW15 at The Old Session House|
|The Main Hall with Vintage Parachute Set surrounding the Models.|
The excitement of being part of the design concept and being able to interact with the models were really refreshing and adventurous at the same time. It was a much more enjoyable way to view and experience the concept of the collection than the traditional catwalk format. I also liked how the models were allowed to hold and sip champagne from their glasses throughout the presentation because this gesture also reinforced the concept of free spirit woman who could do whatever she wished, she did not have to play by the rule or stick to the norm… A little rebel in a woman always made her more interesting!
|A photographer interacting with the Model at Belstaff Woman AW15 Parachute Set|
|Model holding and sipping champagne at Belstaff Woman AW15|
Belstaff Woman led by Delphine Ninous had certainly succeeded in combining high functionality and everyday wearability with effortless style.
Leaving the show, I had to admit that I had fallen in love with Belstaff’s Feminine Functionality looks and most likely be starting a love affair with their AW15 collection pretty soon… As you know, I am a practical, no fuss kinda girl, I do not like taking a long time to get dressed, even though I love fashion and like to have a personal style… So my outfits have always been prioritised by functionality, durability and simplicity because I mostly work outdoor, and frankly do not have time nor patience to be over-delicate with what I wear… Next winter when I go on site, you may see me in a Belstaff jacket or two… After all, if they are good enough for the British Army and pioneering aviatrixes such as Amelia Earhart, they are definitely good enough for me!
For more information on Belstaff Woman and their AW15 Collection Presentation, please see the video below and visit http://www.belstaff.co.uk/