“We were inspired by female pioneers venturing into the earth’s most bleak and hard-to-reach locations in the most challenging of conditions, protection from the elements, warmth and comfort are key themes, as are the stylistic influences derived from these lands and the animals and people that inhabit them.” – Delphine Ninous, VP of Belstaff Women’s Design
It is that time of year again when leading talents of the British Fashion Industry transform the whole of London into secret pockets of fantasy worlds for their collection launch. I love taking a short break from architecture and construction industry to hop around London in search of secret venues where each space is transformed into theatrical conceptual set to encapsulate the essence of each designer’s ideas for their collection.
One of the most exciting presentations I have seen on Day 3 of London Fashion Week so far was undoubtedly Belstaff Autumn/Winter 2016 Presentation where the crypt of old Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone (also known as One Marylebone) was transformed into a bleak icy cavern for their ‘Polar Pioneer’ collection inspired by an American journalist and historian, Edith “Jackie” Ronne’s Antarctic expedition in 1947, where she was the first woman to be a working member of an Antarctic expedition. Since the weather in London today was rather mild, the harsh grey stone of Holy Trinity Church Crypt did a fantastic job at setting a foreboding harsh environment for the collection reveal.
‘Polar Pioneer’ combines a perfect blend of feminine sensuality with Belstaff’s traditions of unrivalled level of protection, durability, and luxurious comfort; resulting in stylish daily essentials that are highly wearable whether they be for everyday urban city living or a trip to extreme wilderness. Key designs such as colour block coats, leather backpacks, and animal skin patchwork cape, for example, were great pieces for autumn while patchwork fur jackets would be perfect for winter in a city. Layering of contrasting textures such as pleated silk organza skirt paired with suede ankle boots, cashmere top and shearing jacket gave a softer feminine sensuality to tough weatherproof pieces for day to evening wearability.
A mixtures of polar and sporty motocross inspired pieces within the collection should also cater for the more adventurous hearts, with key pieces such as an all-in-one silk jumpsuit with embroidery details or a motorcycle leather jackets featuring a more feminine silhouette.
‘Polar Pioneer’ is a much softer and most versatile womenswear collection from Belstaff to date in my opinion. I love the layering of different luxurious textures, and the patchwork of different furs and animal skins to create not only garments that offer excellent protection against harsh winter weather conditions, but also rich and luxurious at the same time. It is even better that key pieces such as the colour block ‘Rollins Coat’, the modern patchwork ‘Levitt Cape’ or the ultra sexy red and black motorcycle leather ‘Hendrickson Jacket’ are available for pre-order now on Belstaff Website, London Fashion Week AW16 page
As with previous years, Belstaff presentation was in interactive presentation format, which I always found to be more engaging because audiences had time to look at each outfit in more detail than a runway format, which was perfect for a brand like Belstaff where superior craftsmanship and combinations of unique textures were central to the brand identity. This time, however, I went to the show wearing my own selection of Belstaff Spring/Summer 2016 pieces. More on this look will be posted in a separate article when I have a bit more time to post, but for now, please see below some captured moments of the show’s ice cavern atmosphere and sneak peeks of my Belstaff outfit. Enjoy!
SHOW AMBIENCE & CAPTURED MOMENTS