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 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 referencing the dramatic and various landscapes they came across through colour and texture, and more feminine silhouettes.
The key silhouette for SS17 outerwear 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 aesthetics through a Buffalo check cotton boucle 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, 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 unique lightweight alternative to a traditional wax coat. It has been used to create the completely unlined Rivington Parka featuring ruched details on the upper back and finished with a soft draw cord with leather stoppers.
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 trousers. The graphic star motif is a nod to the American motor-racing obsession. 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 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 Rivington, has ruching across the shoulder blades rendering it more feminine and current, whilst the Havana channels sports luxe versatility.
This season, Belstaff also launches it first eyewear collection in collaboration with Imatta, a market leader in the manufacture and distribution of luxury eyewear, taking inspiration from the brand’s codes balancing tradition and innovation in full respect of Belstaff’s DNA. Classics like the Aviator have been revisited with the addition of Belstaff’s signature wax leather across the bridge, along with the introduction of new silhouettes like a round shape with removable metal mesh blinkers on the sides. The partnership will include both sun and optical frames, all handmade in Japan using only the finest materials, i.e. Zeiss lenses. To explore more of Belstaff SS17 collection, please see the photos below…
PHOTOGRAPHER: Julia Jevzikova