- Text Clementine Zawadzki
- Photography Takanori Okuwaki
- 15th June 2015
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Lower Thames Street for an Arabian desert, as Belstaff created a Sahara in the midst of London’s hustle and bustle. Onlookers stopped in their tracks to admire the SS16 Desert Explorers display, as brooding models commandeered the front of house space with a Land Rover and motorbike. The theme was appropriate – Belstaff did originally start out as a waterproof jacket outfitter and quickly amassed a heavy biker following that ensures today, this brand is as much about the outdoors as it is about luxury.
A study army tent helped bridge the gap between London’s iconic monuments and corridor covered in patchwork of linen and Bergen bags. You could almost smell the sense of adventure, looking onto a backdrop of a deserted, starry night sky, down to sand beneath the models desert boot-clad feet. More aviator than Aladdin, a drifter with a bag packed and the world beckoning.
From the archives of 1930s Lawrence of Arabia, to the modern identity of Walking the Nile’s Levison Wood, Belstaff’s hybrid of materials and styles is functional, but heralds traits that acknowledge a bygone time. Utilitarian, from jeans and chinos, to lightweight knit blends of cotton and silk, it was the outerwear that provided the canvas for SS16.
A variety of silhouettes were created in structured pea coats, blazers, and more free-fitting parachute parkas. Leather vests, strategically patch-worked jackets, threaded ponchos, and reverse capes, were just some of the stand out items. Beige and off-white accented the day, as brown hues cooled into blue camouflage tones, again echoing the essence of travel in culture, time and place. A collection about exploration and home.