This season has brought back some famous names in London and the Belstaff brand is definitely one of them. It was recently acquired by the Labelux Group and Harry Slatkin, the new CEO, focused on repositioning Belstaff as a luxury lifestyle brand by taking it back to its British roots. Some efforts were made over the past few years to put the leather company center stage, most notably in the blockbuster “I am Legend” in which Will Smith was sporting a Belstaff jacket inspired by one worn by Steve Mc Queen. To mark the change, a new Chief Creative Officer has been appointed in the person of Martin Cooper. His debut collection was presented at the Lindley Hall with invited guests including Harold Tillman, the chairman of the British Fashion Council.
Entering in a dark room covered with fake grass, it was easy to guess what the inspiration for the collection: going back to the roots. There was a strong accent on superior quality fabrics and leather, nature-inspired colour schemes and a vision of strong silhouettes. Women’s and men’s collections were presented at the same time but both reflected the same fashion statement: elegance with a rough edge.
For women, ladylike skirts were mixed with utilitarian fitted leather jackets. It gave the overall impression of a trendy hunting trip, whether that’s game-shooting or stalking the latest pair of shoes on the high street. The leather – raw, quilted or coated- gave a powerful allure to the silhouettes while adding a modern twist to the outfits thanks to some clever details: a waist-cinching belt, some breast pockets and a python print.
For men, the collection was more eclectic, ranging from the aviator style to the biker chic without forgetting, the city smart. The common themes seemed to be elegance and cosiness. Fitted trousers, chunky-knit jumpers and maxi-bags were combined with wool coats or leather biker jackets in black or brown.
It was a debut collection worth discovering which seemed to take the best of the brand’s heritage while giving it a more contemporary and edgy style.