Friends of the blog, S.E.H Kelly are about to launch a pre-fall collection chock-full of more cracking pieces, from outerwear to soft tailored suits. And rather than me waffle on about it, I caught up with Paul from the label and got him to talk through what we can expect to see from them going forwards.
So it’s going to be Autumn soon and you’re releasing some new stuff, what can we expect?
You can expect things which are neither too light, nor too heavy, and which are all very well made with the best cloth made in the British Isles. Ahem. Most of the garments are updates on what we have made before — we learn how to make them better by what our customers tell us, and our own experience, of course — and one or two are new developments. It will set the path for heavier and woollier things later in the year: top-layers for now, and mid-layers when things get chilly.
I know you give every garment the same amount of attention and development but what’s your favourite piece of the collection?
The new reversible overshirt. It is the simplest thing we have designed in a fair old while. Very reductive sort of approach we took with it. It has two sides — one of which is deadstock cord, and the other is a clever type of wool with a cord-like corrugated structure. So you have a sort of balance and logic there. It has six pockets, but none of them are immediately visible. It also has a two-piece raglan sleeve. The balance and pitch of it all is tremendous. It is cut like an overcoat or mac, proportion and fit-wise, but it is an overshirt. Time to make the overshirt more than just a heavy shirt, if you ask me. There is quite a lot to it, and it is a tricky one to manufacture — despite its simple appearance. I like that sort of thing.
Fabrication’s always a key point of your clothing, is there anything new you’ve been experimenting with recently that will see itself on future pieces?
Yes. We’ve begun work with a little mill in the Inner Hebrides. Not the Outer Hebrides. The Inner. It is Scottish, and it is a type of tweed, but it is a world away from Harris. Garments made with it will pop up early winter.
Are there any plans to expand the range into accessories? You did a small run of socks not so long back and you’ve got some hats in the range too, any more of this on the horizon?
Gloves are coming up before too long. Deerskin or peccary. Cashmere-lined. Some wool on them somewhere. Excellent things, made by a place so old and venerable, it seems remiss not to bow every time we mention them. And then spectacle frames. These are probably the most exciting of our new developments. There is a lot to the design of a spectacle frame. Lots of variables. So this has kept us very busy indeed. Right now, I’m on the way to a little leather workshop who is making our cases. Watch this space and all that.
For more information on the label and their products, or to buy from their online shop, go to the website here: S.E.H Kelly.
The latest range from Nottingham’s Campbell Cole sees the label move into new territory. They still stay within the accessories arena, but now with a product that’s more refined, more premium and a real distillation of what the brand is about. I was privy to one of the early samples and loved it from the moment I saw it – it was beautifully made, understated but shouted quality from miles off.
Fast forward 12 months and the full range is now available. Entitled Annex, the collection is inspired by modern living architecture – the concept being that each bag is a portable living space for your belongings, an extension of your home if you will. Sculptural forms combine with soft premium leathers and an attention to detail that’s absolutely meticulous, creating a sleek, ultra-luxe exterior and a range of bags that are simply awesome.
Inside, a refined panama lining with considered pocket layout allows for easy organisation of your daily essentials. There are three bag sizes – the day bag is the smallest (and it was the sample I saw originally), then there’s the larger work bag and biggest of all an overnight bag. In addition is a washbag that follows the same aesthetic and finally, the small card holder and key wrap fit into the collection too.
Designed and Made in England, the range is available now. So for more information or to buy online, go to the website here: Campbell Cole.
Having been brought up on the outskirts of the Lake District, there are some local brands that are very close to my heart, one of which is Chapman Bags. Thanks to my old man using their shooting bags for years, the brand always had a place in our household when I was growing up, and they’re still a brand I have a huge amount of time for.
The label has recently re-branded itself, with an identity that draws on their origins as a field sports company, and one that’s deeply rooted in the local Borders community. The new logo features a pair of crossed fishing hooks – a reference to the Chapman’s historical association with the manufacture of fishing bags and accessories – and is further bolstered with a plethora of stunning landscape photography of the Borders region in which Chapman is based, and also with a brand new website.
And if all that wasn’t enough there’s also the beautiful brand film above. It depicts the hand-making of a classic fishing bag in Chapman’s Carlisle factory, and highlights the traditional manufacturing techniques they employ in producing their bags – including hand-cutting everything from original patterns, hand-machining and traditional saddlery work.
For more information on the brand, go to their new website here: Chapman Bags.
The collaboration between South Shields’ Barbour and Saville Row’s Norton & Sons continues for another season, and once again the two brands have produced a capsule range that typifies what each does best.
Presided over by Patrick Grant, the collection takes lesser known silhouettes from the Barbour archives and refines them with a touch of Saville Row elegance and techniques normally found in tailoring – elevating each piece from the functional to the grand. That’s not to say that the collection doesn’t keep its strong workwear heritage though, because that remains in abundance – Barbour’s traditional waxed cottons remain, as does their trademark quilting, all giving their outerwear the requisite weather resistance you’d expect from the brand.
For more information, or to buy the first drop of this impressive collection online, go to the END website here: Barbour x Norton & Sons.
British label Mamick continues to develop its Black Label collection with new products. This year sees it release three pieces of clothing and two leather accessories, all of which are made in Japan.
First off is the absolutely corking Derwent Jacket, which comes in either camouflage or paisley denim, woven and manufactured in Japan. Both versions feature a three-button placket, with chest pocket and three-button cuff. The Unthank Jacket is designed by Osamu Aizawa and features bellows pockets, buttons cuffs and detachable neck-piece. It’s available in either beige or navy mid/heavy-weight drill cotton. As ever, limited numbers of both styles are available in the UK.
The Ecton is a new shirt style, made in a soft flannelette and available in either ivory and navy cotton. Features include a button-down collar with Mamnick’s tradmark trocas shell buttons and a very nifty placket detail. The quality of the cotton is top-notch and the perfect weight for the Summer months – I’m wearing one now as I type this and it’s perfect.
Finally come the leather accessories – a card-holder and Everyday case. Both are manufactured by hand in Japan by Hiroiki Ogawa from leathers sourced exclusively for the brand. The Everyday case comes complete with chunky brass zip and internal essentials zip-pocket and pen-holder, with both pieces Mamnick stamp-branded.
The photos took place in the studio of Sheffield-based Multi-disaplinary artist Del Hardin Hoyles before his upcoming exhibition ‘Seeing Things’ and the photography is by India Hobson. For more information on the brand, or to buy via their online shop, go here: Mamnick.
This is the post I didn’t really want to write.
As the title suggests, I’ve not been keeping up with the blog recently. Since stepping up to a creative director role at work, and trying to balance that with being a dad, something has to give. And unfortunately that something is the blog.
It’s not ideal after the last four and a half years of effort that’s been put into it, but at the moment there’s no other way. And rather than just leave it, I thought I’d at least let readers know what’s going on.
It won’t be forever and I might try and post occasionally, but in general it’s going to be quiet round here for a couple of months whilst I try and get things balanced out.
A behind the scenes look at Smith-Wykes’ Spring/Summer 2014 collection for your perusal today. I featured the still imagery from this collection in July last year (find that post here). And now it’s all finally available.
It’s their strongest season to date (I said it then and I still think it now) and takes it’s point of reference from “an outsiders perspective on Japanese design as seen through 1960‘s film, fashion and architecture’”. For more information on the brand, go to their website here: Smith-Wykes.