Tender Autumn/Winter 2012 preview
A couple of weeks ago I once again made my way to William from Tender’s house for a look at next season’s collection and a chat about where he’s taking the brand. This time coffee was replaced by whisky so my recollection of the evening isn’t as clear as it probably should be (and the images are a bit blurry), but I distinctly remember being shown some cracking bits.
The first new season thing I was shown was a driver’s watch. Simple and small with a Swiss hand-wound movement cased in England and a subtle face sitting at an angle for ease of reading whilst your hand’s on the wheel. It’s a lovely piece, detailed with Tender’s trademark traintracks, simple numerals and a subtle logo placed on the dial, which sits in a brushed steel case that’s complimented with a wattle-tanned leather strap and hand cast brass buckle.
As we’re coming to expect from the brand, another season means a new colour and to accompanying Tender’s signature woad dye, Autumn/Winter’s new tone is a light brown, made from wattle tree bark. When this is dyed over denim it takes the blue to a black, and the cotton sewing threads take on a rich mushroomy beige. Although it does darken down the jeans it’s still subtle and not a heavy black, with the blue still coming through in certain lights.
Shirts have branched out into more fabrics, including English cotton satin, deadstock English-woven cotton horse blanket and Welsh woollen flannels. T-shirt prints are done in a new collaboration with the University of Brighton Design Archives and outerwear includes pieces made up in woollen fabrics woven in Yorkshire especially for brand (I’ll be featuring this more in depth in the coming months).
Also new to the line and something I was especially interested in (as I snatched it off the rail!) is William’s first foray into knitwear. This comes in the form of a crew neck jumper available in two colourways. Knitted in Scotland of un-dyed wools grown on the Shetland Islands, it’s a very warm and perfect for Winter. As with the watch these also features Tender’s ‘train tracks’, this time jacquard woven and running around the chest horizontally.
Accessories are branching out too, with a new lost wax-cast brass buckle built on Tender’s custom-tanned super heavy oak bark leather adding to this already fantastic range. Deviating from items you wear, and no doubt the biggest departure for the brand is a new range of pottery. At first it seemed a bit strange, but really when you think about the ideas behind Tender as a whole, they fit perfectly. The mugs have been hand-thrown in England and they use a mix of natural red clay and natural white clay, both dug in England as well.
And these mugs follow nicely on to the new accessories led webshop William is starting. The Trestle Shop will formally be opening later in the year stocking some lovely simple pieces, so watch this space for more info on that as and when. Moving on to stuff that’s available now, I got a closer look at this season’s ticking trews, which are made from English striped mattress cloth and also the cracking woad-dyed cotton jacket with real Horn buttons which is the best piece of the season in my humble opinion.
Last but not least is a look at this season’s boots, both in their brand new, natural leather state and after a few months of solid wear. As you can see the leather has darkened to a beautiful colour and the boots have softened, loosing their initial stiffness and become very comfy. There aren’t many pairs of these floating about, but they’re well worth hunting down if you want a pair of boots that are totally different to everything else out there.
For more information on the brand and to find your nearest stockist of their excellent products, go to the website here: Tender Co.