Picture this – parachute silks strung up to the rafters in the grand Old Session House in the heart of central London, gliding gracefully to the floor where models perch on podiums surrounded by half empty, overspilling sandbags. This was the dramatic setting for Belstaff’s AW15 collection.
Upon arrival you were greeted with the sign #freespirit and boy, were these girls free. Belstaff describes how this season’s collection ‘explores the concept of a woman taking off into a natural realm with no frontiers or limitations where all she needs is the clothing on her back’. The models had shed their parachutes and were ready for adventure.
The collection showed a hybrid of seasonal staples in camo green, navy and black. The updated parka-bomber jacket took an androgynous voluminous shape and was layered on top of chunky polo necks. Masculine, pleated 1930s wide-leg trousers were offset by adding feminine touches with clean cotton shirts.
Layering is a must for AW15 as leather jacket details were sneaking out of wool capes and oversized coats. Collars were even overlaid on the same jacket to further enforce this idea of layering as protection from the elements. With eyelet details on the leather cuffs down to the high-heeled ankle boots it’s clear the Belstaff woman is prepared for anything and everything. Rich with luxurious textures and clean-cut masculine silhouettes, elements of the collection appear ‘borrowed from the boys’.
The brand’s rich heritage acted as inspiration for this collection as Belstaff has previously supplied pioneer pilots and the British Army. The iconic brand, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, has attracted many celebrity clients in the past such as David Beckham, Ewan McGregor and Rihanna to name a few.
One thing’s for sure; the Belstaff woman is empowered and lives fast and free.
London Fashion Week AW15 ran from Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 February.
Photo by Emma Holness