Photos courtesy of brand
This season’s collection explores the concept of a woman taking off into a natural realm with no frontiers or limitations, and all that she needs in the clothing on her back. Taking inspiration from the first pioneering women to dress in Belstaff, aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson, the collection is a dynamic interpretation of the inherent danger and excitement of the natural world, allowing her to live fast and free in an ever-changing environment.
Drawing upon the need for protection from the elements, the collection focuses on luxurious natural fibres such as fur, shearling and woven wool bouclé, as well as Belstaff’s weather-proof fabrics, nylon and wax cotton. Layering is further explored with Belstaff’s modular lining system, ensuring that the Belstaff women is primed for the unexpected. A mixing of themes and materials is very apparent: masculine with feminine; oversize and mini; savage and sensual; casual and luxe.
The collection, Delphine Ninous’ first for Belstaff as Vice President of Women’s Design, was presented in a beautiful, slightly crumbling mansion, among a setting of vintage parachute silks, evoking the heritage of the brand as supplier to pioneering pilots and the British army.
KEY COLLECTION THEMES
Outerwear plays with volume and length, subverting traditional male shapes into female silhouettes. Parkas, capes, quilts, pea coats, and Belstaff icons such as the Roadmaster, provide a relaxed yet empowered aesthetic, oversized at times and layered for a sense of protection.
Fur and shearling elevate the outerwear offering yet further. A waxed cotton parka featuring fur and leather detailing is key. Rabbit fur collars are added to a Roadmaster in cashmere, and a puffa jacket in the vision of an aviator blouson. Shearling is explored in multiple lengths and colours, affecting a sense of raw nature and the wild.
Down brings a modern outdoor functionality but is treated in a feminine way. An updated bomber and parka bring a fresh interpretation of volume to two classic shapes. A variety of quilted liners and hoods – in keeping with Belstaff’s heritage offering – are easily mixed between jackets.
Print brings a softness and femininity via two motifs from the natural world: a lichen print interpreted as an abstract floral is used on delicate chiffon, while a topographical print provides texture to a bolder jacquard.
Tailoring counterbalances the omnipresence of outerwear. Pleated pants of a 1930s shape in gabardine appear to be borrowed from the men. Shirts feature a cotton neck strap, characteristic of Belstaff’s outerwear and further exploring the concept of protection. Dresses play with new silhouettes for the brand, including a wrapped one which is at once sensual and cosy. The classic boiler suit is reinterpreted in a highly feminine way.
Leather is also tailored to create an alternative smart day look, with carrot trousers, full long skirts and a café racer blouson all cut with precision in skin and hand-waxed. The biker jacket is present in various forms, each with a unique attitude; the café racer is cut high and nipped in at the waist for a strong feminine look, while a Perfecto with effected worn leather appears borrowed from the boys.
Knitwear plays with texture and tactility, incorporating diverse yarns, lengths, fabrics and stitches, providing protection as well as comfort. Cashmere, mohair and textural wool combine with unique stitch patterns inspired by biker elements. Jerseys and fleece, influenced by military undergarments, are given a luxury spin in cashmere. A wide selection of scarves simulate the same styles.
Footwear is focused and references elements of the collection, i.e. biker details and shearling trims. Boots range from a combat with eyelets, to a classic Chelsea with a buckle, and an aviator-inspired block-heel in suede and leather. High thin-heeled ankle boots feature larger silver eyelets that mirror the silver details throughout the collection.