17 January 2015

Belstaff AW15 at London Collections:Men

The Belstaff Men’s Autumn Winter ‘15 collection takes its inspiration from the ‘Ton-Up Boys’ of the 1950s.

 The Ton up theme is embodied by an eclectic use of waxed cottons, hand treated leathers and luxury natural fibres.

A monochromatic chequerboard style is at the root of the collection.

Heavily into their rock‘n’roll and motorcycles, these ‘greasers’ (as they would become known) would rendezvous at caf├ęs and attempt to ‘do a ton’ (exceed speeds of 100mph) on their custom-made bikes.

 The Ton-Up boys were initially influenced by Marlon Brando in the seminal 1953 movie The Wild One, in which he wore the now iconic Perfecto jacket.

But they soon began putting their own very British twist on the look, adding elements of wax cotton riding kit, together with military surplus garments – two strong threads in Belstaff’s heritage - customising them as naturally as they did their bikes.

The leather cafe racer blouson comes with contrast patch pockets inspired by the customisation of the original Ton-Up blousons of the 50s. Leather riding boots are paired with white wool socks while necklines are high, two elements of protective style that were very identifiable with the 50s cafe racer.

Shearling appears in various guises:

An aviator style blouson features a classic short shearling collar with external shearling panels.

A  new longer Ton-Up parka in waxed cotton comes embellished with long haired shearling

Knitwear includes bold bi-colour English ribs, chunky waffle stitches, cashmere hoodies and fluffy mohair pieces. 

Some knitwear has been mixed with hand-waxed leather in shoulder trims, while other pieces play with the chequerboard and oil print motifs.

This seasonal oil print motif (grey jacket on the left) can be found right across the jackets, jersey, fleeces and shirts. It reflects the gritty and individualised biker style of the 50s when the biker would tune his ride in order to get the ‘ton-up’ and would invariably and inadvertently smudge his  jacket with smears of oil

It was therefore fitting that Belstaff chose such an iconically British and petrol-fumed setting for their event and to present this collection: an underground car-park opposite the Houses of Parliament.

A true celebration of the brand’s return its homeland, England.

Celebrities who attended the event included:

Above Left:  Artist Connor Hirst (son of artist Damien Hirst)
Above Right: David Gandy, model and ambassador for London Collections: Men

Above: British racing driver and Ambassador for Belstaff : Max Chilton

And yours truly! Revving it up with the biker models!!

Live music was performed by indie rock/synthpop band The Propellers.

The AW15 collection will be available later this year

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