17 June 2015

Belstaff SS16 Collection - Desert Explorers

The Men’s 2016 Summer collection develops the concept of the great British desert explorer, an intrepid and adventurous figure, motivated by the desire for discovery in the world’s most hot and unforgiving of landscapes.

 In keeping with Belstaff’s history as supplier to the British forces, a strong military influence pervades the collection, with more than a nod to the Desert Rats. This is interwoven with other references from Belstaff’s archive and heritage, such as explorers old and new who have worn the brand; namely Lawrence of Arabia in the 1930s, to those of the present day such as Levison Wood (Walking the Nile) with whom Belstaff has worked on a customised explorer jacket for SS16.

This season, prints take centre stage with Belstaff developing a camouflage pattern that is hand-painted and unique to each piece, and a desert-terrain print inspired by old exploration maps. The hand-crafted camo is found on parkas and pea coats, while the map motif is featured on technical summer-nylon jackets, as well as on innovative dry-touch wax-cotton styles. Other blousons have the functionalism of print on one side and solid nylon on the other. Taping details, inspired by parachute construction, are a theme seen throughout the collection but most prominently in key outerwear pieces such as a full-length lightweight parka in the terrain print. (see image below - far left model)

The desert boot is the key element to this season’s footwear collection, coming in a range of khaki and sand tones and replete with a leather sole. A reinforced patch which loops over the toe makes them uniquely Belstaff. The classic Trialmaster boot has been given a desert-style super-light crepe sole, while a Chelsea boot has been updated in suede and hand-waxed leather options.
 For the collection’s presentation, Belstaff has taken over Old Billingsgate Market, an impressive landmark on London’s iconic river Thames with a terrace overlooking Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast to the left, the Shard in front, and London Bridge to the right, in a reaffirmation of the Britishness of the brand, now back on home turf.

Once again referencing Belstaff’s motoring and military heritage, a desert jeep, bike and army tent were deployed to set the scene.

Chinese actor & mode Hu Bing

Mafro & David Baker of Ella Eyre
David Gandy

Casablanca beer, mint tea and kebabs were served by Momo’s, London's original North African den. Guests were then drawn into the concept and transported into the desert, where the collection was revealed on relevant models.

Special guest, Jack Fox, (above imgae) the latest talent to emerge from the illustrious Fox dynasty, perfectly embodies the spirit of the collection. His most recent film ‘Theeb’ – about a perilous desert journey - has just been released, and he is about to embark on a West End run playing alongside his father James, in a new stage adaptation of ‘Dear Lupin, Letters to a Wayward Son’
Alice Cooper posing with model Ricki Hall

Photography: Nick Harvey
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