Before revealing the classified process through which the Winter 2014 range is being created, it’s important to first have a look at some current trends, climatic and otherwise.
The climate in the southern hemisphere is quite different from that in the North, as our early European discoverers noticed whilst holding perfumed handkerchiefs to their gradually reddening faces.
There’s more sunshine overall, but you also need to gear up for a thunderstorm in a flash. Both urban and natural environments can be rougher to traverse, so it’s often better to wear something light, versatile and durable. And winter, while not as icy as in the North, can nevertheless be very chilly, even snowing in the higher-situated regions.
For many South Africans, the wardrobe for winter consists of layering items you’d normally wear on their own during the summer. The odd cold-weather items will be mixed and matched with lighter clothing except for those very occasional periods where you’d need to go full-on winter.
Essentially, what’s good for Milan in the heart of winter won’t necessarily be practical for Rio de Janeiro, Durban, Brisbane or Bloemfontein during the same season. But you still need to look fashionable all the same!
But what does it take to be fashionable and comfortable during a South African winter? Which elements would appeal to a people who don’t drastically change clothes between being outside and inside? What would be practical in a climate where the temperature fluctuates between cold and warm throughout the day?
Thankfully, not all European designers have exclusively Russian winters in mind, so let’s have a look at what their fall 2014 collections can offer us.
Paul Smith’s Fall 2014 collection is surprisingly brilliant. It’s a conceptual wardrobe for the rock star-inevitably-turned-senior citizen, so the clothes are striking and comfortable in equal measure.
Before I wax lyrical about the masterful purveyors of paisley, let me just move on to some of their coats. They’re attractive to us because of their relative lightness and the beauty of their prints. These coats definitely look like they’ll get better with age.
Beautiful suits with ‘ghost paisley’ print accompanied by lovely, colourful shirts and ascots.
The velvet look radiates elegance and warmth in the winter. This piece features alongside one of Etro’s tributes to the tailors of Milan (pictured right).
This designer’s socio-political awareness is clearly translated into his ranges. Here, however, he demonstrates a bit of his classical tailoring skills with a homage to 40s Afro-American Haarlem chic.
There’s a reason why Tom Ford is one of the most desirable marques in men’s fashion. Few other ranges manage to come across ulta-luxe and glamorous while being adequately understated and classic. This range seems to be a bit more about comfort, though, but because it’s Tom Ford, the general effect is more ‘wingback chair’ than ‘laz-e-boy’.
But of course, if anyone had any sense of style whatsoever, they’d be wearing Saccaggi this winter.
Comments on my drawing skills aside, the idea behind Winter 2014 is to churn out a limited collection at affordable rates, to help spread the good news of Saccaggi. While at the same time continuing to charge exorbitant prices for individual commission 😉
This winter range features dark colours (no surprises yet) with some fraying to mimic the the decay of winter. Not wanting to be too drab, I chose light blue to brighten things up, reflecting the bright cloudless (and freezing) winter mornings.
The fabrics for this collection are also thicker, which presents the opportunity to add a lot more detail. Stark patterns mimic the ruggedness of South African trees in the winter
And although I know you’re dying to see more, this teaser will have to sustain you for a little while as we take on the arduous process of drawing, and re-drawing technical sketches and patterns, before producing the first samples.
(Images sourced from Style, Style/Arabia.com and my camera album).