Destination: Great Britain — Inspiration for Fall '19

 

Great Britain is known for its unparalleled blend of culture, history, and of course: style. One can’t roam far without glimpsing authentic Scottish tartans, Fair Isle knits, and heritage fabrics… not to mention ancient art and architecture. Naturally, our designers wanted to see it all up close and personal.

So, as is life/after/denim tradition, the Fall ’19 Collection was born on a trip abroad. Inspired by Great Britain in the flesh, our designers envisioned a smart-casual blend recalling the sophisticated streetwear they saw in London’s West End, the eclectic sensibility of London’s East End, and the timeless heritage designs of Glasgow.

With a little bargaining (Pimm’s Cups on me after work today), I convinced one of our designers to give me a peak of her travel journal, where a collection was born…

 
 
Carnaby Street in London

Carnaby Street in London

London – East End.

The style here is a marvel—an eclectic mix of high-end and streetwear, with looks that range from polished to punk. The fashion is as dynamic as the architecture: old world meets new; centuries-old buildings flow (collide, actually) with Olympic Park and more modern developments. We sat at a café half-expecting Shakespeare and David Bowie to walk in at the same time. What would they be wearing? 

London – West End.

After a spot of afternoon tea and scones (when in England…) we headed to London’s West End, where Liberty, the department store, stands in its 100+-year majesty on Regent Street—a fashion mecca for sure. Having gotten our fill of Liberty’s iconic microfloral and graphic prints, we left the store dreaming up the design for what we’ll call the Liberty Shirt. Nearby, we turned onto Carnaby Street, to get our boutique fix, along with some more bespoke British style. Argyle and houndstooth is everywhere, and I’m not mad about it.  

 
Glasgow Central in Glasgow

Glasgow Central in Glasgow

Glasgow – Central.

We got out of our train at Glasgow Central, and wow. The roof: light pouring in through glass panels separated by metal beams—reminds me of the squares of plaid and district checks Scotland is known for. 

Not wanting to miss the beautiful city by taking the subway (quick is not always best—Old World, we’re listening), we rented bicycles and rode to Kelvingrove Park and Museum. We were ticked by the shift from street style to more traditional garb:

London had made us feel like we were looking forward—from the past to the future—but Glasgow is making us feel like we were looking back. 
 
 

Glasgow – Kelvingrove Museum.

The museum was filled with people eager to see the works of artists like Monet and Rembrandt, but we were more interested in what everyone was wearing!  Traditional kilts, classic tartan plaids, tweeds, and woolly fabrics—this is the POV on heritage that we’ve been looking for, and we’ll definitely include all of the above in this collection, somehow.   

I’m especially in love with the traditional toile prints we’ve seen. So I sat down in one of the galleries and sketched my own take… I think we’ll get this print stitched and call it the Scottish Toile Shirt (because, why not?). 

Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow

Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow

Botanical Garden in Glasgow

Botanical Garden in Glasgow

Glasgow – Botanical Gardens.

After a good night’s sleep and a traditional Scottish breakfast of eggs, tattie scones, Lorne sausage, and baked beans (a far cry from my L.A. smoothie, and how do I go back?), we headed to the Glasgow Botanical Gardens at the West End of the city. Gorgeous. With the vintage botanical illustrations from our hotel walls on the brain, along with the drama of plants, yes plants, another spark is burning. I got back and sketched a print for what we’ll probably call the Botanist Shirt. 

Now waiting at the airport gate… sad to leave this proper culture behind, but excited to bring it back to the design studio. We’re envisioning a collection that returns to classic tailoring and textiles, but also turns heritage on its head with the irreverence of the East End… wheels turning.

 
Jessica Leventhal