This season, The Woolmark Company is highlighting collaborations with Lou Dalton, Richard James and Sibling. The unique partnerships have seen these labels working closely with manufacturers and craftsman of Merino wool product, exchanging creative ideas and skills so as to further benefit and enhance their menswear collections with this versatile natural fibre.
Lou Dalton, Richard James and Sibling have created collections focused around lightweight Merino wool, challenging people’s perceptions of the fibre’s relevance for the season by showcasing its aesthetic qualities and natural performance attributes. From smart lightweight suits to casual separates and knitwear, the collaborations ensure that wool is seen as an important component of the spring/summer menswear wardrobe.
Toby Lamb, Design and Brand Director of Richard James, explains: “Wool is a fantastic fabric to work with, so it’s always been a big part of what we do. There’s a lot of tropical-weight wool in this collection. And there are some beautiful wool blends. Both the tailoring and casual wear is beautifully light and we couldn’t have achieved that without wool.”
“Sibling is really all about knitwear; it’s our starting point and the brand DNA since launching in 2008,” says Sibling co-designer Cozette McCreery.
“For spring/summer we’ve worked with fine Merino wool so that there is warmth and yet a lightness…What’s really new and what we are most excited about is that we are doing tailoring for the first time ever – proper suiting.” In a collaboration with Edward Sexton, the collection included bespoke suits and trousers made with lightweight Merino wool from Luxury Fabrics, mixing Savile Row heritage and Sibling inspiration. In addition, there were parkas using the same fine lightweight Merino wool in updated Sibling styling.
"I was most impressed to see a serious nod to tailoring in the Sibling collection. The contemporary take on classic bespoke tailoring added a sophisticated edge to what is always a fun show. The superior quality of Merino wool added another dimension to the fine tailoring and expertise in this clever collaboration proving the suit is by no means dead," says Grant Pearce, Editorial Director GQ, Asia Pacific. Dylan Jones, Editor in Chief British GQ added: “Their best collection ever”.
Designer Lou Dalton recalls: “Back when I was 16 and working for a bespoke tailor I came in contact with some of the finest wools in the world and from there on I was hooked. I'm obsessed with wool, the nature of it, how it's evolved with time, what you can do with it. Wool plays a big part in the collections I produce; I'd be lost without it.” Dalton’s collection included key fabrics from Lanificio Cerruti and laser printed Merino wool knitwear.
By partnering with design talents such as Lou Dalton, Richard James and Sibling, The Woolmark Company is able to continue exploring the infinite possibilities of Merino wool.
“It’s a thrill to be able to witness what these three labels are able to do with wool. Each designer has put their own stamp on the fibre, working with its natural qualities to produce fashion that is at the forefront of menswear today,” says The Woolmark Company Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Rob Langtry.
“By connecting designers with key suppliers from the global wool network, The Woolmark Company can help to inspire collections through innovative fabric and yarn. The growth and presence of London Collections Men provides us with a high-impact and relevant platform to showcase the vital role of wool in men’s fashion, and in particular the expansion we are seeing in both high-quality knitwear and cutting-edge tailored products.”
Reda also featured during London Collections Men, with cloth on show in the Richard James collection and an exclusive exhibition showcasing the fabric maker’s rich history. The Woolmark Company was pleased to partner with Reda, hosting a cocktail party and photography exhibition by Magnum photographers in celebration of Reda’s 150 years of exceptional wool craftsmanship.
In addition, The Woolmark Company once again teamed up with the tailors of Savile Row, this time for Savile Row Inside Out. The event, held at London’s Pace Gallery, was an opportunity to roll out the Brintons wool velvet carpet and go behind the scenes to celebrate bespoke tailoring. Displays and demonstrations of the craftsmanship and expertise required in handcrafted bespoke suit making served to remind buyers and the international press of its historical importance and that the fibre of choice and key ingredient is wool.
To read more on Lou Dalton, Richard James, Sibling and Sibling go to www.merino.com