“Launched four seasons ago, the Aquascutum Collection continues its modernist revision of the company’s 155 year-old heritage. Building on its reputation for exquisitely constructed clothes for both men and women coupled with a rigorous attention to detail, Spring/Summer 2007 sees heads of design, Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler, embrace a new mood of simplicity.
â€œWe wanted to create a silhouette that was neither voluminous nor fitted, but much straighter,â€ says Herz of the collection’s new relaxed proportions that are inspired by the shape of a classic t-shirt. Elongated into a shimmering circular jacquard motif shift, this ubiquitous garment is given a refined makeover. Cropped and rendered in pewter-hued, cotton silk overprinted with foil, it morphs into a deluxe shell top. Counterbalancing the austerity of the clean silhouette, Herz and Fidler reveal a renewed focus on surface ornamentation. Influenced by photographer Sam Haskins’ use of natural light and Josef Alber’s collages, utilitarian vests become precious pieces when lined with a dappled-sunlit leaf print or hand-embroidered with an abstracted art deco motif. Similarly, sections of hand-smocking and pin-tucked seams provide textural interest to silk raincoats and cotton macs, random-pleat dirndl skirts and trench-inspired belts for men. While an elegant, moss green silk crepe column dress for evening is suspended from a decorative trompe l’oeil necklace of Swarovski crystals that frames the dÃ©colletÃ©.
Each piece, exquisitely crafted out of the finest fabrics, displays a demi-couture level of luxury. All garments are handfinished and start life draped and folded on the mannequin. The duo also continues to celebrate home-grown craftsmanship. 75% of the textiles are developed exclusively for Aquascutum in native mills, including whisper-light shower-proof silks, deluxe linen voiles and cotton lumi blends. Graphic english rose and leafy tree jacquards come courtesy of Stephen Walters while hand-embroidered pieces are sewn by Hampton Court’s Royal School of Needlework. This season also sees Aquascutum’s first collaboration with Manolo Blahnik on the collection’s shoes. â€œWe’re refining our ideas. It’s always an evolution,â€ says Fidler.
As with past seasons, the designers have delved into the archives, deconstructing vintage pieces and reconstructing them with a modern, irreverent twist. The binding of a vintage 1930s car coat inspires the graphic contrast detail on the inside of both men’s and women’s coats and jackets. An Aquascutum trench coat from the 1970s is re-proportioned to form a narrow ladies coat with a full skirt and dramatic, smocked panel at the back. Paying homage to Lord Raglan – who commissioned Aquascutum at the turn of the last century to produce a coat for his sword arm – most of this season’s outerwear features the low-cut sleeve which has borne his name ever since. Rooted in Aquascutum’s heritage, the designers illustrate how much a part of today’s fashion vocabulary this sleeve-shape has become.” BUY HERE