To the Sea
It was a WWII naval intelligence group called The Shetland Bus that served as inspiration for Lou Dalton this season – or rather, those agent’s undercover-fisherman outfits. In reality, this meant simple, fairly traditional clothes, done well. Any collection Shetland-related would be missing a trick if it wasn’t at least a little focused on knitwear. Fortunately, Dalton wouldn’t make such a mistake, and took this opportunity to showcase some lovely knitted pieces like bottle green, heavy-gauge rollnecks and cream captain’s sweaters. Best of all, a super-tactile, marled camel number with a hairy texture was the kind of thing you would want to wear every day.
Silhouettes were slouched and unfussy, with baggy trousers and soft-shouldered, rich flannel outwear playing key roles. There was a kind of understated beauty to low-key blousons in intelligently chosen fabrics and classic blazers that were tweaked just a touch through dropped shoulders and a cropped length. I was reminded of that legend of low-key British menswear Margaret Howell when I watched these thoughtful creations saunter past (and that’s no bad thing).
A Man for All Seasons
It wasn’t all a vintage affair though, as neoprene sweatshirts clinched with belts cropped up. So too, did wet-look leather pieces that rather nicely riffed on the practicalities of being at sea: that is to say, the getting wet part. Those small points of difference are what made this season great, be that a shirt with an oversized pocket or a simple zip jacket in navy fleece that looked as if it were made from several skinned teddy bears – in the best way possible. This was a collection low on concept and all the better for it; there’s a great deal to love here, which certainly isn’t something you can say after every fashion show.