From Barbour to Holland & Holland, these are the heritage brands you need to be seen in this season
The rain is falling, the frost is setting in – yup, winter’s definitely here (in our hearts – farewell, our Hillary Clinton-shaped hope) and in an actual, literal sense. But fittingly for this stiff-upper-lip moment when all we can do is adopt Winston Churchill’s motto and ‘keep buggering on’, there’s some suitably strengthening heritage-wear to sport while doing it.
The AW16 catwalks were a paean to tweeds, checks and outdoor-worthy wear. Warm, yes, but we never knew Argyll tights and corseted wool coats could be so sexy – until we saw Miuccia Prada’s beautiful texture melange, that is.
Prada AW16, above
Gucci AW16, above
Barbour, a brand that is basically the fashion embodiment of true British grit, has had a makeover. They’ve been going since 1894 and their water-repellent wax jackets (still manufactured by hand in South Shields) are worn by everyone from the Queen to Alexa Chung. This season, their most iconic jacket styles have given a new spin by the menswear design team and turned into a capsule collection, Womens’ Heritage.
The ‘Border’ and the ‘Bedale’ have been made in new A-line shapes, with cute touches like cuffed sleeves and printed wax outers. Our personal favourite, the Raindrop Border coat, below, is the perfect midi length, with a flattering slim cut – and we know, because we’ve tried it over a chunky jumper and jeans, and we still didn’t look like the Michelin man.
Next up – Barrie knitwear. The mill in Hawick, Scotland, has been weaving the finest cashmere for over 100 years. They began making knits for Chanel 30 years ago and were recently given long-term security when they were bought by the French house.
The factory has its own training school, where workers are taught the Barrie way over 18 months to ensure they’re up to scratch. They still manufacture for other major fashion brands, but their own recently-launched collection, Barrie Knitwear, is just as fabulous. Creative director Odile Massuger took 80s arcade games as inspiration for AW16, emblazoning knits with graphic motifs, XXL pixels and a starry blue sky in 3D.
Now, where did we put those corgis?