“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” ― Bertrand Russell
Turnbull & Asser's semi-annual presentation for London Collections: Men took place yesterday with an exciting showcase of our autumn/winter ‘16 collection named 'The Artist and The Architect.' It marked the first time in our 131 year history that we have used models to display our designs, celebrating with a diverse range of ages to reflect T&A customers both young and mature. We ventured underground for this season, choosing The Vaults at the RSA in Covent Garden as our chosen space. The brooding backdrop of exposed brickwork and the many mysterious alcoves made it a tribute to our theme of rebellion and anti-conformity.
As the name of our new range suggests, AW16 exploits the contrasting elements of two different worlds. Inspired by a reading list that includes George Orwell’s 1984, Ayn Rand’s The Fountain Head and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we created two conflicting protagonists, known simply as ‘The Artist’ and ‘The Architect’. Our showcase juxtaposes the colourful chaos of ‘The Artist’ and the monochromatic simplicity of ‘The Architect’ through an interesting blend of pattern and texture.
Our tale takes place in an alternative past where all forms of individual expression are closely monitored and conformity is seen as the key element in maintaining law and order. Every element of daily life - from the homes we live in, the books we read, the art we view and even the clothes we wear - has to be approved by the Department of Community & Conformity.
When a gifted young architect is commissioned by the D.C.C to create a new micro-city within London to be known as Mundania, the story unfolds. Pulling down decades of history, in order to showcase the future vision of the capital, takes a mental toll on the young architect and his restless nights are filled with dreams of rebellion.
By contrast, elsewhere in London a young artist lives an almost nocturnal existence, unable to cope with the daily conventionality that others willingly embrace. Working with a small underground group he acquires and protects unsanctioned artworks for future generations. Hearing of plans for Mundania he decides to foil the government’s scheme by all means necessary.
When the Artist and the Architect come face to face they realise the future of London is, quite literally, in their hands.
Our showcase juxtaposes the colourful chaos of ‘The Artist’ and the monochromatic simplicity of ‘The Architect’ through interesting blends of pattern and texture.
Blurring the lines between formal and informal, suits can be easily worn as separates to enhance pattern and textile combinations. Continuing T&A’s relationship with Fox Brothers, we have injected a riot of colour into both lightweight wool blazers and overcoats, while patterned wool bombers and contemporary waxed cotton jackets add depth to the collection. Rainwear is kept simple with exclusive weather-proofed shirting cloths in lightweight mac silhouettes.
Winter proved the perfect excuse to extend our knitwear; signature bold colours are artfully muted through marl yarn compositions while our eclectic palette of cashmere gives the artist’s thrift-store wardrobe inspiration a luxurious twist. Electric indigo sits with soft magenta and sienna merino wools. Cable cardigan silhouettes and button necklines all work alongside to create wardrobe essentials.
Formalist shirting is inspired by architectural schematic sketches and emphasises the power of the simple check by playing with a micro-to-macro scale. Imagining the wardrobe of Brutalist architects, small introductions of stripped-back monochrome and moody navy reference our 60s and 70s archive. On the opposing side, the Informalist designs add playful twists to classic poplin stripes and blue paint stroke jacquards, inspired by a bespoke order by Pablo Picasso. Colour is evident with rainbow splashes over checks, lightly brushed cottons and luxury denim/cashmere blends.
The necktie has become a canvas for creativity – brought to life are an incredible array of motifs including intricate drawings of London’s most iconic buildings alongside psychedelic scribblings. The humble pocket square has been elevated to a work of art through the mega-square, an elaborate 140cm² blend of wool and silk that can be worn as scarves.
To complement the collection, our Nocturnalist elements give a platform for the most exclusive of silks. Exquisitely designed in a palette of black and midnight blue, alongside three ready-to-wear silhouettes, each piece is made in limited numbers with fabrics reserved for special bespoke orders. Smoking jackets in jacquard shirting have been created as an alternative to the traditional white dress shirt.