Belstaff collection presentation S/S 2016 for LFW
For SS16, Belstaff’s womenswear designer Delphine Ninous wanted to take the label in a slightly different direction, whilst still staying true to the brand’s biker and military heritage. She looked to the beauty inherent in some of nature’s greatest forces, particularly the sea, for inspiration, using that dichotomy to build a collection that offered a unique meditation of femininity.
Entitled Beauty of Power, the show took place in the Hellenic Centre, which had been transformed into a sort of space-age beach, with models scattered about piles of sand and offerings of oysters and champagne for guests.
The images of waves breaking across the walls found a mirror in the clothes themselves. The sea’s influence was everywhere, most obviously in the printed pattern that evoked the interplay of light on water. Mottled reflections in shades of blue or cool grey moved across a wax-cotton jacket, or (most strikingly) over a tiered georgette gown worn beneath a beige trench.
Belstaff has long been known for pioneering technical fabrics, and this forward-looking when it comes to fabrics was a focus of Ninous’ latest collection. Many of the fabrics seemed impossibly lightweight, often paired with taping features that provided the leather coats and jackets with a sense of reinforcement, emphasising the juxtaposition between the beauty of the clothes and their strength.
Elsewhere, innovative techniques were used to introduce a white chalky coating on leather, linen and knitwear pieces, which were then often paired with organza and silk to create an appealingly tactile effect.
The vertical stripes appearing on an asymmetric jumpsuit or a jacket were a reference to surfboards or racing stripes, intended to suggest a sense of momentum amidst the otherwise serene aesthetic.
Classic Belstaff silhouettes, such as the rider’s coat or four-pocket jacket, were reinvented for contemporary life. Rendered in metallic neutrals or shimmering blues, they felt effortlessly chic when paired with white, lace-panelled pants or mid-length skirts.
All the historic Belstaff codes were there, but with this collection Ninous managed to tweak them into looks that are perfect for modern, urban life.
Photos: Erol Birsen