During London Fashion Week AW15, nearly all the shows I attended featured a significant presence of sheer. As the proud owner of goodness knows how many coats and jumpers, it puzzled me deeply that such thin material had been proposed for a winter collection, especially when the models parading up and down the runway were clearly wearing nothing else underneath. (Sir Patrick Stewart's cameo in Extras comes to mind here.)
On occasion, practicality should take precedent over style. However, a successful collection is one in which these two elements co-exist harmoniously, as Belstaff has well achieved in their Arctic themed menswear. Aptly titled "Heading North", the AW16 collection combines Belstaff's heritage designs with the durability of cold-weather gear, thereby providing the warmest winter wardrobe.
To highlight Belstaff's approach to the collection, the brick railway arches on Ewer Street became the backdrop for a bleak and frosty scene, complete with snow and slate underfoot. The models, too, appeared set for a winter expedition, clothed in the cosiest outerwear, including wax-cotton jackets with detachable fur and shearling trims, duck-down parka jackets with fur-trimmed hoods, and water-repellent wool and cashmere overcoats. This is an autumn/winter collection that takes its season seriously.