FashionBeans x Hunter Original
As part of a two-part series, we bring you exclusive access to Hunter Original’s autumn/winter 2015 showcase.
In this instalment, we delve into the rich bank of references that inspired the British brand’s highly anticipated collection.
A derelict, South London warehouse filled with man-made cascades. Hardly the traditional choice for a heritage label going on 160 years but, then again, Hunter Original – British brand Hunter’s more youth-focused, dynamic arm – is a far cry from conventional.
Born of a desire to bring an all-new, up to the minute relevance to the label, Hunter Original, helmed by Creative Director Alasdhair Willis, debuted its mix of masterful craftsmanship and contemporary styling for autumn/winter 2014. A year on, and it’s marching full steam – and boot-clad – ahead.
It’s no mean feat, fusing a brand’s legacy of over 100 years with an ultra-modern freshness. But Willis is wise to the fact, having addressed the issue in this autumn/winter 2015 collection that, in its aesthetic, mapped a journey from the city to the bracing wilds of the Scottish Highlands, the label’s birthplace.
Urban & Organic
So, what exactly did that look like?
A slick set of winter-ready outdoor wear in a colour palette that took its cues from Scotland’s rugged landscape. There was a zippered quilted jacket and trousers combination in a shade of old red sandstone that was stitched to mimic the top line of the brand’s iconic adjustable Wellington boots.
Subtle yet ingeniously effective, this motif was carried throughout the collection’s quilted pieces in what was an exercise in exemplary branding, which a lot of Hunter’s competitors could learn from:
Elsewhere, there were references to the legions of lichens covering the stones of the Highlands in the shape of a series of printed outerwear, including a puffer jacket with a dramatic funnel neck in tonal grey, a copper and charcoal topcoat, as well as a sizeable hooded and down-filled poncho.
Mossy textures were also key, with shaggy faux fur in rustic colours punctuating throughout, either in the shape of a scarf tightly wound around the neck, a fern green overcoat, or the arms of an attention-grabbing patchwork down coat that looked like a geological cross section from a geography textbook.
This same stratified effect was carried through to chunky intarsia knitwear, framing the collection’s reference point (the natural landscape) in as modern and graphic a way as possible.
On the more urban end of the spectrum were a small handful of stand-out outerwear pieces: an all-black, multi-pocketed overcoat featuring leather panels, a funnel-necked, down-filled coat in an abstract floral-come-geographical pattern, and a hybrid overcoat that incorporated a navy quilted top and black wool bottom – a fitting example of “hybridity”, something Willis said he was keen to put across to show that fusion of city and country at the collection’s core.
True to form, some of the label’s most eye-catching innovation was to be found in footwear. Along with new season interpretations of the famous original Hunter Wellington, there were rubber Chelsea boots, and monk-strap shoes with contrast colour uppers in pink and slate grey, as well as contrast fabric uppers in that same unruly faux fur.
Probably not the best for trudging through waterlogged fields, but a unique take on one of menswear’s most favoured footwear silhouettes of recent years, and quite possibly a new hero shoe for the brand.
The Hunter Original clear poncho – not quite at the icon status of its boot, but already a staple for the brand with its signature ‘moustache’ detailing – featured heavily in the finale, with each model sporting one over their look.
Thoroughly modern with a nod to tradition, Hunter Original’s latest collection is brimming with functional pieces that refuse to skimp on style. We’ll be wearing it whatever the weather.
Stay tuned for part two of the FashionBeans x Hunter Original series to get exclusive behind the scenes access to this groundbreaking show.
For now, see more at hunterboots.com.