So much love in the spring-time. And flowers, everywhere!
This is the last (and personally favourite) part of my Sudeten journal. Experiencing the famous Adršpach-Teplice Rocks was spectacular in every possible aspect, especially that at the beginning of my climb it began snowing, while minutes later the sun started to shine again. The mountainous landscape is the result of an unusual set of sandstone formations covering a part of northeastern Bohemia, Czech Republic. No words can express the beauty of this place, solely made by nature.
“My inspirations are so many and so complex that to summarize is impossible. But I would say that the main sentiment that I had is going from bigness to smallness; from the big deal of the installation—big architecture and construction—the big deal of fashion, the big deal of art, the big deal of everything. And to go opposite. More human, more simple, more real . . . the desire for reality, humanity, and simpleness.” Miuccia Prada is one of the most consciously thinking person in the entire fashion industry, exploring a number of ideas at a time and conveying them into a visual and, of course, wearable concept.
Looking at her autumn-winter 2017 collection for men (and pre-fall 2017 for women), you had a feeling something intense, yet mind-feeding was going on in Prada‘s mind. Even more personal than usual, yet relating to 21st century’s society, Miuccia let calm earthy colour palette and natural materials into her collection. Leaving behind hi-tech of men’s SS17 and elegant decadence of women’s SS17, her boys and girls were the peaceful scouts; soldiers of love. Existentionalist black turtlenecks and biker hats (although Prada didn’t want to straightly reference the 70s) took us back to 1968’s student strikes in Paris, and in entire Europe, where the youth opposed to traditionalist values, like capitalism or imperialism. Fight for yours’ and others’ well-being pacifically. Go against the system, by breaking it as a laid-back modern-day hippie. Little details, like sea-shell necklaces and wooden pendants symbolised coming back to the roots, the nature; slouchy beards and unbrushed hair were the everyday reality, which is still full of beauty.
Although Prada, as a brand, is struggling financially due to falling revenue, Miuccia isn’t going commercial. Corduroy trousers (she loves corduroy, as you can see, and I’m starting to love it, too), psychedelic prints on bags, fur shoes. While the guys wore suede and cognac leather, female models took a spin on boldly-coloured floral mohair skirts, cardigans and socks. Going normal, and settling down mentally (or at least, in a remote forest house) is on Prada’s agenda.
In modern-day times, nearly everything is done with the use of high technology. Sadly, this results in low quality products that aren’t as durable and long-lasting as they used to be in the past. That’s why, brands which thrive to preserve tradition and keep it in harmony with contemporary win my heart. Meet Holland & Holland, a British house found in 1835 with a historical speciality for outdoor apparel, guns and ready-to-get-dirty accessories for the woods. Today, the brand is re-invented by two, fantastic women, Stella Tennant and Isabella Cawdor. The first is a top-model, who regularly closes Chanel shows and stars in high-fashion campaigns; the second worked as a Vogue fashion editor. You can easily say that the duo breathes with fashion; but instead of resting on laurels, they decided to challenge themselves in the role of creative directors for a not-so-glossy brand.
What can you expect from Tennant’s and Cawdor’s take on a heritage brand which values top-notch quality and functionality for the outdoor activities? The menswear codes of Holland & Holland are reflected in masculine silhouettes and the emphasis on classical tweed, however the designers eagerly introduce feminine softness to women’s pieces. Understanding the country life (Stella and Isabella live in Scottish highlands, and they are surrounded by moors since being kids), the newest collection is a versatile wardrobe of knitted goods, shirts, outerwear, tailoring and accessories which can be worn simultaneosly for family hunting, and to the city. Also, Holland & Holland’s refreshed vision considers British, off-kilter style, and a mandatory weather practicality – a must for every Brit. “We’re making quality clothes to deal with the weather and to look good in. It’s very simple,” Tennant says. If talking of spending a chilly day in the forest, layering and camouflage-effect are the key according to Stella – the colours are inspired by the warm colour palette of green landscape. ‘Most of these clothes camouflage brilliantly. What pops out in an urban setting is the houndstooth tweed,’ Cawdor adds. ‘But in the landscape you can’t see it. For hill and moorland, tweed is camouflage.’ Below, see how Tennant wears these beautiful midi-skirts and fox fur collars in the background of Scottish nature.
Holland & Holland, under the wings of Tennant and Cawdor, isn’t only about durable gear for urban and rural life, but “it’s the little details that make things good or not“. The model praises local artisans and fabrics. “For example we have done very classic V-necks, round necks and polo necks, but we spent a lot of time getting the right weight of cashmere, the right density of the knit. The kind of water the wool is washed in affects the yarn (all of the yarns come from mills in Hawick on the banks of the River Teviot). The Italians like a much fluffier knit, but traditionally in Scotland it’s a dryer, cleaner finish. That’s what we like.’ Indeed, the feeling of these hearty clothes is much more rawer – without any additional embroideries, embellishment or catchy prints. It’s just as it is, pure and modern-aristocratic.
More on Holland & Holland website