Hong Kong’s disappointing winter season may have just ended, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Next fall, consider an update to your cold season wardrobe with spectacular pieces from Johnstons of Elgin — the Scottish masters of fine textiles and appointed clothier of HRH The Prince of Wales. For London Fashion Week, the brand unveiled its AW19 collection within the grandiose confines of Marylebone’s Holy Trinity Church. The presentation solidified Johnstons’ reputation as one of the finest producers of cashmere and woolens in the British Isles, and it’s not hard to see why.

Despite the overly Art Deco sensibility of the collection, tartans offered a striking counterpoint and through line to the Johnstons heritage.
Jewel tones and gold yarns added an element of glamour to otherwise relaxed knits.

The iconic brand that traces its roots back to 1797 presented a combination of women’s and men’s looks, each meticulously crafted in Scotland. The overarching vibe was an effortlessly chic one — emphasizing a mixture of soft sportswear and cosy, louche knits. The brand’s heritage as a textile mill was another prominent theme: explored through dynamic new fabrics draped on an eclectic assortment of models. These were all developed and woven in the company’s Elgin and Hawick mills.

Johnstons of Elgin
This colour-contrasted block print showcases the brand’s mastery over decorative technologies like 3D printing whilst providing a template for the exploration of early 21st century art forms.

Renowned within the industry as a preferred supplier to various major European fashion houses, Johnstons are particularly adept at producing estate tweed — the source of its coveted Royal Warrant. 200 years worth of expertise came to light in a collection that was equally compelling in the context of fabrication and design: each new look sent down the cloisters accompanied by increasingly sumptuous fibres like a lightweight merino, double-faced cashmere and even cashy velour.

Johnstons of Elgin
This digital print “aeroplane” maxi with balloon sleeves features all the seasonal colours of the wider AW19 collection, yet is perfect for year-round wear.

For AW19, Creative Director Alan Scott drew his inspiration primarily from Britain’s “Golden Age” of empire and travel. The collection featured motifs that were popular during the 20s and 30s, heavily influenced by the then-dominant Art Deco aesthetic. Jewel tones, golden yarns of cashmere and even colour blocks inspired by synthetic cubism were employed to reflect this. The two showstoppers of the evening: a bold oversized motif lifted straight from old aviation-inspired prints; and exploded tartan checks that offered a dramatic nod to Johnstons’ rich history in Moray.

Craftsmanship was an equally important part of the presentation, with time-honoured decorative methods (e.g. hand intarsia) applied alongside more modern technologies such as digital printing (the aforementioned aviation print was applied to a maxi dress fitted with balloon sleeves using a 360° printer). Classic in its splendour yet eminently wearable, Johnstons’ latest already has us excited for winter in 2020.

Johnstons of Elgin

Photos courtesy of Buzz Tang. To learn more about and shop pieces from the collection, visit Johnstons of Elgin online.

Vanessa Sin
An avid vintage shopper and hot yoga aficionado, Vanessa splits her time between London and Hong Kong in search of all things delightful within the realms of beauty, fashion and gastronomy. Favouring a detailed, inclusive approach to writing, when she isn’t busy penning her next collection breakdown you’re likely to find her documenting her vintage store shenanigans or international travels.