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.
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.
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.
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.