The latest hybrid trend brings together artisanal whimsy and the great outdoors.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


Whether it’s sports-inspired smart-casual or pyjama-like formal wear, the blurring of various boundaries seems to be the one constant in fashion these days. An interesting hybrid we’ve been seeing more of recently brings together two big style tropes: the great outdoors, and artisanal whimsy.

The latter has been largely driven by Loewe, with initiatives like its annual Craft Prize – last year’s edition was won by Scottish ceramicist Jennifer Lee – as well as handicraft-heavy collections. Now, Loewe launches a new outdoorsy line called Eye/Loewe/ Nature. Bright colours and trippy prints (the main one features a drawing of an eye set against a photographic image of a coastline) defi ne the line, which is designed to clothe those looking to combat “urban malaise” by “heading into the great outdoors”. All accessories in the collection are made in Japan: Backpacks, for one, are hand-sewn from quality canvas with calfskin trim.

On the other hand, Japanese fashion label Sacai – much loved by its followers for its unusual mixing of materials – combines ruggedness and traditional artistry in a different way. For Spring/Summer 2019, creative director Chitose Abe has created key looks around the Native American-style prints of Pendleton wool blankets, which have long been used as outerwear by members of these tribes. The colourful jackets and ponchos have a snazzy charm, whether worn on a hiking trip undertaken to fight the tedium of urban life, or during a workday as a line of defence against Arctic office air-conditioning.

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Go boldly into the great outdoors with pieces such as a backpack from the Eye/ Loewe/Nature collection and a Native Americaninspired look by Sacai.
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It’s not always easy to find a wallet or card case that treads the line between plain and boring, and way over the top. Dunhill’s latest Duke Marquetry Deco collection does just that, with decorative Art Decostyle metallic leather inlays inspired by a 1930s case from the brand’s archives. The range, which includes a wallet, coin purse and folios of different sizes, is made from ultra-supple goatskin leather and features calfskin inlays.
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In recent years, it seems like when a younger creative director takes over from a long-time veteran, there is a tendency for the former to kick off his or her tenure with flashy moves in terms of design and marketing. Not so for Daniel Lee, the former director of readyto-wear at Celine, who replaced Bottega Veneta’s highly respected creative director Tomas Maier last June. Instead, he has made a quiet debut with a pre-Fall 2019 collection that was recently shown at a small presentation in Milan. The collection was notable for its absence of prints, and a focus instead on colour and cut. Lee has said he wants to “get back to what really felt essential” and grow the brand’s ready-to-wear offerings. It’s a great start.
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Two influential niche brands have come together to create two different products, each of which is a treat for the eyes. Luxury eyewear brand Oliver Peoples has partnered renowned publisher Assouline to produce its first book, California As We See It. The book takes the reader on a visual trip through the history of Oliver Peoples, set against the backdrop of the brand’s home state of California. The collaboration has also given rise to a limited edition optical style, which has a design inspired by the mid-century architecture of Palm Springs, and comes with a clip-on lens (in mustard, blue or green).