Contrary to popular belief, wool is not just a winter fibre nor should it just be classed as a woolly jumper. Merino wool offers much more and can be spun, woven and knitted into different weights and carefully finished in numerous ways for a range of effects and handles that are often surprising. Merino wool is a dynamic natural fibre, offering style and performance for casual and formalwear. The aesthetic possibilities of a wool product are endless, resulting in a spectrum that sees wool as sheer and fine as chiffon, or compact and waterproof, perfect for outerwear. Merino wool provides stability, softness and luxury to the tailoring industry, and the fibre has long been a favourite of designers. The Woolmark Company has partnered with a number of designers and retailers globally to highlight wool’s suitability for all seasons….even as the temperature rises!
Acne Studios is a Stockholm-based fashion house with a multidisciplinary approach, through founder and Creative Director Jonny Johansson’s interest in photography, art, architecture and contemporary culture. The collections are defined by Johansson’s signature juxtaposing design and attention to detail, with an emphasis on tailoring and an eclectic use of materials and custom developed fabrics. For Women’s Resort 2015, the Acne Studios Foin Doublé is a wool blend coat with a straight, menswear inspired fit. It has a narrow notched collar, two long front welt pockets that overlap the side seams with a custom d-ring closure. For Men’s Spring Summer 2015, the Acne Studios Clissold Long is a relaxed fit cardigan-sweater in fine navy Italian Merino wool with ribbed neckline with button placket and offset shoulder seams.
Athletes are always seeking ways to optimise their performance. The fabrics and garments developed by Armadillo help to optimise an athlete’s output by managing heat, sweat and odour, allowing the champion to work harder, faster, stronger and for longer. The Armadillo Merino®/Monocle running collection collaboration uses the experience of hard-tested Merino fabrics with contemporary designs in a range of running garments that not only look good but will help you run harder.
The ongoing partnership with The Woolmark Company has enabled a deeper exploration of soft tailoring for summer, with super lightweight woven Merino wool fabrics feature in suit jackets, shorts and trousers, as well as knitted casual vests and hybrid hoodies. Over the past two years, with the ongoing help and support from The Woolmark Company, the Raeburn brand has been able to put this most diverse of fibres to very good use, developing entirely new categories and sourcing new fabric qualities.
For over three decades, Joseph has been at the forefront of fashion. In recent years, the Joseph collection has entered a new phase, drawing renewed strength from the energy around it. Under the creative direction of Louise Trotter, Joseph presents a high contemporary ready-to-wear collection with a strong core of luxury essentials. For the first look from their SS15 collection, they focused on Joseph’s signature knit cardigan stitch, introduced by Joseph himself over 20 years ago after being inspired by his daughter’s traditional hill house school jumper. The knit itself is a mixed composition of Merino wool with cotton.
For Lou Dalton, Spring/Summer 2015 is all about control. “It’s defining who we are as a brand, who I am as a designer, where we’ve come from, and where we are going now,” she says. Fine knit sweaters are vivid in red and cornflower blue with an abstraction of flower photography, while straight-necked sweaters are a new essential, and knitted T-Shirts have neat striped sleeves. Other wool pieces featured in the collection include an army field jacket rendered in dry wool, with a shorter version in the light wool check of a country gent.
Richard James was founded on Savile Row in 1992 with a simple, clear philosophy that remains to this day: to produce classic, refined clothing of unsurpassable quality and push the boundaries through design, colour and cut. The brand’s sharply sculpted, single-button suit, in a finely woven, deeply hued steel blue 99% Super 120s Merino/1% cashmere blend with a black warp, demonstrates why Merino is the natural choice for Spring/Summer tailoring. As well as visibly holding its shape and draping beautifully, it will breathe and adapt to your body temperature, keeping you cool under the sun while taking the chill out of summer evenings. The black warp and fine weave of the 120s Merino gives it real depth of colour and a slight iridescence that will come alive at night. The dip-dyed Merino and silk scarf is for wrapping up in or leaving long and loose, adding colour and contrast.
The integration of Merino wool into the collection was a natural fit; it provides a high-quality handle through its composition and offers great versatility as a fabrication. Colour is key to Fulton’s work and Merino wool provides a perfect foil to showcase this, offering great tones whether in knitwear or wovens. Wool also offers climactic benefits and, by utilising this in evening wear and key showpieces, the material has been showcased in a new light. Working with key UK wool manufacturers, longer length gowns have been created with signature embellishments to elevate Merino wool to a high luxury contemporary context.
Sibling’s foundations are taking the tradition of knitwear and moving it forward. With this in mind, the brand works towards using wool and yarns in the most effective and modern way possible. Global stockists’ climate is also an issue, which begs the question “how do you make a ‘woolly’ garment less woolly?” That’s where Merino wool comes in: it’s light, it can offer warmth on a chilly night in LA without fear of feeling over-heated or too warm, it takes colour well (colour being very important in the world of SIibling) and knits up easily. With lofty and fine yarns, Merino is always a Sibling go-to when designing collections.
Since launching in 2008, the Victoria Beckham fashion brand has developed a distinctive and modern language of clothing. Bold, intuitive and refined, its wardrobe of apparel and accessories is now stocked in over 500 stores in over 60 countries internationally. With each collection, Victoria adapts her own personal style to the needs and desires of the international women who swear by the label’s luxurious and flattering garments. Showcasing only the finest craftsmanship, fabrication and materials, all five Victoria Beckham lines are developed at Victoria’s studio in London. The Victoria Beckham ready-to-wear collection is primarily handmade in the UK, whilst the Victoria, Victoria Beckham and Denim collections are handmade in Europe. The Accessories and Eyewear are both expertly handcrafted in Italy.
With a design record spanning over 40 years, Vivienne Westwood is now recognised as a global brand and Westwood herself as one of the most influential fashion designers and activists in the world today. With a rich history of creating fashion and generating influence, Vivienne Westwood is renowned for using different forms of wool and noble fibres in her collections, and has always been an avid supporter for the use of wool in fashion. “Wool is one of the world’s great natural fibres, famous for its versatility and comfort – warm in winter, cool in summer, it is incredibly versatile,” Westwood says.
For further information, please visit www.woolmark.com.