Belstaff: beauty manifested in power
Belstaff’s Spring/Summer’16 collection is inspired by the beauty manifested in power: from the thrust of waves to the hum of a throttled engine, some of the greatest forces are also some of the most beautiful, and it is this dichotomy which Delphine Ninous, VP Women’s Design for Belstaff, seeks to capture here.
It is perhaps Nature’s greatest force – that of the sea – that provides this collection with its most prominent theme. From the mottled play of light in the shallows to the richer hues of the deep oceans, the ebb and flow of this ultimate energy is explored through texture, form, colour and silhouette, providing a unique meditation on femininity.
We find the Belstaff woman hurtling through a life of adventure, a free-spirited agent constantly ready for and adapting to the challenges she encounters. She is a force of femininity: on the one hand a power to be reckoned with, while on the other a serene beauty amid the tumult. This juxtaposition is central to the DNA of Belstaff womenswear, and most evident here in the bold yet effortless combination of a long silk georgette dress with a 1950s-inspired leather café racer, and in the reinvention of classic Belstaff silhouettes such as the Rider’s Coat or four-pocket jacket, which come in lighter technical fabrics that are as assuredly feminine as they are protective.
Ninous’ second Main collection for Belstaff, shown during London Fashion Week, was presented in the Great Hall of Marylebone’s Hellenic Centre, an elegant inner-city mansion dating from the early 1900s. Models in the new collection were dispersed around the hall among vignettes of sand, whilst seascapes and sounds formed a backdrop, with composer Sorana Santos (who replaced Florence Welch in her breakthrough band Ashok) playing a medley of piano music on a grand Steinway throughout. Mayfair gastronomic newcomer, Bouillabaisse, provided coastal cuisine to guests viewing the presentation from an over-hanging terrace.