by Samantha Lim on
We joined fashion denizen Simon Doonan and Belstaff Chief Creative Officer Martin Cooper yesterday morning to witness the reinvigoration of the House of Belstaff. What was once only available in England in the 1950′s and 60′s (aka the golden era of the motocross lifestyle) is now available in a refined, super luxe collection sold at Barney’s New York.
The brand was originally built around an outerwear motocross garment — not a saddle or a suitcase like its luxury neighbors — during a time when, as Cooper so nostalgically put it, “people in England were buying open cockpit planes and Bentleys as toys”. Stylish Belstaff customers included style legends Che Guevarra, Amelia Earhart, Lawrence of Arabia, and Steve McQueen.
“Luxury clothing made for Range Rover royalty”, the modern day brand is the perfect wardrobe for men and women who are urban dwellers that escape to their country estates on the weekends (basically, the life we dream of).
Designed in New York and produced in Italy, the collection was jam packed with clever design details, i.e. a jacquarded tire tread printed into the silk jacket linings and leather mini bowler bags, and racing stripe pleats infused onto the sleeves of a delicate silk georgette blouse. Articulated sleeves and curved patterns made every garment ergonomic to the human body, and sprinkled throughout the collection were thoughtful accents like detachable toscana shearling collars and heavy, identifiable hardware notes with knurlling details (Doonan was thrilled to add this design term to his fashion vernacular). The debut collection has claimed a rich, earthy toned color palette that will only brighten up to a persimmon or marigold come Spring. Our favorite? A hand painted python jacket and an uberluxe, ultra classic chocolate brown, stacked heel boot.
With an intense appreciation and fluency in design, the house of Belstaff seems well taken care of in the hands of Cooper, who learned lessons of “trusting his eye” and “bending every pattern seam because there are no straight lines on the human body” at a very early age. All we need now is a bank account bigger than our motorcycle dreams. Coopers’s suggestions for investment pieces? The leather racing jacket, suede biker trousers, and the cableknit sweater. Check out some of the styles up close in the gallery below.