This spring I collaborated with Barbour on their SS20 Modern Country Collection, based on their herritage styles designed for our contemporary needs. For the release, Barbour took myself and Brittany Bathgate on a trip to the southern country village of Corfe Castle to navigate our way through the stunning landscape of the Purbeck Hills. The bracken tracks, heather-filled heathlands and evergreen forests were the perfect setting for this heritage-rich collection.
For the release, Barbour asked me for my thoughts on heritage and style.
What is it about the countryside that makes it so breathtaking?
What takes my breath away about the countryside is the idea of space: the wide open space that is the landscape; and broadening of inner space that happens when I’m in nature. The feeling is both grounding and humbling.
What are your fondest memories of days spent in the countryside?
I have really fond memories of last summer, picking wild elderflower in the forest during the short window when they are in bloom. I made my first try at homemade elderflower champagne with the help of my dad. I have such great memories of this champagne because it was the first DIY project that I had done with my pa in decades. Thanks to his advice, the brew was a delicious success; bubbly, a little sweet with a beautiful black currant fragrance. Thanks dad.
How would you define Modern Country style? What does it represent?
I define Modern Country style by the harmony of heritage and modern culture. Generations of families living on the land, passing down tradition, recipes, and history – evolving into a globalized world. I think when we talk about Barbour, the idea of Modern Country represents the melting pot of cultures that are redefining Barbour’s iconic waxed cotton jacket. Modern silhouettes, colours, and technical fabrics have translated the classic waxed jacket into an orchestra that can speak to today’s rich mix of cultures.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
I love the Summer Cabin Trouser because of the fit and how they remind me of vintage military trousers.
Can you highlight key features on these products that make them your favourites?
The Summer Cabin Trousers look much like the US military bush pant from the 60s with the square pockets on the front. They’ve been made in a cotton army drill with a little elastin for movement, which I thought was a clever design adaptation for the female customer. It’s a very flattering trouser that would fit a bunch of different body shapes.
Can you talk us through your individual styling of the range?
I chose silhouettes, fabrics, and items that would practically come out of my own wardrobe. A 60’s inspired round neck gingham shirt under a knitted crew neck sweat, some military pants, and a quilted mid length coat would be a typical spring outfit for me. These pieces all honor the past and that’s what I love about them.
How important is practicality to you when styling an outfit for the outdoors?
In my eyes, form and function are the foundation of good design. When I’m in nature, feeling sheltered, comfortable, and having lots of functional pockets are so important !
Where do you get your style inspiration?
I draw a lot of my style inspiration from history. Whether that be from old pieces I find at the flea market, the records I listen to, or trailblazing people who I find impactful to my life. The Universe is full of inspiration, and my antennae are always out in search for more.
In your opinion, why is this collection perfect for the Spring/Summer season?
The SS20 collection has a good range of pieces that can be layered to adapt to the transitioning warmer months. The lightweight quilting pieces are great for providing warmth on crisp spring mornings, while the classic Barbour outer shells are the ideal shelter from wet weather and windy days. There’s a piece in the collection for women of many different styles and shapes.
What does Barbour represent to you?
Barbour represents my first fishing jacket, one that I still own and that I have so many memories wearing on the water with my closest friends. I used to keep bits of white bread in the pockets, in case my luck was out, so every now and then I find a crumb that makes me grin. The jacket is still my favourite and has a beautiful shine to it thanks to the patina I’ve built over the decades. The repaired rips and weathering are all special memories that make the jacket unique. I think many people can share similar stories of their first Barbour jacket, and I think these stories are a great metaphor for what the brand represents.
What does the Barbour Way of Life mean to you?
The Barbour way of life is a mindful way of life. It’s about buying thoughtfully and enjoying the life of the garment as it comes with you on your adventures! It’s a way of life that’s intertwined with nature, the changing seasons, and the evolving landscape. It’s one that treasures the idea of heritage… what better than to pass your well-worn jacket to someone else to love and adventure in. It’s a way of life that reminds me of the things we most easily forget: relationship, nature, and the experience of living on this great big rock we call home.
This interview was sponsored by Barbour.