Open scene: London, summer at Nigel Cabourn’s Army Gym in Covent Garden. Preparations for Nigel Cabourn’s spring summer 2017 showing for London Collection Men’s settle into the shophouse space next to his flagship store. The space is splashed with fatigue, vintage military crates, and camo stencilled palm trees that frame the entrance out front. There is an inkling of pre-performance jitters in the air as the crew make final adjustments to the thoughtfully placed inventory of newly designed clothing that has not yet been seen by the world. The London Collection Men’s show is usually the gun shot welcome to a new season and how fitting it is to be the home of Authentic British Menswear that is Nigel Cabourn.
This time, Mens and Womens sit side by side, the male story of the British field army serving in the Sahara Desert during World War II sits nicely with the women’s collection that draws its inspiration from the all-woman-force, American war photographer Lee Miller. Miller’s story is nothing but romantic, coming from a modelling background in the 20s and rising up to be Vogue photographer later in her career. She was appointed to be war correspondent for Vogue (something that would never happen today) and went on to shoot some of Cabourn’s favourite work. She covered major events like the Liberation of Paris, the London Blitz, Buchenwald and Dachau, which have become iconic images today. Role models like Miller are what breathe life into Cabourn design, and it is this greatness that can only be given justice with the best fabrics and finishing in Cabourn’s eyes.
So feast your eyes on the theatre of Nigel Cabourn’s creative team – realised with precision and dedication. Focus in on the specially made hardware and great fabrics like linens made by Italian mill, Lyria, who make very fine suiting. Look for details like sewn down collars thanks to heavy research into vintage workwear, made more divine by next level fabrics and spick tailoring. You might spot his unique cameraman jacket reinvented in new colours, fabrics, flavours, and lengths. Welcome to the well oiled machine, powered by passionate people that is Nigel Cabourn SS17.