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JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN MAKES ITS DEBUT AT LONDON FASHION WEEK
16/02/2018

Today, Johnstons of Elgin hosted its very first presentation at London Fashion Week to an international audience. The brand, with more than two centuries of experience in cashmere architecture, made its debut in central London presenting 15 womenswear and 5 menswear looks. Under the stewardship of Creative Director Alan Scott, Johnstons of Elgin’s Autumn / Winter 2018 collection is a statement of British luxury, original provenance and ultimate quality. The collection marks a new chapter for the brand as it brings its wealth of textile expertise into the luxury arena.

Inspired by the brand’s archive and its pioneering history in textiles, Scott has designed a collection which positions cashmere as the ultimate luxury vehicle for mixing modern, architectural forms with flashes of tradition. The apparel and accessories presented showcase a unique and innovative vertical weaving process from precious fibre – sourced from Afghanistan, Australia, Mongolia and Peru – to garment. Vicuna, cashmere and Merino wool have been crafted into timeless yet contemporary pieces, with an unexpected hidden edge and decadence.

The women’s collection falls into three overarching themes. Sculptural Simplicity offers pure linear silhouettes in matte double-face cashmere in black, natural vicuna and camel. Minimalist iconic pieces are executed in perfect elegant proportions, with precision hand-tailoring. Athlux Edge explores super soft cashmere statement pieces and exaggerated textures, in neutral tones with flashes of bold colour - electric, emerald, red and saffron. Finally, New Tradition is a modern take on the brand’s heritage showcasing soft sartorial tailoring for women with a contemporary edge. This is done in specifically-developed fabrics which mix technical innovation with traditional craft colours including navy, red and olive with a flash of arran white. Directional pieces feature Stewart tartan, tissue cashmere, double-face cashmere, stretch matte cashmere, cashmere flannels, pinstripes and hand drawn jacquard designs.

Across all three visions, languid and sculptural outerwear is executed in an array of shapes including pea and cocoon coats, kimono jackets, capes and blazers. These are layered over confident, sensual knitwear where dimension and texture is key, contrasted with super light knitwear as underpinnings. Statement trouser and skirt shapes and must have accessories complete the look. Scott uses an injection of tartan nodding to Johnstons of Elgin’s heritage but used in a far from traditional way. Instead, the signature Scottish textile is reimagined in exploded proportions and vibrant hues.

Each iconic piece is designed to be collected and treasured, with the brand’s advocate in mind. The Johnstons of Elgin woman is an urban sophisticate, as comfortable travelling the globe as she is on home ground. Both the woman and man in mind prioritise values of quality, exclusivity, innovation and craftsmanship.

"It has taken two years to harness the depth and complexity involved in creating each element in the design process – every fibre, colour, weave structure, knit technology, stitch has been lovingly created in Scotland from scratch," says Scott. "The unique, sustainable provenance and history of Johnstons of Elgin continues to inspire me, and it has been an honour to guide this iconic brand to LFW for the first time, for the fashion world to see."