The Autumn Winter 2011 marks the release of our first H R Womenswear collection taking reference from pioneering aviatrix Amelia Earhart and the female W.A.S.P pilots of WWII, these women not only pushed the boundaries of expectation for their gender, they also became role models and style icons as they were the first women to be widely seen wearing masculine clothing such as chinos and workwear, elements in every womens wardrobe today!
The AW11 Mens collection is divided into two themes which in style sit at polar opposites but aesthetically blend effortlessly – the lives of sartorial elitist Jack Kennedy and 19th Century mountain man John ‘Liver Eating’ Johnson.
When the ex USN PT boat commander and war hero JFK became President in 1961 it felt like a new age. He had fought in the Pacific during WWII with distinction and became the first US President born in the twentieth century. His cabinet were all fellow premier Ivy Leaguers from Harvard and Yale, something which dictated his formal and casual clothes. He was different to what had gone before, his suits were trad but sharp and stylish. His shoes were often loafers with no laces! Unheard of! Hanging out at Nantucket Sound, sailing off Cape Cod or playing touch football with his brothers he looked cool and sophisticated. A model of classic North Eastern Ivy League style.
100 years earlier, the United States was a very different place. It was still a wild and rugged country with the nation embroiled in a bitter and horrific Civil War that would ultimately united the States for better or worse. John Johnson was an ex US Navy sailor who had fought in the Mexican American War and later became a mountain man in Colorado known as ‘Crow Killer’ and ‘Liver Eating Johnson’ due to a personal vendetta he waged against the Crow Indians over 10 years for murdering his wife and child. After killing a Crow warrior he would eat their livers, a symbolic gesture as the tribe believed this would bestow the warriors strength upon the eater. In his long and colourful life Johnson also fought in the Civil War as a Sharpshooter and became a notorious town sheriff before passing in 1899.
This collection reflects these themes with careful consideration of the garments worn at the time, the cut of particular styles, the colours and the fabrics. The garments are then re worked into a contemporary piece that slots nicely into a modern wardrobe. The nostalgia behind these styles is what makes them attractive. They were born out of a time of necessity, designed for a specific purpose – to function and protect under adverse and challenging conditions.
All of the fabrics we use are specifically woven for Heritage Research in the UK or Japan using traditional methods and looms. Aside from specialist or collaborative pieces, all HR garments are handmade in England, under one roof, by skilled craftsmen and women, there is no production line, the emphasis is on quality not quantity. Because of this the generic slickness of mass manufacturing is replaced with character, warmth and imperfection. HR is designed and crafted for the person who appreciates the stamp of an individual rather than a production line.