Made To Last: The Careful Craftsmanship Behind Our Latest Mr P. Collection
It’s easy to overlook craftsmanship when you’re shopping online. If you’re scrolling on MR PORTER and a certain piece catches your eye, rarely is your first thought how or where it was made. You are much more likely to be drawn to the colour, the pattern and how well it fits. In the thrill of finding something that you know will look great on you, the hours of painstaking work that went into crafting that item of clothing, or the intense research and design decisions that happened along the way, can easily be forgotten.
And yet, good-quality items are the foundation of a wardrobe that’ll last, something we take quite seriously at MR PORTER. It’s also the reason that careful craftsmanship is the bedrock of the Mr P. line, our in-house label. Designed with the benefit of our London team’s extensive experience and made with the help of a selection of the world’s most admired artisans from across the globe, the collection – the latest of which has recently arrived on our shelves – is about championing time-honoured techniques as well as translating them for the modern man’s wardrobe.
“We appreciate that our customer understands that quality fabrics and manufacturing comes at a premium,” our Style Director Mr Olie Arnold explains. “As Mr P. has always been about enduring style, rather than following fashion, we believe investing in key pieces, such as a fine leather jacket or cashmere knit, is wiser for both your wallet and wardrobe. And, if treated well and taken care of, they will only get better with age.
“Buying less but buying better is a mantra we should all acknowledge in 2021. Resisting the urge to indulge in fast fashion has never been greater and, at Mr P., we are championing a more sustainable and responsible future,” Mr Arnold says. With that in mind, we have singled out a selection of standout pieces from the new collection and provided a full breakdown of exactly what makes them so special.
The sweeping car coat
We wouldn’t call it an obsession, per se, but we are fairly vocal about our fondness for big coats. Wrapping ourselves in wool is one of the great joys of winter, but what happens when the sun starts to poke through the clouds to signal the start of spring? That’s where this sweeping car coat comes in. Tailored in Italy by one of our master artisans, it is made from a fine navy pinstriped fabric woven with wool, silk and mohair. That latter addition is a particularly clever touch and makes this an ideal piece to take you between seasons: mohair fibres have natural temperature-regulating qualities, are incredibly resilient and have an organic elasticity, which means the fabric is less likely to crease.
The premium T-shirt
If Italy excels at tailoring, Japan is a dab hand at denim and Northampton crafts top-notch shoes, then Portugal is the place to go for jersey. But this isn’t just any old jersey tee; the new Mr P. T-shirt is knitted from a mix of cotton and silk for a much more refined feel. A little bit like a second skin, in fact. The fit itself is on the boxier side, while the longer sleeve length means it’s still a classic investment piece but feels a tad more modern. Plus, we decided to make it in two versatile colours: blue and crisp white.
The double-faced sweatpants
A pair of sweatpants is a pair of sweatpants, right? Well, that’s where you’d be mistaken. If you’ve been wearing your standard jersey sweats as much as we have (no judgement here), you might have noticed that they’ve started to stretch out in the knees and waist. That’s not the result of too many Netflix sessions; it’s natural for the fabric to become worn out over time. To avoid that, we’ve crafted this Mr P. pair in Italy using a labour-intensive double-faced construction that gives the fabric (a super soft blend of mulberry silk and organic cotton) the long-lasting prosperities of woven materials, without sacrificing any comfort.
The leather blouson jacket
Leather jackets come in many guises, from rough-and-ready biker to retro flight-style bombers. With its clean lines and classic cut, this one sits at the more refined end of the scale. Handcrafted in Italy using a specially developed double-faced lambskin leather (meaning the inner is leather as well as the outer), it’s tanned a sophisticated rich cognac colour that’s exclusive to Mr P. After it’s stitched, each edge is meticulously hand-painted and it is fitted with carved buffalo-horn buttons through the front. Aside from the painstaking craftsmanship, another element that sets this jacket apart from standard fare is the convertible camp collar, which lends it all the appeal of a vintage Americana piece.
The lightweight jacket
Proving that pinstripes need not feel staid or stuffy, this slick bomber jacket has been cut in Italy (are you noticing a pattern?) from the same wool, silk and mohair-blend fabric as our car coat, and is finished with an exemplary degree of care: from the zip (sourced from premium supplier Raccagni) to the immaculate unlined inner. On the latter, there’s a misconception floating about that going without a lining is cheaper for designers. In actuality, an unlined piece requires painstaking attention to detail – with each seam laid bare, they have to be finished just so.
The knitted polo
For an item of clothing that started its life as a sportswear staple, the knitted polo is a surprisingly smart alternative to a T-shirt. Crafted in Scotland by renowned knitwear specialist Johnstons of Elgin, this one is constructed from high-quality yarns of silk and cashmere on a circular loom, which means there are no seams running down the sides. That might sound like a minor change, but the presence of seams can make slim-fitting sweaters hike up throughout the day and feel uncomfortable; their absence here also means that it fits better and doesn’t become misshapen after repeated washing and wears. It’s also knitted in one of the finest gauges around, so it won’t feel bulky during spells of spring sunshine.
The versatile sweatshirt
Mr P. is all about the the details, even when it comes to something as simple as a sweatshirt. We journeyed to one of Japan’s premier artisans to source this iteration, which is made from pure cotton with intricate twin-needle stitching to reinforce the seams – a smart solution to prevent the threads stretching or snapping during wear. This piece is also cut with side vents, a feature that maintains the relaxed, easy-going fit and ensures it stays in place even when it’s layered under a heavier jacket or coat.