- Photography by Mr Michael Bodiam
- Styling by Ms Sophie Hardcastle, Fashion Coordinator, MR PORTER
- Words by Mr Chris Elvidge, Senior Copywriter, MR PORTER
Richard James' exclusive collection for MR PORTER sees the Savile Row label venturing into somewhat uncharted territory, taking British heritage workwear as its inspiration for a range of outerwear, knitwear and denim that pays a dutiful nod to this season's trend for richly textured, autumnal fabrics such as tweed and flannel.
While it might seem like an odd proposition to ask a tailoring brand to produce a casual range, there was a precedent for this, as MR PORTER's Buying Director Mr Toby Bateman explains. "I remember how pleased we were with last year's exclusive evening wear collection by Acne, a brand much better known for its casual pieces. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to see the opposite: how a more casual collection is interpreted by a brand better known for formalwear. And," he adds, "it doesn't get much more formal than Savile Row."
Development of the collection was overseen by Mr Toby Lamb, design and brand director at Richard James. While he shares Mr Bateman's passion for the project, he quickly points out that the concept is hardly as outlandish as it sounds. "When Richard James started back in 1992 it was primarily shirts, ties and tailoring, but we've actually been developing a casual collection since about 1999," he says. "So when Toby approached us with this idea we were really excited, because it was an opportunity for us to showcase what we can do with the RJ lifestyle brand."
The resulting collection is built around three outerwear pieces constructed from brightly coloured Harris tweed, and features a series of chunky military-inspired knits in mixed yarns for a tweedy, marled appearance, and a selection of selvedge denim jeans and shirts. The outerwear pieces in particular are finished with an attention to detail that marks them out as products of Savile Row, despite their blue-collar looks. In keeping with its British heritage inspiration, the Richard James for MR PORTER capsule collection was made exclusively in Britain.
Click through the gallery, above, to see the collection.