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Kent & Curwen
| 22 August 2019
Kent & Curwen Autumn/Winter 2019 Collection
“A rare image of Kent & Curwen’s founder, Eric Kent with his brother, soon after the end of WW1, became my creative starting point for next winter’s collection” say Daniel Kearns, Kent & Curwen creative director. “The grainy photograph shows a proud military man in uniform returning to 1920’s London, intent on establishing his clubwear and uniform business in tie stripes, blazers and knitwear. Impeccably dressed at all times, be it at the race-track, on the cricket pitch or lunching at his London club, Eric’s charisma would quickly propel him into high society, counting the Duke of Kent, Duke of Windsor, Errol Flynn and PG Woodhouse amongst his social circle.
And then it struck me, would Eric have mixed in social circle as diverse as the likes of Tommy and Arthur Shelby, who would have been comrades from the war, as well as his high society friend? And if so, how would they have influenced Eric, both sartorially and culturally, where those returning from war found themselves in a new world where anything was possible. If Eric and his wife Dorothy were setting about creating this brand today, what would they be wearing, what would they be into and who would they be socialising with?”
The Autumn Winter collection was constructed with this thought in mind, creating a relaxed, modern wardrobe with a blend of sartorial and sportswear pieces, worn with a new attitude.
Playing with the idea of formal British dress codes; uniforms and military references are reworked as sportswear and daywear. Reimagined college stripes and cricket whites are presented as eveningwear. Cropped jockey silks and jacket reference the Duke of Windsor coupled with tweed and plaid worn for a day at the races.
On sweatshirts, t-shirts and rugbys, the classic rose is re-worked in dark tones, on army camouflage and handmade in bullion metalwork, referencing the sartorial and military themes of the season.
In addition to Kent & Curwen’s AW19 season is its collaboration with British visual artist, David Shrigley. This six piece capsule collection consisting of classic sweatshirts, T-shirts and accessories – all feature David Shrigley’s illustrations and artwork inspired by Kent and Curwen’s take on reimagined British classics and its rose patch signature design. “It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Kent and Curwen on this project. Creating motifs and statements to fit with their inventive take on iconic British style has been fun and I am very pleased with the results” David Shrigley.
Kent & Curwen heritage – the birth of sportswear
In the late 1920’s, Eric Kent, through his friendship with the Duke of Windsor, met many of the Hollywood stars of the day. Kent & Curwen was becoming known for its high class sporting attire which Eric often wore mixed with more formal items of clothing. This British sporting aesthetic became popular with visiting actors and when the Hollywood Cricket club was formed in 1932, it was to Kent & Curwen that the founders turned for the club’s cricketing attire. In many ways one could argue that this cross-over of sports clothing into the fashionable circles of the day was the birth of what is today called ‘sportswear’.
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