Cool Wool promoted in Spring Summer menswear collections of top UK designers

19 June 2013

As a supporter of London Collections: Men since the event’s inception The Woolmark Company continues to expand and develop its activities and partnerships at the event as a way to highlight the relevance of wool within menswear and especially within the British fashion and textile industry.

Richard James Spring Summer collection
Richard James Spring Summer collection.

In addition, to the collaboration with Savile Row for the presentation of The English Gentleman at Lord’s Cricket Ground, involving 100 models to create tableaux around the venue, expressing the perfect British elegance inspired by cricket, The Woolmark Company has strongly promoted wool teaming up with some of the best designers of London.

Focus of the initiatives at London Collections: Men has been Cool Wool, with the intention to unveil wool’s potentials in summer and educate consumers and industry to choose wool as the perfect natural fibre for the warmer months, in virtue of its breathability, temperature management, elasticity, performance, fineness and drape.

For the SS14 season, Cool Wool has been showcased and its natural performance qualities will be the focus for the on-going collaborations with Richard Nicoll, Richard James and E Tautz, along with new collaborations with Jonathan Saunders (extending the relationship into menswear), Christopher Raeburn and Lou Dalton. These six prestigious and highly appreciated UK menswear designers promoted Cool Wool through their SS14 Collections each expressing their own vision and interpretation of the fibre.

Lou Dalton has been working closely with Yorkshire mills to source fabrics for her collection:

Lou Dalton Spring Summer collection
Lou Dalton Spring Summer collection.

"Coming from a tailoring background the use of wool in some form has always been a big part of my collections. For SS14 using Cool Wool was a given, choosing to put what is often on the interior as the exterior this time worked so well with the lightness of cloth and the Cool Wool aesthetic".

The designer visited weavers from the Cool Wool guild in Yorkshire including Clissold, Luxury Fabrics and Bulmer and Lumb to make her final fabric selections and was also exposed to the importance and variety of finishes that can be imparted on fabrics to change their appearance and improve Cool Wool properties by WT Johnson.

Richard Nicoll gave a new twist to wool thinking of it in new, disguised versions. For his SS14 men’s collection, Richard Nicoll used Cool Wool fabric to create garments with a mix of classic yet modern tailoring, an updated twist on the 1980s Cerruti suit style.

''Merino wool is an important aspect of my collections,” the designer said, “as it anchors the collections with a modern elegance and authenticity and brings a complementary contrast to the more casual pieces to create a cool mashed and eclectic definition of modern style.''

Richard James showcased unstructured and unlined precision cut tailoring in super lightweight fabrics inspired by a colour-drenched fading summer’s day.

Fine worsted Cool Wool fabrics feature prominently throughout tailoring and casual wear with beautifully natural flax and silk wool mixes adding subtle texture and form. Key lightweight wool fabrics include Ink Blue 130’s high twist mesh and vivid turquoise wool with natural stretch.

Christopher Raeburn presented a collection geared towards lightweight layering, technological fabrics and a real attention to detail. "Working with Cool Wool has been a fantastic experience,” stated Christopher, “We've been able to use fine Merino throughout our desert-inspired collection to bring a completely new dynamic to the Christopher Raeburn collection. My personal favourites include our signature hoodie and new hybrid jacket."

The E Tautz summer collection was full of colour and texture, and floating layers of lightweight cloths, taking inspiration from the era of the very first suit, in the time of Charles II when English men wore rich vibrant clothing, and also the era of the teddy boy with his bright velvets, rich brocade waistcoats and long elegant draped jacket.

E Tautzused a combination of incredible technical wool fabrics, woven with nylon, in some cases overprinted, and beautiful vibrant Cool Wool cloths, reworked from the 1920’s archive in neons and other super brightly coloured yarns by Bower Roebuck.

Jonathan Saunders highlighted Merino innovative applications: “We have looked at different ways of how to innovate and elevate traditional wool suiting cloths. Laser cut and bonded surface applications are used to give traditional tailoring a modern finish. Through the exploration of this bonding technology we have been able to achieve seamless garments in wool. Combining the luxury of wool, modern and innovative textile design. These shell like constructions have allowed us to create lightweight, unlined garments, suitable for today’s modern man.”

Cool Wool is an international program launched by The Woolmark Company to promote the use of lightweight wool fabrics and knitwear, throughout the pipeline, from designers, to retailers and consumers. Integrating B2B and B2C initiatives, Cool Wool has gained the participation of some of the most important wool suppliers of the world: