In what seems like a pretty good case of matchmaking, Engineered Garments has ditched Barbour’s long-favoured army-green tones for an offering of all-black-everything that’s whole lot more streetwear than heritage. The rugged waxed-cotton and corduroy collars still bear the South Shields-based brand’s signature though, and the collection’s brimming with more drawstrings and boxy pockets than we can count.
The presentation is just as functional as the designs themselves, with each piece displayed next to an iPad detailing inspiration, technical drawings, and snippets from designer Daiki Suzuki. Most of which draw parallels between the labels and demonstrate Suzuki’s penchant for reworking vintage pieces. One jacket in particular has been reimagined from a well-loved customised wartime Barbour Cowen Commander style, except it’s now a pullover style that fastens with a zipper at the back. It’s plain to see that the focus here is on wearability in an urban setting.
It’s rare to see technical garments like this, too – whilst many would prefer to keep their pattern cutting and construction details under wraps, here they are, just a right-swipe away for all to analyse. And fascinating it is; you need only watch attendees scrutinising the analysed on-screen drawings to notice the interest it piques. Yet amidst all of this, there are mutterings that the small space and execution of the exhibit really aren’t doing the collection justice. The handful of coats might’ve made a bigger impact if we’d seen them moving on models to truly show off every intricate detail. Instead though, they’re draped on mannequins so it’s not easy to see how they’ll work with the body, which is after all one of the most important aspects of this partnership, given its focus on multi-purpose wares and functionality.
Words: AMY MILES | @amymiles_
Images: STELLA MORAIS