[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]hether it’s sports-inspired smart-casual or pyjama-like formal wear, the blurring of various boundaries seems to be the one constant in fashion these days. An interesting hybrid we’ve been seeing more of recently brings together two big style tropes: the great outdoors, and artisanal whimsy.
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The latter has been largely driven by Loewe, with initiatives like its annual Craft Prize – last year’s edition was won by Scottish ceramicist Jennifer Lee – as well as handicraft-heavy collections. Now, Loewe launches a new outdoorsy line called Eye/Loewe/ Nature. Bright colours and trippy prints (the main one features a drawing of an eye set against a photographic image of a coastline) define the line, which is designed to clothe those looking to combat “urban malaise” by “heading into the great outdoors”. All accessories in the collection are made in Japan: Backpacks, for one, are hand-sewn from quality canvas with calfskin trim.
On the other hand, Japanese fashion label Sacai – much loved by its followers for its unusual mixing of materials – combines ruggedness and traditional artistry in a different way. For Spring/Summer 2019, creative director Chitose Abe has created key looks around the Native American-style prints of Pendleton wool blankets, which have long been used as outerwear by members of these tribes. The colourful jackets and ponchos have a snazzy charm, whether worn on a hiking trip undertaken to fight the tedium of urban life, or during a workday as a line of defence against Arctic office air-conditioning.