With unparalleled access to the IWM archives, we often get asked about the R&E research process and just how we go about transforming these amazing snippets of our past into contemporary menswear collections. That's why today we thought we would share a few behind-the-scenes snaps!
For this collection, our key focus centred around stories of the Second World War 'Flyers' – RAF Bomber Command, the parachutists and the artisan ground-crew who would paint & personalised their aircraft with some of the most incredible nose art.
Once we have this starting point, the design process (the fun bit) really begins with a field trip to one of the IWM's venues. With IWM Lambeth closed for refurbishment at the time, we made our way through the dust sheets to meet with IWM's curators and to sift through archived garments, such as the WW2 leather flying jacket. This allowed us to examine the details & craftsmanship first hand, and ultimately inspired the R/E x Cockpit USA hand-painted flying jacket as well as many other graphic prints across our tees & sweatshirts this season.
We're strong believers that inspiration can be derived from almost anything. Believe it or not, some of our new outerwear & shirting pieces owe their origins to a WW2 parachute bag of all things. Items have been constructed from close weave technical fabrics with added details such as over-sized pockets and patches, parachute draw cords hems and brilliant, para-cord key chain loops.
This week we head back to the archives to gather ideas for SS16... and we can't wait!