“This season we were really taken by the 1971 documentary On Any Sunday which starred and was funded by Steve McQueen, himself a motorcycle fanatic,” explained Frederik Dyhr, Belstaff VP Men’s Design, on the release of the brand’s Spring/Summer 17 collection last weekend.
At the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, opposite Westminster Abbey, just as HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday luncheon was being held a stone’s throw away, the collection was presented on male and female models, hanging around a vintage pick-up truck and bike, within a film-set in homage to the film.
Twelve-time Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin MBE, wearing Belstaff, performed his famous two-wheel bike stunt routines between the QEII and Westminster Abbey for the duration of the presentation. Sammy Miller MBE (born 1933) – the eleven time British Trial Champion and racing legend from an even earlier generation – was also in attendance, wearing his vintage 1962 Trialmaster (Belstaff’s original four-pocket wax-cotton jacket launched in 1948 and still a bestseller today).
Like the film, the collection celebrates the carefree attitude of guys and girls from on and off the bike tracks. Referencing the sun-bleached palette of the film, keydesign references and colors were also taken from Belstaff archive pieces of the same era. Though color plays a big role in this season’s offerings: In the late 60s, motorcycle apparel brands began experimenting with new leather dyes and patterns, allowing riders to truly customize their racing leathers.
Belstaff also debuted five looks from the Women’s Spring 17 (pre) collection, which takes the same early 70s carefree biker inspiration shown in the film, and features hand-waxed suede, technical outerwear fabrics, lightweight denim and luxurious leathers all rich with subtle racing motifs.
Gavin Haig, Belstaff CEO said: “Throughout its 90 year plus history Belstaff has always been a brand forboth men and women, from its earliest female adopters, the pioneering aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson – who wore the brand alongside T.E Lawrence in the 20s and 30s – via Gracie Fields in the 40s, tomore recent ambassadors Kate Moss and Liv Tyler. We have always shown men’s and womenswear together in our campaigns and have been working towards showing them together in our presentations. This season felt like the right time to start.”
Kate Michael is a Writer, Emcee, On-Camera Host and Fashion/Commercial Model. Follow her at @kstreetkate