Realm & Empire SS16: Ridin’ The Storm
At Realm & Empire, a fresh new season begins with a customary trip to the IWM (Imperial War Museum). If you’re familiar with the brand, you’ll know that it is this fantastic historical establishment that provides the incredible source of inspiration for their seasonal collections. It’s a unique, ongoing collaboration that sees an archive of such overwhelming historical importance creatively interpreted by their team into contemporary, stylish menswear collections. The authority of IWM ensures all Realm & Empire apparel is fundamentally inspired by real history and British heritage.
Sand-blasted and sun-bleached, Spring Summer 2016 takes us back to the Desert Dunes of North Africa in 1941. The collection traces the journey of the British Army’s pioneering Long Range Desert Group and captures the essence of the legendary 7th Armoured Division – the famous ‘Desert Rats’.
Design details are informed from the functionality and practicality of utility uniforms, all authenticated by reference points gathered in the IWM archives and cleverly adapted to incorporate today’s mod-cons. Keep a lookout for garment-washed combat overshirts and an iconic Montgomery summer workwear blazer with re-purposed utility pockets.
The graphic cornerstone and signature twist for the collection comes in the form of a brand new camouflage print – a design inspired and adapted from a silk Second World War escape map of the desert, typical of those sewn into the beret, boot soles and such like for use by the escapees.
As with all Realm & Empire collections, this clothing is not just abut visual appeal – it shows an appreciation to our forefathers, our history and the unique craft and design skills that have been developed over many years, all carefully infused with contemporary design and unwavering attention to detail.
My personal pick
My favourite piece of the collection has to be the Montgomery casual blazer. The quality of the piece really is outstanding, offering a workwear inspired take on the unstructured, casual blazer. The history behind the garment really caught my attention when browsing through the SS16 releases. The blazer was inspired by General Montgomery who was one of Britain’s most successful military commanders. In 1942 he led the Eighth Army to victory at the Second Battle of Alamein, which changed the tide in the North African Campaign.
The full story behind the collection is well worth a read, check it out here.