London Collections Men SS17: Private White V.C.
There are no two ways about it, Private White V.C. produces some of the most interesting outerwear in British ready-to-wear clothing. Inspired by the label’s namesake, WWI military veteran Private Jack White, who was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, heroic designs are dreamt up by brand Creative Director Nick Ashley. Although based around classic military designs - think pea coats, trench coats and bomber jackets - Nick is a master at infusing contemporary details bringing each one proudly into the 21st century. Copper RIRI zips and metalwork have become a signature, and the brand’s use of fabric is particularly clever. Currently on sale is a WWII-style A2 bomber jacket crafted from 100% linen, which transforms a garment first intended to keep pilots worn in sub-zero cockpit temperatures into a contemporary summer staple. It’s also woven in the UK and the jacket is hand-made in their Manchester factory, as is the case will all their clothing.
Speaking of flying, travel was the predominant theme for Private White V.C.’s spring/summer 2017 collection unveiled at this year’s London Collections Men. The Private White V.C. customer, much like a reader of The Rake no doubt, will be accustomed to regular travel. He will therefore know that functional, multi-pocketed clothing is a must if he wants to breeze through security like a seasoned veteran. He will also be aware however that it is difficult to stay sharply tailored, largely because of the hoard of personal objects he must carry with him (phone/tablet/passport etc). Well, the design team at Private White may well have come up with the perfect compromise; a four patch-pocketed, double-breasted cotton/linen waistcoat. A highlight of the collection, it’s a versatile piece that works under a soft blazer or as a comfortable piece of summer outerwear. If the waistcoat is not for you, then the tropical weave safari shirt in off-white may well be. Updated with slanted side pockets, a shorter hem and a proper collar, it’s a winner. Elsewhere in the collection silhouettes have loosened slightly, with wider-legged cotton trousers and Bermuda shorts looking especially rakish in tonal shades of stone, cream and brown. Whether you’re a regular traveller or not, the impressive use of summer fabrics, comfortable cuts and functional designs only furthers Private White V.C.’s exceptional reputation within the world of high-end workwear.