The ebb and flow of winter trends is somewhat inevitable, and whilst we at The Rake do our best not to get caught up in them, the last few months have seen some simply amazing blazers, shearling coats and bomber jackets lead us willingly into temptation. And whilst we’re certainly not ready to remove any of them from our fantasy wardrobe, it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that things could do with a bit of a shake up. And who better to provide a little stirring of the sartorial loins than Mr Tom Ford himself, the unfailingly remarkable, occasionally controversial, and indubitably successful designer?
Ford’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection manifested itself in a rich, oily palette of deep tans, burgundy and melt-in-the-mouth chocolate browns, this particular jacket originally imagined in soft burned sienna. The muted shade of plum is a delicious update for a refreshing, more considered approach – it’s common knowledge that brown goes with everything, but pulling off plum requires a little more effort and a demands whole lot more kudos if done well.
Contemporary dressing needn’t push you out of your comfort zone, but comfort is one thing this jacket has in abundance. The butter-soft nappa suede (referred to in-house as ‘cashmere suede’, for obvious reasons) maintains the strong cut of the jacket, which echoes that of traditional denim workwear, but the subtle nap brings both a tangible and visual softness to the jacket.
Meanwhile, contrasting lock-stitch detailing, polished silver buttons and western pockets provide an informal aesthetic, balanced by the rich suede, which ups the levels of envy-inducing luxe in one’s ensemble, and it’s interesting to note the ‘western’ influence so often peppered throughout Ford’s collections. “My paternal grandmother was stylish in a very Texas way,” he recalls, citing his upbringing as an inevitable part of his inspiration season on season.
The top quality suede’s naturally insulating properties also come into their own, and paired with the unlined construction and slim fit, it makes for an effortless layer to throw on with everything from denim turn-ups, a charcoal rollneck and Chelsea boots to a pair of bespoke trousers and dress shoes. The slim fit works beneath a heavier overcoat or trench for rainy days (rule number one of suede; do not expose to the elements), and it will no doubt prove itself as surprisingly versatile product, more than deserving pride of place in your collection this spring.