Tweed on speed: The traditional fabric gets an update
Pair with a crisp white shirt and jeans, and accessorise with pearls
Traditionally, tweed’s subtle colours reflect the landscape from which it originated. Photograph: Oksana Tocickaja
One of the more painterly items of clothing, tweed’s subtle colours reflect the landscape from which it originated, particularly in the varied autumnal tones of the season. In more modern guises it deliberately contradicts their patterns in brighter, zanier tones. The pink hourglass coats from Balenciaga, JW Anderson’s black and red peplum plaids, Prada’s dark tweeds and the black and white houndstooth at Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci put tweed on the international catwalk again. At home, Niamh O’Neill’s cute dresses in oversize, pink houndstooth emphasise the trend.
Traditional Irish tweeds, the “salt and pepper” flecked Donegal or herringbone patterns were originally dyed with local lichens, berries and flowers and woven in those familiar mossy greens, earthy browns and soft heathery shades the dyes created. Chanel famously drove out tweed’s rustic image from the countryside and her jackets, originally inspired by menswear, never go out of fashion – underlying the fabric’s enduring appeal. Tweed jackets always look great worn with crisp white shirts and jeans (or a long skirt) and why not pearls as well?
This time last year, Irish fashion designer Anna Guerin, an authority on Irish tweed and with 20 years’ experience in the fashion business, debuted nine styles of coat with fabric woven by John Molloy Woolen Mills, fifth generation weavers in Ardara, Co Donegal. What made them different was not only the design details such as dropped shoulders and extended collars, but their lighter weight, softer textures and ethical European manufacturing with no components sourced from the Far East.
Guerin’s new autumn-winter 20 collection, renamed The Landskein, is yet another limited edition range of statement coats including a deconstructed trench in Irish linen and tweed, and an oversize blazer in bright contrast check. Many of the yarns used are spun locally in Kilcar, Co Donegal. The name landskein is an old Celtic word describing the weaving and braiding of horizontal lines and reflects the brand’s “conscious interweaving of heritage fabrics and traditional tailoring techniques with modern design and sustainability”. The collection is available for pre-order at thelandskein.ie with prices starting at €645.
Photos of the collection were shot in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, with photographer Oksana Tocickaja, model Laura Jaraminaite, producer Jolanta Kersuliene, make-up artist Alina Vaitkeviciute and stylist Viktorija Ramamanauskaite.
We should also mention Magee, associated with Irish tweed for more than a century and still maintaining their proud heritage. The coat featured here is from their menswear collection showing its unisex appeal in oat brown herringbone, a real classic at €625. Find it online along with a sterling sale buy: their staple Moyne jackets for women in glen check that were €549 are now available for €274.50. Free delivery in Ireland.