Check out all of the posts in the category ‘Behind the Collection’ below. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, try searching by using the box on the right hand side of this page.
Monday, 5th Nov 2012
Fred Perry is pleased to introduce the Guernsey Woollens to the Friends of Fred fold for Autumn Winter, 2012. The company have been crafting traditional knitwear from their Guernsey workshop for over 30 years. Both design and production are based on the small island (officially known as the Bailiwick of Guernsey), which lies to the south west of mainland Britain. The island, which is just 78km2 is famed for its traditional dairy farming, knitting and fishing industries.
The Guernsey knitting industry has a long and colourful history, including a royal following! It is rumoured that Queen Elizabeth (1558 to 1603) owned articles of the island's knitwear, and Mary Queen of Scots even wore her Guernsey hose (similar to a modern day pair of tights) to her own execution. However, it was in the 17th Century, when the knitwear industry truly flourished, as the knitted jumpers found favour with seafarers around the British Isles.
The pioneering wives of the island's fishermen had developed a special garment for their husbands – a jumper that was warm, hardwearing, comfortable and most importantly capable of repelling rain and spray. The hard twist given to the tightly packed wool fibres in the spinning process and the tightly knitted stitches made sure water ‘rolled off’ the jumpers. Each parish (community) within Guernsey had their own knit pattern to ensure any sailors lost overboard could be identified, and on a brighter note a misplaced jumper could be returned to its rightful owner.
For Autumn/Winter 2012, Guernsey Woollens have produced a limited number of traditonal pure British wool sweaters complete with our signature Laurel Wreath embroidery on the chest. The style retains many of its original design features, the rib at the top of the sleeve is said to represent a sailing ship's rope ladder in the rigging, the raised seam across the shoulder, a rope, and the garter stitch panel mimics waves breaking upon the beach.
Monday, 1st Oct 2012
We're pleased to introduce iconic brand Gloverall as the latest addition to the Autumn/Winter 2012 Friends of Fred selection. Established in 1951, Gloverall has earned a reputation as one of Britain’s most timeless and well respected brands. Founded by Harold and Freda Morris, the company originally specialised in the sale of cotton and leather gloves and traditional workwear clothing.
Photo by Jack Garnham/Picture Post/Getty Images courtesy of Gloverall
Following the Second World War, the couple were approached by the Ministry of Defence to help with a solution for the disposal of surplus army supplies. Happy to oblige, they took the surplus military and naval coats, conceived their brand name using the words ‘Gloves' and 'Overalls’ and made their first styles available to the British public. The coats were a resounding success. Harold Morris saw the early potential in this venture and alongside his father - who happened to be a master tailor - began to produce larger quantities of a more structured, civilian friendly version of the coat in their London workshop.
Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images courtesy of Gloverall
The new Gloverall coat was adopted and adored by a legion of fans spanning a cross-section of society. The coat became a symbol of social renegades - favoured throughout the 1950s and 60s by beatniks, protestors and artists. In contrast, British actor Michael Wilding - the second husband of movie star Elizabeth Taylor - was famously photographed wearing his alongside the star on their honeymoon, whilst champion racing car driver Stirling Moss was often seen trackside in his. Gloverall, like Fred Perry, have their feet firmly cemented in British history, with both brands seeing their signature pieces migrate from their original purpose to become iconic design classics.
This season sees the introduction of an exclusive Gloverall reefer coat to Friends of Fred. The reefer coat was a style traditionally worn by the Navy, and has been produced using Moon's quality melton wool, a fabric famed for its warmth, durability and wind resistance. Made in England, the double breasted style is complete with anchor button detailing and a throat tab fastening for warding off the cold. Retaining its original features and navy blue colour, the coat has been updated with our signature Stewart tartan lining. Three Gloverall medal stripe scarves have been crafted in pure new wool, making a perfect accompaniment to this season's outerwear. Staying true to Gloverall's military roots, the distinctive stripe patterns originate from the ribbons used on medals awarded for distinguished service during wartime.
Fred Perry have also worked alongside Gloverall to produce a collaborative Laurel Wreath Collection duffle coat. Available for both men and women, our interpretation of the classic style sees it pared down with a streamlined silhouette and simplified panel details.
See the full Friends of Fred selection for Autumn/Winter 2012 HERE.
Monday, 24th Sep 2012
Fred Perry are pleased to announce the release of two new exclusive George Cox footwear styles, as part of our on-going Friends of Fred project. Established in 1906 in Northamptonshire, the home of British shoemaking, George Cox has built a reputation for their uncompromising craftsmanship and traditional values on quality. Keen to see the process involved in making each shoe; we took a visit to the factory to see British manufacturing at its best.
The company, famed for its creeper styles, utilises a production process known as Goodyear Welting. The hands-on nature of this construction means that the shoes take much longer to produce than those made using wholly mechanised techniques. Whilst many modern manufactured shoes have their soles simply glued on, the Goodyear welting process involves several stages of sealing with each shoe individually finished by a skilled craftsman. Whilst at the George Cox factory, we witnessed the production of the new women's Friends of Fred Gibson shoe from beginning to end.
Firstly, the suede or leather hide is selected and the upper shoe pattern cut out by hand. In footwear production this initial stage is known as 'clicking' and calls for great skill and precision. Once the suede has been cut to shape, the pieces - including the lining - are stitched together and then stretched and shaped over the last. Each shoe style has a different last, created with individual characteristics, and it's this shaping tool that replicates the anatomical information of the foot and gives the shoe its sturdy, recognisable finish.
A welt (a strip of material) is then stitched to the upper and inner sole holding all the pieces firmly together. Next, the bottom of the shoe is compacted with a special filler to create a flat surface, whilst also adding insulation. Now the whole upper part of the shoe is complete, the soles are carefully trimmed and stitched to the welt. The final stages of making the shoe involves the stitching, fixing and attachment of the heel; overall polishing and one last examination, ensuring everything is as it should be before carefully boxing.