Delphine Ninous last made menswear when she was a 20-year-old student with no clue that her career path would take her to Christian Lacroix, Isabel Marant, and then over La Manche to Belstaff.
The pieces she rustled up way back then were bowling shirts she gave to her friends. She presented a double whammy of collections—Pre-Fall womenswear and Fall menswear—after taking coed creative control of the whole brand.
As Ninous pointed out, Belstaff’s origin as a moto-apparel label means that she has been working from a masculine starting point in her womenswear offerings for a while now. This expansion into menswear was nonetheless very well done. The collection’s conceit was maritime (Belstaff made a submariner’s jacket during World War II) and included a hunky refurbish of that original design, a great high-cut blue parka in “ballistic nylon” with a double hood (the original would have been used as a flotation aid, Ninous noted). A black leather biker with stitched moto shoulders was stamped on its back with a galleon-at-sail design based on the work of Sailor Jerry, a tattooist whom Ninous said was known for his work in Honolulu during WWII. As ever, there were seasonal variations on the Roadmaster and Trialmaster jackets, rendered here in a washed finish that came in a faded poppy red and dark khaki. Ninous’s maiden menswear voyage for Belstaff was nautically nice.
Report by Vogue