It seems like an age since we were able to visit a trade show to soak up what’s up-and-coming and to mingle with familiar faces – It could well have been Pitti Uomo back in January? Since then the world has changed drastically.
What we have started to look back at is some of the exciting things we were witnessing at the time, such as the collaborations of the likes of Tretorn and Nigel Cabourn and the always lively Swedish brand LIMITATO stand in the Unconventional building, which played up to its entertaining value of presenting us with bombastic ‘wearable art’ and new partnerships.
One of the most memorable conversations however was with Henry Hales, the founder of informal tailoring brand Sirplus, a label built of the foundations of achieving excellently made product from left over materials (hence the play on surplus) to a growing audience of fans. Stylish, easy-going luxury that is bereft of making anyone feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Hales’ laid back approach is clearly channeled in the nature of his designs, but the business remains as astutely determined and accessible in spreading the word.
With innovation always fundamental to the identity of SIRPLUS, according to Hales, the new Autumn/Winter 2020 collection is no exception: “It’s all about continuing an easy, mix and match wardrobe equipped for the changing times. Staple, forward-thinking pieces that are built to last, utilising surplus and eco-friendly materials wherever we can.”
A brand born from the leftover fabric of Jermyn Street’s famous shirtmakers, Hales found a knack for turning offcuts into opportunity. Ten years on, SIRPLUS continues to grow and evolve. From a street market stall into multiple central London stores. From up-cycled underwear to a full range of functional wardrobe staples. All with a constant connection to their roots in surplus fabric. SIRPLUS design with a vision of clothes lasting longer, being worn more often and adapting to a variety of seasons – effectively buying better and buying less.
This season showcases sharp updates to their ever-popular collarless silhouettes, along with the introduction of innovative new shapes and materials. Take the all-new Padded Jacket and Padded Gilet, crafted from recycled plastic – roughly 22 and 17 bottles respectively.
Offering a winter-ready outer layer that keeps the rain out and the warmth in. Featuring an eco-friendly microfibre down, retaining the warmth and breathability of feathers, minus the allergens. Cut with a mandarin style collar for a nod towards their signature Nehru style.
10 years on, Sirplus is still turning would-be fabric waste into lifetime companion pieces. Like the new Brown Check Overcoat, the collection’s hero piece. A heritage style brown Prince of Wales check, crafted in England from a thick Italian surplus wool blend.
Their go-to party piece, the Nehru jacket, now comes in the creamy softness of an Italian surplus wool and cashmere blend. Cut with their signature Mandarin style collar, it works as country casual and evening attire alike.
Then there’s Hales pick of the Italian cord suit: “It’s a classic, timeless shade. I knew we could craft it into a workwear style, relaxed suit – a hero outfit in any wardrobe. Separately, the two pieces are super versatile too.” A limited-edition take on informal tailoring, crafted in surplus designer 10 whale cord and finished with their choice of buttons – corozo nut, a sustainable alternative to plastic.
Then last of all and perhaps a major pick for customers in this current climate we have the ever-popular loungewear, with the newest offering comes in the form of the Navy Twilight Wool Dressing Gown. Made in the UK from Italian surplus wool and generously cut for a comfortable, cushioned fit. Featuring a shawl collar, roomy pockets, that soft-to-the-touch feel. Ideal for chilly mornings and designed for stolen moments – best enjoyed when worn slipping back into bed.