In the tumultuous seas of spurious, pointless and head scratchily strange collaborations, b Store have offered a series of worthwhile match ups that this blogger is able to cling on to. Since launching just over a decade ago, it has carved out a niche with its purist approach to fashion, discreet design and unique brand aesthetic that is reflected through their magazine, in store and in more recent seasons. In short, it adds a welcome dash of 'b' to everything it touches. Having recently breathed fresh life in to heritage label Baracuta in a range of Harringtons and trousers, and reimagining the use and possibilities of print with Liberty, b Store have collaborated with the makers of the original duffle coat for SS12. Both brands have worked together to create a capsule collection of reworked outerwear. For me, it is an example of how a collaboration should be. The considered range plays on the differences and strengths of both brands. Whilst Gloverall has the expertise and development knowledge from decades of focusing on its singular vision to create the most functional and desirable coats, b store is a contemporary brand that has a reputation for creating modern, wearable collections with a unique image. It is a happy marriage and one that I'm keen to toast. So, as the collection begins to drop in stores, I sat down with Gloverall's Mark Smith and b's very own Matthew Murphy to talk through the collection and admire the Willem Jaspert shot and Jason Hughes styled look book...
SS: How did this collaboration between the two of you arise, what was the catalyst and how did it evolve in to the collection we see today?
Matthew Murphy: following the previous collaboration projects with both Liberty and Baracuta, we wanted to continue this series of working with established English based brands that specialise in iconic pieces. Outerwear is something that b store has only played with in previous season's, so we felt it was something that could be explored in more detail with Gloverall, as they have a huge heritage and resource of knowledge.
Mark Smith: We've been admirers of b Store for a long time, and we are mutually working with VP so see alot of their press and collections. Through VP the tie up happened, what was great about working with b store is that that they took was was a Gloverall identity and gave it their B Store handwriting.
SS: How would you describe one another and what you both bring to one another?
Mark Smith: B Store have such an individual look and their own handwriting. They have great vision about their product and for us it takes Gloverall into a new identity, it allows Gloverall to be fabricated in a new look and feeling.
Matthew Murphy: Gloverall has the expertise and development knowledge from decades of focusing on a singular vision, to create the most functional and desirable coats, b store is a contemporary brand that has a reputation for creating modern, wearable collections with a unique image, the reason's to work together are defined by the differences and strengths of both brands.
SS: The Gloverall archive must be huge. What was starting point?
Mark Smith: The archive is vast in garments, drawings, look books etc, but Gloverall really has key focus products over the last sixy years. The starting point was to look at what was key that would work together that we both could relate to. b store relly know and understand their customer and what they wanrted to achieve by working with us.
Matthew Murphy: It was amazing to visit the Gloverall factory, they had a wall of toggle variations and an archive that had samples of duffel coats for every brand you could imagine ...... we discussed with the Gloverall team the best way to approach the collab and they were refreshingly open to idea's, they really wanted the garments to reflect b store, rather than Gloverall. We decided to focus on our signature shapes and design details and use the iconic elements from Gloverall, such as the toggle fastening.
SS: How would you describe the collection?
Matthew Murphy: A 90's influenced anti heritage collection
SS: From the Melton wool coats, blazers, brilliant vintage-inspired 90s parkas and car, pea, duffel and cape-style coats, do you have a favourite item?
Matthew Murphy: For me the toggle fastening washed canvas blazer, as this is an example of a true collaboration, our signature cropped shaped blazer and Gloverall fabric and components
Mark Smith: Generally It always really has to be a Duffle for me, it's what we are but over the last 60 years we have so many great pieces and my current favourite is a 1957 Car Coat.
SS: How do you both see the collaboration evolving?
Mark Smith: What's great about b Store is that they can play around more with design than we may do so we get to take the coats to a new level, I see if continuing to evolve by taking our Iconic styles, make and fabrics and adding their great detail and design.
Matthew Murphy: Inherently, Gloverall are a winter coat brand, so when designing for the AW12 season there were many more tools at our disposal.
SS: Finally, what's next for b Store?
Matthew Murphy: we are very fortunate that we have the opportunity to work on so many creative projects, this season we are launching temporary stores in both Liberty London and Tomorrowland in Tokyo. We also launch another collab with Underground shoes for AW12.
Look book credits...
Shot by Willem Jaspert, styled by Jason Hughes, designed by Colville Walker
and modelled by Sam Coldy.