This London Fashion Week, Bethany Williams will present her gender-neutral capsule coat collection, exclusively for Selfridges.
As with every collection and project Bethany Williams works on, the social and environmental issues go hand in hand.
“This particular project was inspired by our ongoing work with The Magpie Project, a charity that supports women and children under five in temporary, unsuitable or no accommodation. The Women’s Institute community creates a personal blanket for every baby born into the Magpie Family. A blanket is so much more than a piece of fabric, it is a feeling of comfort and shelter and I wanted that feeling to be at the heart of this capsule collection.” – Bethany Williams
Drawing on her inspiration, the collection saw Bethany dive into the historical heritage of vintage and antique wool blankets from across the UK. All the blankets are carefully sourced from vintage sellers, whether that’s Antiques Markets or car boot sales.
Steeped in history, each blanket sourced tells a story from the textile and weaving techniques to the county, town or village it was made in. One of her favourite pieces sourced for the collection was found on a pitch-black frosty morning at Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Racecourse. With her phone touch as her only source of light, she came across a rare and usually very expensive Welsh, patterned wool blanket with brightly coloured pink and orange patches.
With this collection, the story continues, as each blanket is given a new lease of life through Bethany’s artistic vision and mastering of design-led upcycling techniques, which created this capsule collection. Shapes for the details on each garment come from historical research into childrenswear that she explored with the V&A Museum of Childhood. The complimentary colour palettes, slightly oversized fit and skilful patchwork techniques all create a unique, bespoke-feel to each garment.
Handcrafted in London, the nine upcycled blanket coats are available in three different jacket styles.
Each garment is conceptualised by allocating a specific blanket to each style of jacket based on its weight, thicknessand colour. The outer material is the blanket wool for optimal insulation with a 100% organic cotton lining, sourced from Wales.
This collection is part of Selfridges sustainability initiative, Project Earth, committed to putting sustainability in the heart of the business and reinventing the way we shop.
“We are so thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Bethany Williams. Bethany joined the Selfridges menswear editas part of our Bright New Things programme, and we are so excited to now be launching this collection straight from her LFW presentation. She was a clear choice to be included as one of our key Project Earth partners due to her innovative approach to sustainable and socially conscious work – Jack Cassidy, Head of Menswear at Selfridges.