Farah celebrates 100 years of crafting menswear

27 / 01 / 20

Farah has been crafting modern menswear for a century, from 1920 to 2020, and every decade in between. Throughout 2020 Farah is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a series of product launches, each marking a seminal moment in popular culture and Farah’s place at the heart of it.

A sneak peak into SS20

For SS20, Farah travels back to 1950’s America, a time before the advent of youth culture, where a generation of post-war adolescents were starting a cultural revolution.  Employment and leisure time were plentiful, and for the first time in history the young had money and therefore a voice. This was the start of the youth rebellion.

This new social group used fashion and music as a form of self-expression. Rock ‘n roll – a fusion of rhythm and blues and country music – helped tear down social barriers, as white youths sought out African American music via small independent radio stations, making overnight stars of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Big business was quick to recognise this shift and started gearing records, radio and movies to this emerging market. Teens ditched the side partings and tailored suits of their forebears in favour of t-shirts and jeans – previously worn in the fields and factories of America – and later immortalized by James Dean and Marlon Brando in their portrayals of disaffected youth. They epitomized the ‘live fast die young’ ethos and gave legitimacy to being young and free.

Using pieces from its own back catalogue, Farah pays homage to the original trailblazers of the 50’s youth rebellion in this first instalment of Farah’s centenary collection.

Colours comprise a palette of deeply saturated indigo, a warm fiery red and intense teal blue. Offsetting the bolder shades are cool pink, pastel blue and lemon yellow.

Plaids take their cue from mid-western diner culture and appear on truckers, shirts and shorts, while the bold vertical stripes applied to shirts and polos are a nod to the bowling alleys synonymous with 50’s America, including signature pieces replete with chain stitch to chest and back. Fabrics come in a multitude of weights, patterns and washes. Highlights include a lofty loose weave canvas check, a tumbled plain and argyle print oxford and lightly laundered poplin.

Outerwear is rich in provenance. Taking centre stage are three Farah archive pieces, a hip length coach jacket, a denim mechanic’s jacket and a madras trucker, each meticulously matching the original for fabric and finish. Completing the offer is a classic twill Harrington and a mesh lined nylon windcheater.

Trousers remain central to the Farah line up, and a dip into the archive only enhances the offer further. The new Elm pleated chino takes 50’s detail and contemporary silhouette and merges them seamlessly, providing a fresh yet commercial take on the tapered chino. Whilst the sharp and lean Hopsack 100 is a replica of a Farah slack popularised in the dance halls of America. Constructed in 7oz fine basket weave, these trousers remain true to the classics.

New silhouettes for SS20 include a pleated chino and short, a button through polo, a knitted revere shirt and a mechanic’s jacket. Not only deserving of a place on merit, but also a metaphor of the indelible power of the 50s youth rebellion. Clothing as relevant today as it was 70 years ago.

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