Ben Sherman

AW18 explores industrious British northern towns of the 1970’s at a time when living for the weekend was truly a way of life. This season we draw inspiration from Northern Soul, an iconic subculture made cool by the rare imported soul 45’s and the British youth that gave their all when dancing to them. Every weekend “night-owls” would be drawn to Northern Soul clubs to dance til daylight. A passionate exploit fueled by their deep love of the distinctive signature two-step dance moves and an uplifting soundtrack curated by devoted record collectors.

Dance was always at the forefront of the Northern Soul movement, a movement that still goes strong to this day. Dance is also a key direction of the AW18 collection, highlighted through the stunning black and white imagery of Brian Cannon, a talented photographer known for his work commissioned by the band Oasis during their early years and his amazing shots that captured the heart of the Northern Soul scene over the decades. Silhouettes and striking photography are printed on graphic tees, conversational polos and shirts throughout the collection.

The Heart of Soul is an ode to the dedicated followers who would practice at home all week long to perfect their moves in preparation for the weekend all-nighters. Legendary haunts such as the Twisted Wheel and the Wigan Casino, attracted “night-owls” from every corner of the country. We salute the dancers who mastered their endless spins, dramatic high-kicks, with sudden back-drops and half-splits throughout the night on talcum powdered parquet floors.

In this collection we reinterpret the parquet floor patterns through an autumnal colour palette with modern yarns. We celebrate the “night owls” through retro badges and patches, wool shirts with soul pins. In keeping with the classic mod DNA there are many sartorial standouts, this season the collection also has a playful tone with slogans that cleverly illustrate the double meanings of the revered scene such as a striking pictorial owl knitted sweater and quirky all over owl prints.