“I’ve always liked working with wool; it’s an integral part of tailoring. You can manipulate wool to get shape and form. It’s also incredibly timeless and a very modern fibre to work with,” says contemporary bespoke tailor Timothy Everest.
Based in Spitalfields, London, Everest steers clear of traditional cuts; but that’s not to say he shies away from tradition altogether. Tailoring remains the backbone of his business, but woven into this is a contemporary side to his line of work, and so collaborating with The Woolmark Company was a natural fit.
Together, Everest and The Woolmark Company are taking wool into the heart of today’s urban mix and embarking on an exciting new journey. The result is Hemisphere: a new collection exclusively designed to take wool out of its usual comfort zone and place it firmly at the centre of a modern, urban lifestyle.
Hemisphere draws on Everest’s tailoring heritage but repurposes it, using innovative wool-based fabrics that connect with today’s international casual style. What's been created is a collection which is imaginative, original and most of all one which will resonate with a global contemporary audience.
“The aim of the collection was actually to demystify the preconceptions of wool. Working with some innovative wool designs and weaves we wanted to take it to an urban consumer and a tailored, casual look.”
Through Hemisphere, Everest is able to highlight the versatility of Merino wool, showing its timeless appeal mixed with a fresh take on tradition.
“The collaboration with Woolmark had us looking at creating a collection from wool and getting people to be a little bit surprised about what you could do with wool and how you can actually wear it. We wanted the collection to be internationally casual. It’s for people who are living he urban life; they might be jumping on a bike, on the tube, could be on a plane. It’s clothes for real people living a real life.”
For the first of his collaborations with The Woolmark Company – in the newly launched Contemporary category – Everest travelled to the source of the fibre to not only see how wool is produced but to place a greater emphasis on which fabrics to use.
“When I went to Australia I worked with a technologist who bought out six boxes of ‘mistakes’, which was quite funny because a lot of them were really interesting. One of the fabrics was woven and it had properties of being impervious to water because it had actually shrunk in the weaving process.
“One of the highlight fabrics that we used was the wool denim. When I visited an Australian sheep station it was interesting to see the shearers were actually wearing stretch denim in a very cool cut, which is very practical as it wicks away water, and so we took inspiration from that.”
Everest used a wool denim fabric in one of the key men’s looks in Hemisphere. The suit – which is actually a one-piece boiler suit similar to what was worn by the Bauhaus movement – uses a blue wool denim mixed with cotton, in a 65:35 ratio.
“We are particularly proud of ‘the suit’. This is a one-piece siren suit crafted from stunning new wool denim. It’s dark denim in colour but we have added a burgundy melton on the under collar and added the same colour as a top-stitched detail on pleats than run through the front waist. I've also added in a box pleat at the back of the suit, with bar tack detailing.
“The other piece from the women's range is 'The Culotte' which is a 3/4 length cropped culotte. I've done away with a waistband so the finish is super clean. Again it’s crafted in a wool denim, and I've teamed it with a bright sulphur yellow cowl back neck top which has been hand-knitted in the UK from Merino wool.
In keeping a sense of casualness to the Hemisphere collection, Everest’s simple colour palette showcases wool at its best and places greater emphasis on the level of detail in the cut and fit of each garment. The most prominent colours throughout the collection are a sulphuric yellow and indigo navy. The deep burgundy colour is more subtle and so this has been applied across more ‘hidden’ detailing such as top stitching and linings.
“Colour is vital for me as a contemporary British tailor. I'm known for using colour for 'surprise' and I have done so during my career. In Hemisphere I was keen to show how wool can be modern and incredibly versatile, and apart from the handle, which is not what you might expect from garments crafted from wool, the colour anchors it and is key in terms of appealing to a slightly younger audience.
“Hemisphere is a collection of pieces to invest in. They’re clean and modern, not overly fussy or embellished or branded. They’ll evolve across seasons and over time, and they’ll help people see wool in a different light – appreciating its traditions but recognising its capacity to fit with what’s happening now.”
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