Jonathan Saunders demonstrates in his latest collection that Merino wool is an exciting, fashion-forward fibre to be wearing in Autumn/Winter.
"The collection was about the early '80s," Saunders explains. "Colours were harder and more aggressive, there was punky attitude, there was a sportswear element to the way that people used to dress - and so I wanted to encapsulate all of those things."
Saunders uses Merino wool in innovative and versatile ways. In this collection, for example, he has Merino wool panelled with Merino wool but they're bonded together, so it's "a kind of more industrial process".
Saunders has been collaborating with the 140 year old iconic Scottish knitwear brand Lyle & Scott on part of his collection. Formerly known for golfing knitwear, Lyle & Scott has more recently acquired a younger more fashionable following.
Why Lyle & Scott and Jonathan Saunders? The Scottish kinship is obvious and Saunders signature use of colour, pattern and graphic has a clear relationship with the brand 1960's golfing heritage.
The knitwear in the collection includes pieces made by Hawick Knitwear in Scotland, a Woolmark licensee, which carry the Woolmark logo on the label as well as Lyle & Scott's famous coloured eagle. There are also lighter weight fine gauge Merino knits produced in Italy.
"It's a great collaboration and a really interesting team to work with," Saunders says. "They just want to look at how to do things in a new way and that's what I’m always interested in, so we've tried to do something that’s a sportswear brand but do it in a fun and interesting way with colours."
At New York Fashion Week, Australian designer Dion Lee presented a wool-rich collection that demonstrates his clever use of cut