Cottweiler’s Spring/Summer 2016 presentation was by far the most talked-about show of last season’s London Collections: Men (that’s London’s menswear week, FYI). The brand clashed luxe sportswear with obscure cult references, with high-end tracksuits presented in an eerily sterile space. For Fall/Winter 2016, Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell imagined a dystopian world where their crew of boys were forced to rebuild society, with only technical sportswear at their disposal.

“We wanted to represent a commune of guys, starting society again from scratch” Matthew told us. “There’s a lot of references from the neolithic period and a lot of references from modern agriculture.” That post-apocalyptic vision translated into earthy colors and wheat, which was used both as a prop and as a motif on the garments themselves. “The wheat represents the beginning of settlements and communities, but also has references to home interiors…you’d find that wheat sheaf in a middle-class new-build living room. We like to mix modern materials with organic ones, so that is the perfect contrast for us.”

Cottweiler’s arsenal of Italian fabrics included super soft, moisture-wicking thermal tricot (sort of like Neoprene), synthetic sheepskin (completely waterproof, FYI) and see-through cellophane (which was layered over the shearling for a striking collision of old and new).

The brand may be simultaneously imagining the birth and end of civilization, but in terms of garments, Cottweiler’s vision is totally modern. Cutting edge Italian fabrics, sports-luxe silhouettes and clean graphics – which were embroidered on the collection’s basics – kept one foot firmly on the present day, while the other was free to wildly imagine what a crew of boys would need if they had to start a new civilization from scratch. Wader-style trousers, see-through windbreakers and thermal tracksuits are clearly a must when dealing with the end of the world as we know it.

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