Spring Summer 2021: Drop One
This season’s collection pays homage to British motor racing during the 1950s and 60s - a time when Formula One drivers like Mike Hawthorn, Sterling Moss, Peter Collins, Tony Brooks, and Jim Clark regularly battled their way to the podium - and did it in style.
Seen by many as the heyday of the sport, this golden age saw British drivers take the lead after the early dominance of Italian drivers Giuseppe Farine and Alberto Ascari, and the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.
In an era when British style was perhaps at its peak, these men combined function with flair—and whilst their time behind the wheel was spent in no-nonsense cotton race-suits, they were often seen track-side dressed in checked suits, striped shirts and long overcoats.
It’s this contrast of utilitarian design and smart, formal attire which has inspired this season’s collection, with the Authentic range referencing the singular style of the drivers in their time away from the driver’s seat, and the Lybro range of work-wear looking at the hardy clothes worn by the pit crews and mechanics (there’ll be more info on this gear soon).
The first drop from this season features two main segments… there’s British-made outerwear from the Authentic range, and the Army Gym sportswear line. It probably makes sense to start with the jackets...
Working with the Mackintosh factory, a place with a long history of high quality outerwear, Nigel has created the Nam Coat, the Short Smock and the Short Cactus Work Jacket. The Nam Coat is a full-length overcoat which is heavily influenced by the long coats worn by 1958 Formula One world champion Mike Hawthorn, one of Nigel’s heroes, in countless photographs from the era.
It’s got a classic raincoat shape, and is made from lightly waxed cotton poplin from Halley Stevensons in Dundee. The fabric has a dry finish, which means that whilst it’s still water repellant, it’s not got that heavy, waxy handle you’d associate with waxed jackets, and is a bit more summer-friendly.
The Short Smock uses the same Halley Stevensons dry-wax fabric, but takes the shape of a vintage military anorak from Nigel’s collection, whilst the Short Cactus Work Jacket is a hip-length utility jacket which is made from a custom-made cactus print denim fabric from the Nihon Menpu mill in Japan. As you’ve probably guessed, this print has little to do with British motor racing, and is in fact a pattern first used by Nigel back in the 1980s—as ever, there’s a fair few ingredients which have gone into making this season’s collection.
Nigel and his design team have also looked to the sportswear of the 1950s for the Army Gym range. Items like the Embroidered Arrow Crew Sweat or the Jogging Pants borrow classic details from vintage collegiate sweatshirts and military physical training uniforms (like the ‘V’ insert on the sweatshirt’s neck, to prevent the collar becoming stretched and mis-shaped), and bring them up to date with a more contemporary fit. Made from organic cotton, these pieces are all offered in the same range of colours, meaning there are more options than ever for a full Cabourn track-suit.
From full-length raincoats and cactus-print work-jackets to jersey cotton sweatpants, it’s a varied range which pulls from a large pool of influences. As well as the motor racing theme, ideas from military design, sportswear and the great outdoors come together to make a collection of clothes crafted with the modern age in mind. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg—keep an eye out for the upcoming Lybro work-wear collection and the Authentic shirt range over the next few weeks.