The origins of corduroy date back as early as 200 AD from Egypt and was formerly known as ‘Fustian’. Imported in to Europe, via Italy in the 14th century and predominantly used by the aristocrats of the continent, it’s known in more recent times to be a staple of Geography teachers, farmers and a uniform for the working class; it’s fair to say that the evolution of corduroy is testament to its versatility, depth of colour and hardy tactility.
Woven similarly to velvet, corduroy is distinguished by its tufted cords, or otherwise known ‘wales’ - the size of the wale affects the width of the cords, and refers to the number of ridges per inch: the lower the wale, the thicker the cords.
In modern times, Corduroy’s popularity went through somewhat of a renaissance period; it was seen worn by style icons of the late seventies and early eighties such as Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, Depeche Mode and a part of the New Romantic pop culture movement that combined working class values with unentitled opulence, eccentricity and creativity; a new way of thinking. The sartorial result of this was a combination of rich colour, deconstructed formality and juxtaposing textiles .
Another woven feature of the New Romantic movement was Velvet; a piled textile with a history endowed primarily with the ‘bourgeois’ and aristocracy. Much like its ridged counterpart – corduroy – its origins date back to the 13th century. The looped pile is integral to the structure of the fabric and also responsible for lending velvet its renowned depth of colour and light refraction.
For A/W 18 we’ve borrowed some of the eclectic ideology of the New Romantics, and deployed the use of Corduroy and Velvet in some modern silhouettes that give the collection a lustrous and nostalgic, yet contemporary feeling. The Drawstring Trouser in Cord Rust or the Bailey Bomber in Velvet Ochre are a great example of a future classic but if you’re wanting for something more utilitarian and practical, see the Brookes Jacket in Cord Navy or the Fishtail Trouser in Velvet Chocolate.