The man behind the eponymous label John Elliot, formerly ‘John Elliot + co’ admits he was never great in terms of formal education and never went to fashion school to hone his craft of design. He worked his way up from the shop floor into a wholesale position in the fashion industry, and it was in this job role that a wave of realization washed over him; the realization that he needed to get out of his current 9-5 and realize his own designs.
John Elliot started life as brand that offered humble menswear staples that every man needs – well fitted t shirts, hoodies and denim for example, all finely crafted from high quality fabrics as to give the pieces a solidified place in a man’s wardrobe. The intention was to provide men with quality basics that they would keep and wear over a long period of time, unlike disposable garments that may come to mind when using the word ‘basics’. Elliot’s niche came in the form of the modern twists he added to these every day staples to elevate them from the average garment to something slightly more luxurious and utilitarian.
Take for example the Villain Hooded Sweater, a stalwart in the collections, this hoodie is cut from a mid weight terry, soft to the touch yet still rugged so it retains its shape. Cut slightly longer and slimmer than your standard hoodie, and equipped with RiRi zips at each side seam to allow the wearer to open up the hoodie to display a longer t shirt layered underneath, and access to the hidden kangaroo pocket fabricated to the inside of the hoodie. Not only is this touch clever in terms of maximizing the function of the garment, it also allows the hoodie to maintain a cleaner aesthetic and elevates it from a simple sportswear piece to something with a more contemporary edge. It can now be worn underneath an overcoat without completely destroying the slightly smart aesthetic intended with such a piece of outerwear.
This focus on style and utility has been a continual motif for Elliot and has been intertwined with the sportswear-casual aesthetic he has championed every season, including in his latest presentation for the upcoming fall season.
French terry layers of sweats and joggers are combined with military styled bomber jackets and over shirts, equipped with a smattering of belts and attachments reminiscent of early Helmut Lang and Raf Simons work, however this is definitely not a copy as Elliot has clearly brought this style into his own and created a completely new approach to this somehow aged and futuristic look. Combining sportswear pieces such as quarter zip jersey pullovers and quilted sweats with edgy punk vibes in terms of cut off denim, leather patchwork knits and leather jackets may sound confusing however the collection seamlessly blends these two contrasting aesthetics to create a very cohesive and wearable collection. All this is achieved while maintaining Elliot’s signature attention to detail in terms of fabrication quality, fit and proportion.
John Elliot Fall ’16 should be gracing retailers in the coming months; it’s definitely one to be checked out. We definitely recommend keeping a look out for him in the future; Elliot is only presenting his 3rd runway collection and so far is going from strength to strength.