There are few designers in England with the personality, enthusiasm and experience of Nigel Cabourn. At 68 years old he shows absolutely no sign of slowing down and, if anything at all, he seems to push things closer to the limit with each passing year.
Having grown up in the northern English town of Scunthorpe during the 1950's, he was exposed to the military through his father, and to the wider world through music and film. Nigel left Scunthorpe for university, a little further North in the city of Newcastle, around 1967 and never left; it's a testament to his determination (and perhaps his stubbornness!) that he kept his design HQ in the Newcastle area and didn't move to London 'with everyone else' in the 70's and 80's.
Nigel taking a moment at his London Collections Men show in June 2017
We always get a little excited when we travel to see the Nigel Cabourn collections in England and Japan, and even more so when the orders begin arrive on Gertrude Street here in Melbourne; the arrival of a 'Nigel Cabourn Authentic' delivery is, generally speaking, the most exciting of them all.
Nigel has several sections to his brand these days: Nigel Cabourn Japan, which is designed and produced in Japan with the help of Tokyo based company Outer Limits; Nigel Cabourn Army Gym, which concentrates on traditional jersey knit sportswear and basics made mostly in Europe; Nigel Cabourn x Lybro, which is the paired back workwear label produced in top-end Honk Kong factories and last, but certainly not least, Nigel Cabourn Authentic. This is Nigel at the peak of his powers!
Pocket details on the FW17 Nam Jacket from Nigel Cabourn
The Authentic Line is Nigel's baby. It's not his most popular or his biggest selling brand arm. It's not the one that pays his bills. It's the one that he loves and puts the best into. Everything in the Authentic line is made in the United Kingdom, and only in the best possible, technically specific factories. With Nigel Cabourn Authentic, it's all about the details. Whether it's the fabric, the hardware, the construction method or the story, Authentic is always at the pinnacle. This season, we have selected a few pieces from this very special line to bring to Gertrude St.
There are some of Nigel's signature knitted beanies and Pom Pom hats in the new season solid colours and FW17 limited edition 'Drop Zone' patterns. These should keep your head warm in the last throws of cold weather that will no doubt hang around until December.
AW17 Nam Jacket and Vintage Orange Wool Beanie
The new Authentic Braces are here, too. These are a 'harness' version of the standard authentic elasticated braces we've seen before - but they are certainly unique and practical in their design. Limited numbers have arrived in all three colour ways.
New for FW17 is the Nam Jacket. Inspired by a waterproof jacket worn in the Vietnam War, hence the name. Made in shower-proof technical cotton developed by Majocchi in Italy, the seams have been sealed using a contrast colour twill tape. It also features a newly developed two-way metal 10 RiRi zip to fasten and three panel peaked hood for better protection in adverse weather. A very good weight for our climate here and not a bad price point for a Made in England jacket at this level.
The Nigel Cabourn AW17 Nam Jacket Black Navy with Pom Pom Wool Hat
Lastly, the Cameraman Vest. This thing is just insane. It features all the usual Cameraman jacket design details including the iconic ‘Fireman’ clips and multiple pockets on the front plus one large one on the back. For AW17 it has been produced in two waterproof, high performance cotton fabrics – a rubberised boned cotton on top made in England and a technical cotton on the lower half made in Italy.
To appreciate them fully, stop in and have a browse - touch, feel and try on. If you can't get to the store, check them out online and just drop us a line if you need any more details.