For her first collection as artistic director of John Lobb, Paula Gerbase sought to retrace its founder’s journey from the Cornish moorlands of his father's farm, to his future as a bespoke London boot maker that still holds his Royal Warrant. Lobb may have made that pilgrimage in 1851, carried solely by his handmade boots, but for A/W 2015 Gerbase teamed up with set designer Shona Heath and Laura Holmes Production to recollect his steps.
Housed within Old Sessions House - an expired London town hall that is soon to become a member’s club - the team set about recreating the scenery, colours and textures of Lobb’s physical expedition. Film footage shot between the St James's flagship store and Cornwall was projected onto four large screens, ingeniously camouflaged by faux sandstone slab backing. The venue’s grand curved windows further served to replicate the journey’s changing light, with Gerbase’s debut collection coming to rest on moss-covered Dartmoor undergrowth.
The 1205 designer chose the venue for both its classic architectural features and the stripped-back quality of its raw, peeling foundations that alluded to the journey that Gerbase had taken herself, refocusing on the house's handmade DNA. Smarter still was the foyer’s sandy granules, which instantly made visitor's conscious of their own footsteps.