Mood board: Last season Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty presented their inaugural collaboration with Reebok at Pitti Uomo. For S/S 2018, their clothes were shown against a backdrop of imposing pastel-coloured motorhomes, installed in the centre of a large warehouse space. The designers travelled to the Californian desert for research and were struck by the escapism promised by the vast landscape, improbably located just beyond the fringes of an RV showroom. They explored this tension between the synthetic and the natural world. The collection saw re-made and repurposed signature pieces with added curved panels, lines and cuts to resemble RV dashboards. Cork shell was skimmed into zip-up sports jackets and tight shorts; patterned knitwear and tufting were inspired by the interiors of motorhomes.
Finishing touches: The collection was accessorised with two Reebok trainers. One was a reissue from the label’s debut available in new colourways. Standout was the style described backstage by Dainty as ‘three shoes in one’ and inspired by the Marathon des Sables – otherwise known as the toughest foot race on Earth. Lycra gaiters (more commonly used in desert mountain gear) came encased in safety wear straps and an enlarged 3D-printed overshoe.
Sound bite: ‘Every season we research a lot of textured, technical fabrics but also how they mix with basic materials too,’ explains Dainty. ‘We’ve always been interested in technology and exploring environments and thinking about how those two come together. We always like to contradict what we do and push ourselves to not be predictable.’