John Smedley, one of the early pioneers of fine gauge knitwear products, has commissioned British Sculptor Guy Haddon Grant to create bespoke artworks for their London retail stores.
It was a good opportunity for me to have a nose round the AW17 collection and drink some fine non-alcoholic rose water cocktails.
If you like the look of any of these pieces click on the imagery and it will take you directly to the John Smedley product page.
ABOUT JOHN SMEDLEY
Founded in 1784 at Lea Mills, Matlock, Derbyshire and still family owned. It’s now run by John Maclean’s nephew Ian Maclean, (8th generation). The company continues to innovate at the same site today while retaining the hand crafted finishing techniques that have established its reputation for more than two centuries.
If you’re London based John Smedley has two Flagship stores, one in Brook Street and their St James store where these images were taken, is in Jermyn Street.
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Pretty Green X John Smedley Chartham
This might be a piece from the only adequately publicised SS17 John Smedley/Pretty Green capsule collection, but it would be remiss of me not to mention it.
Both brands have a huge reservoir of affection and are deeply inspired by the mod culture. This expertly crafted short sleeved Polo composed with intarsia contrast stripe on the front and a contrasting stand collar, establishes an effortless off-duty style.
It comes in at a princely sum of £135, but that’s the price you pay for quality folks. It’s a 30 gauge knit and structured from 100% Extra fine Merino wool, assuring a finish that is as easy on the eye as it is on the skin.
Other expertly crafted pieces from the John Smedley/Pretty Green collaboration are still available on the website.
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GUY HADDON GRANT
Guy Haddon Grant has created abstract steel art works alongside figurative line drawings to demonstrate the constant movement and creation of knitwear constructions.
‘This has been an inspiring commission as I found parallels between the arts of knitting and welding, which allowed for a natural incorporation in the creative process of both the techniques and concepts that John Smedley stand for’.
Check out more of Guy Haddon Grant and his art on Instagram
Bowland In Kielder Green/Hepburn Smoke
I asked one of the reps to show me a haymaker and he pulled out this Bowland long sleeved knit.
Depending on what side of the Smedley modernism prism you’re on you could say the jacquard pattern on the garment is reminiscent of the view of a forest canopy from the ground. Others might be justified in saying it got put in a 40 wash with a bic biro.
The pattern is knitted into the fabric and this for me is the more digestible colour, but if you’re out for buying a showstopper, check out this Bowland knit in Chestnut Flare orange.
Available for £205 and I’m sure if you asked nicely they’d throw the hanger in for free.
Naples In Lumsdale Green
When we talk about gauge in knitwear, what do the numbers mean? It’s basically a term that refers to the number of stitches per inch, the higher the numbers the lower the thickness.
In this case the Lumsdale Green cardigan is crafted in a 30 gauge Extra fine Merino wool. It’s soft to the touch and highly versatile.
John Smedley has curated a wonderful capsule for this AW17. If you are decidedly ambivalent towards ostentatious logos and ‘showy’ graphics, then the subtlety of John Smedley provides high quality BRITISH MADE garments that offer an ideal form of concealment.
Of course it has a rich heritage that rolls back centuries, but this latest collaboration with Guy Haddon Grant proves that it’s anything but clandestine. The sculptures will remain in residence for up to 12 months.
Have your say in the comment box below. What do you think of the latest John Smedley collection? Who is your go-to knitwear brand?