A metal grid set atop scaffolding poles and hung with sweaters at the show venue provided a clue as to the inspiration behind John Smedley’s fall collection. “It was all about a mineral called Blue John mined in Derbyshire (where John Smedley has its roots),” head designer Pip Jenkins explained, “so we’ve taken aspects of the rock and brought into out knits.”
The mining inspiration came through not only in the mineral-based palette of the collection — smoky blues, teals and greys with pops of Inca gold and topaz – but also in the workman’s plaid shirt reinterpreted as a button-down sweater, and utilitarian suede and leather elbow patches on chunky, roll-neck knits.
Lilith, an intarsia print inspired by local Peak District stone, Blue John, was realized after a photograph of the rock formation was programmed into the Smedley knitting machines. The10-piece collection included two women’s looks as a prelude to a re-launch for spring 2016.