John Alexander Skelton continues to center his design around Benjamin Pollock, the founder of Pollock’s Toy Museum and shop in the Fitzrovia area in London.
For his spring 2023 collection, he set the scene at the former wharves and docks on both sides of the Thames, which are now the area of Bermondsey, Limehouse and Wapping, as he imagined a summer wardrobe of a man who would wander around the London docklands in the 1800s, and perhaps dabble in “what the local area had to offer that may not have been strictly legal.
“There is a sense that the area possessed a certain exoticism mixed with hard labor and various trades that benefited from their proximity to the river….I’d suspect Pollock would have been a mudlark, a collector of curiosities from times past, a connection to a past that gives the present some form of relevance,” the designer said.
Skelton offered his signature nostalgic buttoned-up jackets and coats with slightly narrower shoulders in striped and dotty summer-friendly fabrics, such as damask linen from Ireland, and Chinese silk, a nod to Limehouse’s past of being London’s first Chinatown.
He then styled them with dusty pink shirts hand-dyed with avocado pit, loose shorts, roman sandals and metal brooches in collaboration with jewelry designer Slim Barrett, with shapes inspired by all sorts of church door hinges he collected during research, which were also interpreted as beautiful prints for the collection.
In the look book, all models wore the same wooden face mask, which was chopped off from a mannequin that was supposed to model all the clothing for the collection but didn’t work out in the end. But Skelton was rather pleased with the plan B, as it added a sense of mystery to Pollock’s character arc.