Since arriving at fashion week back in February 2008, womenswear has always been strong at Jaeger London. Each season Stuart Stockdale delivers strong pieces that women actually want to wear, but it's not all about womenswear. Menswear continues to be a key part of the brand. To celebrate that the brand has decided to launch their first freestanding menswear store.
Located in Cabot Place West, Canary Wharf, the store will focus on tailoring by providing a Jaeger London branded fitting service in store to make sure that your suits sit perfectly. "This is an exciting development for Jaeger menswear and its expansion," Belinda Earl, Jaeger's Group Chief Executive, said. "Canary Wharf is firmly established as a destination shopping area, giving us the opportunity to showcase our strong and stylish menswear collection to our growing menswear customer base."
The store officially opens to the public on November 21.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of all things Jaeger so it's safe to say that I was already sold before I saw Stuart Stockdale's spring/summer offerings yesterday morning, but I can proudly say that he exceeded my expectations this season.
Jaeger's signature tailoring came in the form of oversized blazers styled over the knitwear pieces that he introduced for fall. Leather is not something we've seen a lot from the brand, as last season saw them focus on fabrics like velvet, but leather appeared in abundance in black on dresses and in camel on skirts. The colour palette worked because it was varied. For people like me who don't feel out of place wearing black in the summer, Stockdale offered black knitwear and blazers but he also introduced gold metallic shirt dresses styled with skinny suede trousers. Knitwear also came in nude styled with shorts in brown suede. Towards the end of the collection, jewel tones like deep greens, aubergines and blue appeared on dresses nipped in at the waist and on wide leg trousers - think Proenza Schouler a few seasons ago and you're nearly there.
Stuart Stockdale did what he does best this week at Jaeger. The collection had a strong equestrian feel, evident in the hats, riding boots, fedoras and capes as well as the chain detail on the selection of bags that came in mustard and camel. This reflected the designer being drawn to the "mixture between urban and rural" this season.
What particularly stood out about the collection was the autumnal colour palette, especially in light of the abundance of designers that have opted for colour as a sign of optimism this season. "It was definitely a very Jaeger colour palette," he told me backstage. Structured jackets, leggings, fur and knitwear all came in musty greys, blacks and shades ranging from nude to coffee, which is very much "a part of the Jaeger DNA," he said.
Although Stockdale focused on tailoring this season, particularly on the trousers and outwerwear - such as a jacket that deceptively looked like a coat from the front but was actually cropped at the back - he did offer us a softer silhouette, too. "I definitely wanted there to be mix between tailoring and something a bit more relaxed," he said after the show. The knitwear, styled with cropped trousers were slouchy but chic and a grey voluminous loose fitted coat with thin black panels across the front was perfect for a relaxed work look.
Outside the muted colour palette, Stockdale also presented checks in red, white and brown on skirts and, like many other designers this season, he presented his take on the blouse. His interpretation came in off-white with cut-outs at the back.
Already on the wish list of Glamour editor Jo Elvin is a midnight-blue velvet dress, which will undoubtedly be a hit at retail.
Stuart Stockdale, design director of Jaeger London, reached a huge milestone this September: The luxury brand's 125th anniversary coincided with the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week. Lara Stone, Jaeger's Autumn 2009 campaign model, was lined up to walk the runway. Masses of international press had flown in. Even Anna Wintour had RSVPed. "There is a big buzz around Jaeger at the moment," Stockdale said. "It's a great time for British fashion."
A great time, indeed. Just ask Michael Salac, director of Blow PR, which handles up to 16 shows each London Fashion Week. London could be on the way to its next 'moment', too. "I think that Paris, Milan, London and New York always have their time," Salac explained. "The last time London was so popular was back in the mid-'90s." Sarah Mower, the British Fashion Council's Ambassador for Emerging Talent, told the New York Times in September that now, designers are open to advice from buyers and mentors - which could turn into always-valuable sales. And if more money's following British designers, then will the crowds have to keep coming, right?
Some designers have a way of never choosing a bad project. Case in point: Stuart Stockdale. The current design director for Jaeger, Stockdale trained under John Galliano while studying at Central St Martins, and from there, went on to work with big names like Jasper Conran and J Crew. When he took over at Pringle of Scotland from 2000 to 2005, the label took on a sexy factor, largely credited to Mr Stockdale himself.
The designer's Jaeger days started just last year, and after three seasons showing his collections at London Fashion Week, Stockdale has the fashion community wrapped around his little finger again. Affordable luxury that looks endlessly expensive? He's got plenty of it, thanks.
This week, Stockdale chatted with The Fash Pack about his need for Kings of Leon and keeping himself creative. Hint: at the weekend, you can find him at the museums.
It's official. Stuart Stockdale is spoiling us. Since joining Jaeger as design director in 2008, Stockdale has had the fashion industry lusting over the brand's classic investment pieces. After showing at London Fashion Week for the past three seasons, Stockdale has certified the brand as the leader in affordable luxury.
But it's not all about women. Men, if like the rest of the world the current economy is pulling on your purse strings, look no further than Jaeger's new menswear bag collection for fall. Expect hardwearing satchels in black and brown with gold detail and classic laptop bags with a modern twist that will truly take you from season to season.
The versatile nature of the bags makes them as perfect for work as they are for a weekend break away and the unisex style makes them perfect for women too.
"It's important that our new men's bag collection is in keeping with the sleek handwriting associated with Jaeger," said Stockdale. "We have produced high quality pieces, which are designed to be timeless, practical and effortlessly modern".
The collection is available in stores this week and prices range from £299 for a messenger bag to £499 for a cabin bag.