Spring Summer 2018 is a milestone for our friend Nigel Cabourn who is celebrating not only the birth of a new design concept to his body of work, but also 50 years since he started fashion school in 1967 where his life long career and passion kicked off. The context of 1967 plays an incredible role in the domino effect that brought Nigel to where he is now. Politically and culturally, the time had huge impact on his formative years as a designer.
During Nigel’s time at fashion college in Newcastle, British pop culture was experiencing a revolution. A new type of model by the name of Twiggy became a fashion sensation and mini skirts were becoming shorter and shorter with a never-before-seen wave of flower power hitting fashion. The world saw a continued presence of American troops serving in Vietnam and peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased. It was in fact 1967 when Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing world championship for refusing to be inducted into the US Army, as more and more people were revolting against the inhumanity of war.
Closer to home in England, new Discotheques and singles bars sprouted up like wildflower, and the Beatles continued to reign supreme with the release of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band” album. 1967 was coined ‘the summer of love’ when young teenagers got friendly smoking pot and grooved to the music of The Grateful Dead. Many argue that Nigel’s years in fashion school 1967 to ’71 were the greatest years in music and art to this day, so it is no doubt that these formative years springboard his lifelong career in British fashion.
Moving back to 2017, the timely launch of Nigel Cabourn’s Spring Summer 2018 Authentic Limited Edition collection titled ‘What Ever Happened To Sean Flynn’ is more than appropriate. Sean Flynn, Hollywood heartthrob and son of movie star Errol Flynn, found his calling as a photographer and went East into deep jungle to cover the Vietnam war. He disappeared during this time, never to be seen again, sparking many conspiracy theories and question marks about the circumstances of his disappearance. Flynn was accompanied by photojournalist Tim Page whom Nigel has been in close contact with throughout the development of the collection. The new friendship opened up the incredible opportunity to view unseen photographs from the time to develop his men’s and women’s collections. The images were also exhibited alongside the garments at his London show a week ago.
Lybro and Authentic ranges side by side for SS18
Nigel telling jokes before the show.
Nigel Cabourn’s SS18 set designed by Ana Lumack
Cabourn models in Authentic unisex pieces developed around the story of Sean Flynn’s disappearance in the Vietnam war.
From left to right / Cabourn model Naho, Nigel, Cabourn Woman designer Emilie, and Lauren.
Revision Society co-founder Stacey and pal Reme wearing the just launched collaboration beret and tote-rucksack with Nigel Cabourn using deadstock vintage canvas for the Nigel Cabourn men’s store in Isetan, Tokyo.
Images courtesy of Nigel Cabourn and Stacey Cotter.