The term moodboard is bandied about a lot in the fashion world, with images from designer's far flung travels or images from some avant garde film or exhibition they’ve visited carefully printed and pinned on boards displayed in their studios. But for autumn winter 2017, if we were to sum up the mood of the season with just one image, then it would have to be of a still from the late 1980s Werther’s Original TV campaigns. You know the one with the grandfather kicking back in a leather armchair in a wheat coloured cardigan reminiscing on his confectionary memories. Fast forward 30 years later and that cardi he is sporting, is in fact, totally on-trend.
Whereas, for the past couple of season’s granny chic gave us floral tea dresses, Mary Jane shoes and clasp handle bags, Grandad Chic, as we’re calling AW17’s recurring theme, is all about longer length cardigans, corduroy and quasi-orthopedic shoes. Whereas granny was a little bit uptight and totally proper, grandad is much more relaxed. A little bit looser, you’re just as likely to find him down the pub as on the allotment and, yes, there probably is a sticky sweet stuck at the bottom of his pocket.
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Like all proper Grandads, a cardigan is key for this look. And if there’s one trophy piece, then it’s a Prada cardi. Fuzzy and beaded, worn unbuttoned over crochet bralets teamed with skirts with bouncy marabou trims, and accessorised with shell necklaces, this is a much more fashion take on grandad’s staple. Less OAP trip to Benidorm, and more Bali breakout. At £3,000 it’s going to require some serious cost-per-wear maths but aren't pensions overrated anyway?
Christopher Kane, offered a throwback to Kurt Cobain’s 1983 cardi-clad appearance on MTV’s Unplugged in New York. Think long and open cardis in lustre metallics while others came with patches and safety pins. Meanwhile, at Gucci they were reversible with metallic trims, at Peter Pilotto they came with appliqued flowers and No 21 with satin inserts and embroidery. With Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski already snapped in the trend, the high street has of course jump on board today with a variety of more affordable versions.
But the Werther’s Original reference doesn’t just stop at knitwear. Grandad chic is also a mega fan of corduroy. From chunky suits at Prada and Lemaire to Marc Jacobs corduroy jackets with shearling collars and hues of blood red, egg-yolk yellow and soft-centrered caramel, this is definitely not the type of fusty corduroy your geography teacher wore, nor Jeremy Corbyn back in the day.
Now, joining the campaign to make corduroy cool, is The Cords & Co, a Stockholm-based brand that focuses solely on the rigid and ribbed fabric. Featuring everything from pants, to jackets, shirts, dresses and even sweatshirts this is corduroy with some major corrr factor. Opening six flag ship stores in cities including New York, LA and Paris, plus launching globally online, they are well on the their mission to make corduroy the new alternative to denim.
Interestingly, the love of all things OAP isn't just limited to fashion. A recent study found that more and more women in the 20-30 age group are swapping their post work glass of white wine for whisky with 1/3 of drinkers in the UK now women. A grain coloured cardi, cords and a glass of a single malt, sounds like the perfect Insta making opportunity to us.