lou dalton fall/winter 16: a love letter to the shetland islands

We speak to Lou Dalton about the inspirations and ideas behind her tribute to England's World War II-era fishermen.

by i-D Staff and Princess Julia
10 January 2016, 1:00pm

Miss Dalton takes inspiration this season from her beloved Shetland and the heroic men of the isles. There's a romantic bravado attached to the way she layers up pattern and plaid, fleece and lacquered jersey. Her showerproof velour coats and jackets exude a stylish functionality; in fact, functionality and utilitarian practicality is her forte this season, demonstrated in detachable collars and hoods, snug and cosy teddy fur sweat pants. If you've ever been to Shetland, there's an air of rugged tranquility to the place; Lou captures the mood precisely. If you think of color as a mood enhancer, then you will see why I was taken with the cornflower blue and camel combo so enticing I wanted snuggle up to. Chic zip up vinyl looking bombers and a twinkle of gold tag earrings added the final flourish. She's put a lot of passion into her vision (as she always does); Dalton has considered an all weather vision of the outdoor life. She's also included those luxurious and precious moments of indoor style. It's down to the detail of things that make Lou Dalton menswear so covetable.

Shetland. I fell in love with the place and one day I'm going to have a croft! We've met a lot of interesting people, but there's a story which kind of took my heart. It's about the Shetland bus during the second World War -- the fishermen who would ferry army personel and Norwegian refugees to safety on the Shetland Isles. I fell in love the whole thing to do with the fishermen; there's something a bit dirty, a bit oily and a bit sexy about them.

Is fashion moving too fast?
It's bloody hard work but if you're determined and true to yourself -- a bit like the music said -- you 'keep on pushing'. Just believe what is right for you. I always knew it would be hard work, but I enjoy it.

Current mood?
Bloody emotional, I'm relived… I need a drink!

Pattern or plaid?
Pattern… no plaid. What am I talking about! Always plaid. We've got them both.

Best color?
Rose, no, love a bit of cornflower blue.

I've been listening to a lot of Jon Hopkins and I like a bit of an euphoric moment. Not maudlin, but taken to another level.

I met Justin -- my fella of 12 years -- in the Shetlands, so we have a strong link. We go back quite a lot. I love a narrative.

The Lou Dalton ethos?
I like traditional sportswear. It's my background in terms of construction and I love engineering the technical side to that. I try to bring that to the forefront in a contemporary form. I want quality, not necessarily at a high high price.

What were the fuzzy pants?
They were a wool mix fiber; they were 'teddy'!

The earring?
Originally a form of identification, a dog tag.


Text Princess Julia
Photography Mitchell Sams

London Collections: Men
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lou dalton
fall/winter 16
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autumn/winter 16
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