The ocean’s treasures have always offered great riches to designers. Shells, nets, sharks, waves, reefs, seaweed, coral, creatures of the deep: the aesthetic and symbolic potential found in the sea is vast. Sometimes the plundering is relatively straightforward. The fanned lines of a scallop shell or gauzy movement of a jellyfish translate perfectly into the patterns and silhouettes of fabric in motion. Imaginative possibilities abound, too. The sea – vast, unknowable, volatile, both life-giving and life-taking – provides a seductive setting for myths, tales and speculation about what lies beneath the surface. However, what about those who ride above the azure blue waves?
Key elements of nautical style, such as officer’s caps, flap-front pants, and pea coats, have always been much loved and reimagined by designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier. The classic striped Breton marinière, which made a splash when it was worn by Coco Chanel on the French Riviera, has been an anchor for the look since the Roaring Twenties. And this SS21 does not differ with brands drawing on maritime nuances to create a collection that charters fashions love affair with the ocean.
GANT is one such example this season. The brand has dived deep into its archives and maritime flags can be found aplenty across the women and menswear collections and have a historical significance often associated with important meanings – each one representing a distinctive message. As a brand founded on the American East Coast, GANT has long incorporated nautical themes in its collections, so incorporating elements of these flags into the SS21 collection naturally fits. Just like the unique messages these flags represent, GANT too aims to inspire individuality and uniqueness while promoting a modern take on preppy for the season with an air of sports-luxe that covets a relaxed approach through the likes of oversized sweatshirts and outerwear.