Words Ian Brown
Let’s face it, the global mood isn’t particularly buoyant at present given what feels like perpetual lockdown measures. With many people resorting to working remotely where possible, we’re all spending lots of time online and our approach to dressing oscillates between Zoom calls, FaceTime, home-schooling and possibly dashing to the supermarket, or venturing to the workplace if called for. The reality of the pandemic and its economic implications will be without a doubt, far-reaching. E‑commerce is apparently on the rise, and why wouldn’t it be? With so many of us battling to keep ourselves afloat during this unprecedented time, it’s no wonder we’re all indulging in some retail therapy. With not much to look forward to, a little treat here and there is hardly frivolous. There has never been a better time to support British fashion brands and smaller businesses. If we’re going to invest our resources, my suggestion is that we do so consciously. It’s of vital importance to think about where we are spending our money and what we’re investing in. The days of fast fashion are numbered. Sustainability is the future and we need to be investing in “forever pieces” of quality and longevity. Trans-seasonal pieces that seamlessly fuse style and functionality whilst evoking emotional connection and resonance.
When it comes to accessories, nothing beats the “forever bag”, and British brand Zatchels has options in abundance. Having arrived on the fashion landscape in 2011, Zatchels has become the go-to brand for affordable luxury leather accessories. They are garnering a cult following with devotees in destinations as diverse as the UK, the United States, Japan and China, with consumers in the latter two territories particularly known for their discerning approach to handbags. To date, celebrities such as Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, Millennial Sloane Ranger Rosie Fortescue and singers Jessie J and Katherine Jenkins have all been spotted clutching their preferred Zatchels. The craftsmanship is bonafide. The brand’s leather is sourced from Clyde Leather of Glasgow, a family tannery that has been producing the finest leather and suede for over a century. All of the Zatchels leather goods are painstakingly crafted at their Leicester factory using highly-skilled leather manufacturing techniques. With a plethora of covetable styles and sizes to choose from, in a range of colourways that would make even Crayola weep with envy, there really is something for everyone. If you’re the kind of gal who likes to personalise her arm candy, they offer some whimsical leather heart charms that can be clipped on to bags, wallets or keys. Last year, the brand was acquired by Tradewise Solution Ltd and opened a new UK retail destination in York city centre. With regards to this acquisition and the brand’s future plans, a spokesperson stated the following in the retail publication Drapers: “The Zatchels brand is known globally for its high-quality British leather craftsmanship and extensive range of bag styles, shapes and colours — this is something we are keen to focus on and retain.”
And my goodness Zatchel’s don’t disappoint on the colour front. If there was ever a time update your wardrobe with a cheery shot of hope, it’s now. The Spring / Summer 2021 catwalk presentations across the major fashion capitals showcased several trend offerings, with kaleidoscopic colour being a unanimous and uplifting common thread, as seen at Fendi, Versace and Chloé. There were subdued neutrals across the board for those in search of something a little more understated and familiar, with eternally chic shades of black, beige, tan, chocolate and cream ubiquitous at all the key fashion houses. Monochrome was another notable trend, with the classic interplay between black and white quite literally echoing the extremes of the current global climate.
Pantone, the “colour arbiter” for the fashion and interiors sectors has announced not one but two colours of the year for 2021 (the only other time in their history this occurred was in 2016). Bearing in mind that Pantone have been dictating colour trends for 59 years, that’s quite momentous. The Pantone Colours of the Year for 2021 are: PANTONE 13–0647 Illuminating (a bright and cheerful yellow) and PANTONE 17–5104 Ultimate Gray (solid and dependable). Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, had the following to say about this complimentary pairing: “The union of an enduring Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit”. There were some secondary trend colours Pantone cited as globally relevant for Spring, all of which took inspiration from Nature, with many of us seeking solace and freedom in the outdoors. They have proffered Marigold (yellow-orange), Cerulean (calming blue), Rust (burnt orange), French Blue (sky blue), Green Ash (pastel green) and Burnt Coral (pink-orange). In short, if you think of daffodils, storm clouds, the perfect sky, grassy meadows, Autumn leaves and coral reefs, you’ve got the gist of this Season’s colours.
We’ve hand-picked seven key pieces from Zatchels’ collections that will boldly take you into Spring 2021 and beyond: