Utilizing difficult to find cloth and original print designs from small mills and inspired by traditional British design motifs, the Archer Adams signature pushes the classics to instigate a frisson of something new, fresh, and the antitheses of commodification or "fast fashion" to embrace quality, originality, potential and variation.

Velvet: The Smooth Operator 

As it’s still chilly in London we have had velvet on our minds. The word ‘velvet’ brings to mind opulence and luxury: smoking jackets in the deepest of purples (traditionally the colour of royalty, and so even more intrinsically linked to decadence). Famed for its sumptuous elegance, softness and lustre, velvet has a history as rich as the fabric itself. 

With humble beginnings in Kashmir, India, the fabric has been existed since the beginning of the fourteenth century. It became popular in Europe when the special double weaving process was adopted by Italian textile mills. From the striped breeches worn during the decorative Colonial period, to velvet collars on Victorian Frock Coats and later, on the Chesterfield Coat, velvet is a fabric with many facets and a never ending ability to adapt to current fashions. 

A pile fabric, two layers of material are woven simultaneously, which are then cut apart to produce the raised fibre effect. Velvet’s unique structure can be manipulated in several ways to achieve different aesthetic attributes. The different forms of velvet (density of pile, materials, silk, cotton, etc.) can be used to great effect, playing up or down the properties of the cloth as required. 

Thanks to its connotations with luxury, velvet has adorned everything from garments to accessories over the years. Velvet trimmings and paneling add rich details without the commitment of full-on finery. Over the years, velvet has enjoyed peaks and troughs in popularity, although now it seems to be playing a bit of a moment unlinked to faddish trends or Prince revivals.

 Words by Madeleine McIndoe

THE AMAZING, NEVER ENDING CHESTERFIELD COAT                 

Men’s fashion as we know it would not be the same without the Chesterfield Coat. This classic long tailored overcoat with the optional velvet collar has more than 100 years of history; and although it has evolved through the decades,  it still maintains the same air of Victorian style.

Although it is unclear when it was first tailored, it was in fact George Stanhope, the 6th Earl of Chesterfield who wore it first. The coat was designed as an alternative to replace other types of garments such as the frock overcoat. During the early 1800s, no men would dare to take off their coat in public, the movement pioneered by the Earl of Chesterfield changed men’s fashion to a less decorative, and more comfortable style.

The Chesterfield coat was designed to be worn on top of other attire when outside, and taken off when inside. The advantages of the coat were its versatility, and its more comfortable shape. Since the mid 19th century, the coat has been worn with city suits or to complement semi-formal dress. Because of its lack of seams and the coat’s shape makes it easy to wear and comfortable to the body.

The style of the coat has changed through the decades, with single or double breasted versions, not all of them with concealed buttons and several variations of fabric. The most popular materials are a heavy weight tweed, wool, cashmere, and camel hair with many blends and variations.  It is claimed that the classic version is made in heavy, plain charcoal wool fabric.

Due to the popularity of the Chesterfield coat during the 1800s, coats were imported to New Zealand, and soon after adapted with capes and others to fit female bodies and trends.

Today it is easy to find several different variations of the Chesterfield, from the country-rustic Chesterfield, to the Chesterfield jacket, which has a black velvet half collar.

Words by Maria Itziar

Check out our new fall campaign featuring The Dapper English Gentleman (and friend)!

Who is this international man of mystery who radiates confidence in his recently acquired Archer Adams kit?

His friend looks equally as louche in her Archer Adams white lambskin, boyfriend motorcycle jacket.

                                                                                            Photograph by Rebecca Desmots
Chris Difford in London wearing an Archer Adams ‘Mountbatten’ chocolate velvet jacket.
  10 QUESTIONS FOR CHRIS DIFFORD FROM THE BAND SQUEEZE
Chris Difford is a founding member of the influential English Band, Squeeze. Launched in 1974, the band enjoyed worldwide chart success with numerous albums and Top 10 singles, including ‘Cool for Cats,’ ‘Up the Junction,’ and ‘Tempted’ (a personal A*Life favourite). All Squeeze songs were written by Chris & fellow member Glen Tillbrook, the only constants in a band with many different line ups over the years.
 Active in various periods of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (up until 1999) Squeeze reformed in 2007 and now tours the world regularly. Just last week the band played London’s magnificent Royal Albert Hall.
Q. You’ve been making and performing music for over 35 years. How do you account for the passion that keeps you motivated?
 A. All I have ever done is all that I ever seem to do. I wake up and this is me, this is the journey of a lifetime and it feels wonderful, most of the time…
 
Q. Your songs tend to tell stories with emotion and or colorful descriptions. What kicks off a song idea? 
 A. Most of the lyrics come from the imagination, the part of my brain I know little about, I like it that way, sometimes I can be very honest, and then it often hurts.
 
Q. I’ve always loved ‘Tempted.’ Did anything specific inspire that song?
 A. Yes, a ride in a taxi to the airport to leave for another US tour, what you hear is what I saw on that drive.
 
Q. Classic Question: What comes first, music or lyrics—or both at the same time while you strum?
 A. The words always seem to come first its like turpin and John…
 
Q. In the rough and tumble of the modern music business what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
 A. Not to listen to my desires but to live in the now and the real world, I’m not so good at it but I try…
 
Q. What advice would you give to anybody with a passion to create? 
 A. Create and be creative, give your love and your love will be returned, its there for the taking but the giving comes first….
 
Q. What is the craziest gig you have ever played? 
 A. They all seem crazy…on a river boat, in someone’s house, Madison Square Garden, they are all as crazy as each other…
 
Q. Who are some of the young bands that you admire today? 
 A. Hatcham Social are really good…
 
Q. You and Glenn Tillbrook have had a long, enduring partnership. What’s the secret to a happy collaboration? 
 A. Not talking to each other…
Q. What’s next for Squeeze?
 A. A musical and more shows, an album and more shows…
For more information on Squeeze visit the official website!
 
 
 
 

                                                                                            Photograph by Rebecca Desmots

Chris Difford in London wearing an Archer Adams ‘Mountbatten’ chocolate velvet jacket.

  10 QUESTIONS FOR CHRIS DIFFORD FROM THE BAND SQUEEZE

Chris Difford is a founding member of the influential English Band, Squeeze. Launched in 1974, the band enjoyed worldwide chart success with numerous albums and Top 10 singles, including ‘Cool for Cats,’ ‘Up the Junction,’ and ‘Tempted’ (a personal A*Life favourite). All Squeeze songs were written by Chris & fellow member Glen Tillbrook, the only constants in a band with many different line ups over the years.

 Active in various periods of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (up until 1999) Squeeze reformed in 2007 and now tours the world regularly. Just last week the band played London’s magnificent Royal Albert Hall.

Q. You’ve been making and performing music for over 35 years. How do you account for the passion that keeps you motivated?

 A. All I have ever done is all that I ever seem to do. I wake up and this is me, this is the journey of a lifetime and it feels wonderful, most of the time…

 

Q. Your songs tend to tell stories with emotion and or colorful descriptions. What kicks off a song idea?

 A. Most of the lyrics come from the imagination, the part of my brain I know little about, I like it that way, sometimes I can be very honest, and then it often hurts.

 

Q. I’ve always loved ‘Tempted.’ Did anything specific inspire that song?

 A. Yes, a ride in a taxi to the airport to leave for another US tour, what you hear is what I saw on that drive.

 

Q. Classic Question: What comes first, music or lyrics—or both at the same time while you strum?

 A. The words always seem to come first its like turpin and John…

 

Q. In the rough and tumble of the modern music business what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

 A. Not to listen to my desires but to live in the now and the real world, I’m not so good at it but I try…

 

Q. What advice would you give to anybody with a passion to create?

 A. Create and be creative, give your love and your love will be returned, its there for the taking but the giving comes first….

 

Q. What is the craziest gig you have ever played?

 A. They all seem crazy…on a river boat, in someone’s house, Madison Square Garden, they are all as crazy as each other…

 

Q. Who are some of the young bands that you admire today?

 A. Hatcham Social are really good…

 

Q. You and Glenn Tillbrook have had a long, enduring partnership. What’s the secret to a happy collaboration?

 A. Not talking to each other…

Q. What’s next for Squeeze?

 A. A musical and more shows, an album and more shows…

For more information on Squeeze visit the official website!