&i’s (and-i) mission to simultaneously smarten up and soften up casual menswear continues. A more reserved palette is utilized than previous seasons, running the full spectrum between indigo and charcoal. At first glance the collection for autumn/winter 08 is a little more rugged than previous seasons, and not just through the muted colour palette. But, as always, look closer, and there are hidden depths of subtlety: grey-marl, cotton-jersey sweats, and bomber jackets are padded with cotton to give a fuller appearance, and naturally, to keep the wearer warm. This slightly utilitarian vibe stems from the combination of influences which drive the new collection: the workwear influence stems from studying the uniforms that prisoners wear, and this, combined with the softness and “clothes comfortable enough to sleep in” vibe which and i has perfected over the last six seasons, lends a sensual yet always masculine flavour to the collection.
As always the majority of the collection is in delicately hued jersey, with a new linen/cotton mix jersey introduced this time round. &i’s collections are always worth studying to see the attention to detail. This collection features mismatching buttons and angular cuffs on shirts, while T-shirts feature the label’s signature mitten pockets (to keep your lover’s hands warm, of course). Elsewhere jackets have a dolman (seamless) sleeve on the back, and a raglan sleeve on the front so you can sleep in seamless comfort all day if you like! T shirts are at the centre of the collection, and this time we see slouchy, draped jersey Ts that run the full spectrum of blues and grey from indigo to charcoal. These garments, and the double breasted jersey blazer, are enzyme and stone washed so the dye will gradually fade to give a rich, distinguished effect.