Afield’s debut SS17 collection, “Let’s Go Swimming”, is now available to buy both on-line and in over 60 stores, globally (for your closest store, click here). We talk to Creative Director, Mark Scholes, to find out the inspiration behind it …

An interesting title for the collection, “Let’s Go Swimming” … where does it come from? And while we are on the subject, where’s your favourite place to go swimming?

The collection is named after Arthur Russell’s leftfield-disco masterpiece, Let’s Go Swimming. That’s about the end of Arthur’s influence on this collection, but still, a great record!

As for swimming, as much as I loved learning my front crawl at the Oldham ‘Lido’ back in the day, I’d have to say Wijaya Beach, on the South coast of Sri Lanka; white sandy beaches, a natural sea pool with turtles swimming around you, and a bar that serves cocktails within crawling distance.

Sounds idyllic! So, Arthur aside, what are the main influences behind the collection?

The collection has a variety of influences; there is a subtle nod to late 60’s era David Hockney, where we re-interpreted some of his iconic artwork of that period; see the Pool Camo’ Shirt and Socks. There is more modern and geometric inspiration from aerial photographer, Bernhard Lang. I love his photography, and our Sunbrella Print Swimming Shorts (& Shirt) is a good example of his work inspiring our prints.

For the collection’s silhouettes and over-all styling, Slim Aarons’ photography played a big influence. We are big fans of his work at Afield, the way he captures his subjects doing the most normal of things, in the fanciest of places, and tied together with his eye for colour, it is a recipe for greatness. I’d say due to this influence, the collection has a slight 60’s styling feel to it.

The colour palette is very vibrant; can you tell us any more about this?

The colours will certainly add a bit of pizazz to your wardrobe, it’s summer friendly, but there is nothing too bright or garish in there. Banana Cream and Rose Cloud are a more pastel based shade, and can be found in our knitted polo and sweatshirts; great colours for layering.

For people who like things a bit more commercial we’ve got a mix of Antique White, Faience Blue, Blue Depths & Brick, which can be found all over the collection, from shirting, knitwear, t-shirts and jackets.

Finally, do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

Having designed all of it, and I know this is an obvious thing to say, but I like, and would wear, all of it, but if I have to choose one piece … the Aaron Crepe Polo.

It’s a beauty of a polo shirt that oozes 60’s vibes. It has some contemporary detailing, like the wooden buttons, and is made from a textured cotton crepe; the Antique White colour looks great teamed up with the Sunbrella Shorts. It’s the sort of piece that wouldn’t have gone a miss at one of the fancy poolside shindigs Slim Aaron attended back in the 60’s!

A close second is the Sunglasses Shirt, which I have worn to death since I got a sample shirt last year. The print is actually based on Hockney’s round glasses he used to wear.

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