The Private White V.C. presentation on Friday was held at the brand’s flagship Duke Street store in Mayfair, with an unexpected guest. A bulldog roamed around downstairs at the feet of mannequins and attendees alike. For this Manchester brand, it doesn’t get more quintessentially British than that.
The label takes its name from Private Jack White, who was born in Leeds in 1896 and signed up to the Royal Lancaster Regiment when he was 18. In 1917, he earned the Victoria Cross medal for his courage in battle.
He then moved to Manchester and undertook an apprenticeship as a trainee pattern cutter at the local factory. He worked his way up to become general manager, and eventually, the owner, before dying in 1949 at the age of 52. In 1997, White’s great grandchildren took over the company.
They continue to make clothes that cut a dapper figure for the modern-day gentleman who has a little bit more about him. The London Fashion Week Men’s presentation demonstrated how you can have it all with both function and style.
The collection paired utilitarian boots with a peek of cherry red socks and head to toe tweed with an orange beanie. The mannequins rocked popped collars, roll necks, and fur trims.
Private White V.C. demonstrated its superb ability to layer, especially with a blue pinstripe coat and trousers with a draped chunky grey scarf. A mannequin in a forest green parka-cum-cape with a burnt orange cravat and a mustard zip-up knit was the focal point of the room, arms spread out to emphasise billowing sleeves.
Carabiners were secured through belt loops and attached to ropes while wooden hands casually rested in pockets, as if to indicate that these are what all men carry. These are accessories for rough and ready men who are prepared for anything, just like Private Jack White was. The ropes alluded to how he received his Victoria Cross by using just some humble telephone wire tied around his waist. If he was here today, he would have been proud and stylish to boot. At ease, soldier.