Boss Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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Over and over again, reports of tailoring’s demise have proven themselves to be greatly exaggerated. Yet there’s no doubt that the triple whammy of 2008’s sub-prime sparked downturn, the so-called streetwear driven deformalization of dress codes, and now the Covid-enforced exodus from office life have left a form of dress that found its feet in the 19th century looking rather wobbly in the 21st.

If you’re a company like Boss, whose core market is formal and semi-formal attire most obviously appropriate for executive life, then the WFH revolution is something pressingly to ponder. In 100 years, will we look back on late 20th century offices with the same distancedly aghast incomprehension with which we would consider Victorian workhouses now? Certainly the signs are that post-vaccine, corporate presenteeism will not go as unquestioned as before.

Under the design directorship of Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts (who Zoomed in while I was working from a park bench in the sun) Boss is wisely attempting to anticipate potential disruption by disrupting itself. He said: “At Boss you’re always thinking about a suit but we want to do it more as a daily piece, that’s more adaptable to our life at the moment which is completely different… nobody needs a business suit anymore.”

To reframe the context for tailoring Wilts perhaps unconsciously echoed its earliest form as equestrian sportswear, although in a much broader sporting context. The recently unveiled Boss x NBA line plus an upcoming collaboration with Russell Athletic framed the chenille collegiate patches on a collection in which tailoring’s contours were first softened then sublimated into a broader and more on-point dialect of dress. Preppy cardigans, soft shouldered jackets, several home run shearlings (why are there so many beautiful shearling coats in the world when it only makes sense to own one?), hooded parkas, ponchos, and a fleet of bombers were all massed around Wilts’s handsome denormalized tailoring. The vibrant colors, he said, reflected a Californian inspiration while the check pieces overlaid with ochre red abstract contours seemed representations of this becoming Boss pitch at adding a fresh evolutionary layer to tailoring. Even for those hoping never to darken the door of an office again—park benches being much pleasanter places to concentrate—this collection jostled with high-achiever working wearables.



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