Thursday 13th June

| BY Paul Toner

Daniel w. Fletcher Launches His First Swimwear Collection – And Tells Us All About It

Photographs by Morgan Hill Murphy and styled by Kamran Rajput

We all remember those summer holidays spent at home. Long before the idea of a ‘staycation’ became a successful marketing plea for overpriced one-day trips dotted around the country, visiting a morbid beachside town was the norm for most of us. Forget jetting off to the luscious Love Island villa, or Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents for that matter – these long weekends away were made up of drizzly showers, patchy tan lines and soggy sticks of rock. I hold a particular fondness to my younger self being dragged to Pontins on one too many occasions, seeking solace in unlimited rides of the bumper cars and watching punters butcher renditions of Come on Eileen via karaoke.

Woolmark Prize nominee Daniel w. Fletcher shares such an affinity for grey coastal holistays that he decided to launch a line of swim shorts in collaboration with Boardies. The emerging menswear designer was missing from London Fashion Week Men’s this past weekend, and will instead be debuting his SS20 collection during the Paris menswear shows. But never fear, the off-kilter sense of Brit-nostalgia which has informed his work thus far is still ever-present. Fletcher avoids teetering into budgie smuggler territory, instead favouring a classic swim-short silhouette.

“I wanted [the shorts] to have the feeling of the old British sea-side towns I grew up with,” Fletcher explains the collaboration. “I used to spend my summers in Devon and Cornwall so I hand painted the stripe prints which are reminiscent of the deck chairs and awnings I remember from those holidays.” Topped off with Fletcher’s signature contrast stitching and bound edge pocket, the shorts carry that subtle twinge of awkwardness akin to the work of Martin Parr and Tom Wood. Think scrawny frames clad in vests, candy coloured cafes and grey skies casted over New Brighton beach.

Sadly, the scenic beaches across the UK are covered with everything from neglected deck chairs to empty cans of larger – left from late night piss ups and hen-do antics. Thankfully, Fletcher has favoured something more earth-friendly for this collaboration, with all shorts being made from fully sustainable materials and recycled plastics. “I met the team from Boardies a couple of months ago and they told me about this new fabric they were using which is made from recycled plastic water bottles,” Fletcher explains. “I’m always looking for ways to make my brand more sustainable so I was really excited to hear about the Repreve fabric from Boardies. Technical fabrics in general tend to have a negative environmental impact as they are mostly non-recyclable, so it’s refreshing to find a swimwear brand which is trying to combat that and find new solutions for the plastic crisis we are in!” Daniel w. Fletcher may have jumped shores this season, but his entry into swimwear shows home is still where his heart is. We say that’s a cause for celebration, stick of rock anyone?

Daniel w. Fletcher X Boardies swim shorts are available to buy online.