Modern Classics (DFTC vol. 2) - Making a distinctive collection

For the second limited run of Don't Follow The Crowd men's Chelsea boots the design, finishes, style and shape we're fairly easy to define from previous experience creating other collections and handmade prototypes prior to the inception of DFTC.

The russet brown leather with burnished toe and heel are complimented by the light brown leather sole with tawny rubber covering for durability. A cheeky "DON'T" embossed on the right boot leather sole and "FOLLOW" on the left so anyone trailing in your wake can see your mentality.

Next up the fun part (or so I thought!), creating the patterns for the gusset section of the boot to really set off the design aesthetics. Whilst researching two themes emerged, modern and classic patterns, and idea of combining the best of both was born.

Off Tropic

Floral patterns have been a staple of textile and design for hundreds of years, considered part of "eternal fashion". The sheer variety of floral prints is hard to fathom - the 19th and early 20th century fashion & textile industries certainly inspired much of the latest trends. Thoughts of understated William Morris, art nouveau rich curves in pastels, orientalism in folding screens and kimonos, right through to Hawaiin shirts.

Jungles canopies and tropical plants provide a more masculine emphasis against the strong tree like russet brown leather. Applying a neon veneer to the leaves and vines with midnight background creates a deep layering effect, bringing the composition into the modern era. Las Vegas neon and seedy nightclub signage contrasted with wild tropical undergrowth provides the perfect start to our theme.

Scottish heritage

Patterns steeped in heritage from north of border were chosen next.

Firstly, following on from the floral theme a paisley pattern was chosen. Paisley has long been associated with the town bearing the same name but actually originates from Persia. The teardrop motif with symmetrical, repeating or encased (by another lagrer teardrop) was a pattern adorning royal regalia and garments through many significant Persian dynasties, devloping out of ancient Indo-iranian culture.

During the 19th century, the weavers' town of Paisley in Renfrewshite, Scotland, modernised the pattern production introducing multi-coloured designs and increasing availability of paisley in woven materials.

The Post Paisley print is an inverted take on the original, with a charcoal background providing the canvas for multi-coloured teardrops.

Tartan is the second pattern selected with a Celtic influence. Earliest documented tartan dates back to the 3rd century, with a simply check design most prominent until around the 16th century. Specific tartan / plaid patterns are known to be associated with individual clans and were seen as method for identifying friend from foe.

For Plaid The Crowd, we're essentially reverting this mentality to the modern age, with a simple plaid pattern hiding our mantra DON'T FOLLOW THE CROWD in the red accent lines. A similar tactic taken by Tyson Fury and Connor McGregor in their pinstripe suit lines to hide messages to their rivals!

Head re-dress

Intricate quillwork associated with indigenous Americans hold a powerful array of colours and patterns often mimicking nature's creations, including birds' wings, fish scales, insects, and animal hides. The four common techniques of quillwork each have slighly different styles and finishes - appliqué, embroidery, wrapping, and loom weaving.

The pattern chosen has a similar feel to weaving but with asymmetrical shapes over a repeating beat, the blend of past and present through straight technical chevrons battling with the soft bright colouring blending culminates in a relaxing yet evocative pattern.

Not to everyone's Palette

Art and fashion have long wrestled and inspired each other, artists dressing models in the latest clothing while art influences fashion and print (Warhol, Basquiat, Banksy). The Palette of Rembrandt pattern is best summarised in our product description:

Fusing bright sparks of candy apple red, bright orange and peach against a backdrop of deep sea and nightfall, the brush strokes resemble an artist’s palette during the throngs of creativity. Reminiscent of both biblical Baroque paintings and forebodings of a dystopian future.

And so the cycle of art and fashion continues.

Sum of the parts

Each selection was made with the intention to provide individuality to the wearer and allow them playful style selection moving away from the constrictive black or brown single colour men's shoes and boots provide by the mainstream. DFTC's Modern Classics is a culmination of embracing history and opening our eyes to the possibilities of the current and future.

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