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Realm & Empire Launch SS16 Collection

Realm & Empire first emerged on our radar back in SS12, and are now rapidly making waves in the industry as a strong home-grown independent. Before each season's release the Realm & Empire design team first embark on a field trip to the Imperial War Museums where inspiration is sought by sifting through archived garments, documents, artifacts and photographs.

The team then creatively interpret the findings into contemporary menswear collections. The authority of IWM ensures all Realm & Empire apparel is fundamentally inspired by real history and British heritage. Now Realm & Empire have unveiled their latest SS16 collection - Ridin' The Storm.

Sand-blasted and sun-bleached, the Spring Summer 2016 gives a knowing nod to the desert dunes. The collection traces the journey of British Army’s Second World War pioneering Long Range Desert Group and captures the essence of the legendary 7th Armoured Group Desert Rats.

The range resonates with the functionality and practicality of desert utility uniforms through a selection of lightweight ‘sandstorm-ready’ outerwear including ghost-patrol jackets, combat overshirts, complimented by breathable desert-rat shirts and of course, an iconic Montgomery summer workwear blazer.

Each garment has its own backstory. The Jungle Field Jacket for example takes its inspiration from the early-1940s, where all standard issue khaki drill was sand-coloured, even for the troops serving in tropical climates. As a result, the men would over-dye their kit in the now iconic 'jungle green' hue to provide extra camouflage. This season's Field Jacket has been garment-washed in this season's tones for a true vintage appearance. Vented for a bespoke fit and adorned with gun metal buttons for that authentic military aesthetic.

Another key piece for me is the Camo Print Polo Top in Cedar. It features some great details such as the canvas patch chest pocket. However the camo map print motif is the real showstopper – a print inspired by a silk WW2 escape map of the Adriatic Sea, which was found sewn into the beret by a member of the LRDG. A great conversation stimulator when you rock up to the beer garden in this.

Lastly the Realm & Empire Desert Rat 55 Tee. This design pays homage to the formation badge of the 7th Armoured Division ‘Desert Rats’. They took part Battle of El Alamein, which was considered one of the decisive victories of the Second World War, leading to the retreat of the Afrika Korps and the German surrender in North Africa in May 1943. It's not logo heavy and has a sleek appeal that can be worn casual with shorts or under a blazer.

Check out the Realm & Empire website this weekend for up to 40% off spring jackets as well as plenty of new season lines such as their British made knitwear.

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own Menswear Style Podcast. His new book 'From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films' is available now.

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